Holes started appearing in some of the Mother Goose eggs on Friday afternoon. I contacted Ray Saint Germain, our Senior Multimedia Producer, who set up the video cam that let us all watch Mother Goose sitting on her eggs, and alerted him about the holes. We both planned to monitor the nest via his video cam over the weekend.
In the past, Mother Goose has always waited about a day after the last eggs hatched before coaxing her goslings off the rooftop. I figured we had until Monday before they jumped, but we planned to keep an eye out to make sure.
By the end of Saturday, 4 chicks had hatched and it was starting to look like the last three eggs probably weren't viable. Last year, two of her eggs didn't hatch, so I wasn't all that surprised.
Sunday morning, about 8:30 a.m., the three eggs had still not hatched. It usually takes a day or two before instinct kicks in and Mom Goose realizes the eggs are no good and it's OK to leave the nest, so I figured she'd jump with her chicks on Monday.
When I checked my computer a few minutes later, Mother Goose and her 4 chicks were gone and it was just an empty nest with three eggs. YIPES! They didn't wait until Monday to jump off the roof!
I jumped in my car and raced to the Times and caught up with Mother Goose and her 4 chicks (they all survived the jump as usual) as they were almost to the office park next door. It has an artificial creek and lagoon the geese use every year to raise their chicks. Father Goose had also joined up with Mom and the kids as he usually does (he obviously hates the incubating part). I walked alongside, escorting them the rest of the way. They all, goslings included, started grazing on the lawn grass when they reached it, then down to the water for a little paddle. (Hooray! They float!)
Mother Goose fooled us by not waiting until Monday to take off with her chicks, but it was still a happy day. Ray and I have now become uncles to about 34 baby geese over the last 6 years.