Mother Goose is a Canada goose who built her nest on the roof at the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek a month ago.
After 28 long, windy, wet, cold days and nights sitting on her nest and incubating seven eggs, they started to hatch on Tuesday. By Wednesday morning, all seven chicks were peeping and staring out from under mom's protective wings.
This morning (Thursday), Mother Goose started flying off the roof to the ground, honking loudly to try and coax her chicks to jump. A large truck had been backed up below the roof so the chicks could land on top and not have to jump so far (12 feet).
Plans had been made by some of the newsroom staff to stretch a blanket under the roof and catch the chicks as they came tumbling down, but Mother Goose quickly squelched that idea.Every time we tried to unfurl the blanket, Mother Goose became distressed and kept flying back up on the roof.
It was decided to back off. The female goose needed to stay on the ground, honking loudly, long enough to distress her chicks and provoke them to jump. Other Times' staff who had rushed out to watch the annual event (this is the fifth year) were also herded back inside.
Minutes later, now undisturbed, Mother Goose was able to call her chicks off the roof. Five landed on the ground, two on the top of the truck and then to the ground.
None of the chicks were hurt during the mass jump. Each weighed approx. two ounces and was covered in a thick coating of fuzzy yellow down. They looked (and bounced) like giant tennis balls. Mother Nature definitely knew what she was doing when she designed those little characters for jumping off or suburban rooftops, or cliffside nests in the wild.
Once on the ground, all the chicks were rounded up by their mom and two Times employees gently herded them around the building and across a parking lot to an open grassy field.
Once they reached the field, papa Goose, who had been watching from the roof of the Times, flew down and joined the tiny family group.
They were last seen waddling across the field to a business next door to the Times, which has an nice little artificial stream meandering around its buildings and a natural little pond for them to learn how to swim.
The "Goose" family has taken their chicks there every spring for the last five years, where they live happily ever after until the chicks are old enough to explore the world on their own.
Happy Easter, everybody!