At first light Friday, Mother Goose left her nest for the last time, leaving behind five apparently unviable eggs, and calling her two growing goslings to make the jump from their perch one story above the ground.

With Father Goose at her side, Mother called and the babies dove into the unknown, landing safely. They were soon up and about, exploring their new world.

Mother Goose, a Canada goose, has been nesting on the top of a loading dock overhang at the Contra Costa Times in the Shadelands Business Park in Walnut Creek for the past month. The same nesting area has been used for the past eight years, but there is no way of knowing if it's the same goose that returns each year.

Two recently-hatched baby goslings explore the parking lot with adult Canada geese after jumping down from a nest at the Contra Costa Times building in
Two recently-hatched baby goslings explore the parking lot with adult Canada geese after jumping down from a nest at the Contra Costa Times building in Walnut Creek on Friday, April 5, 2013. (Mark DuFrene/Staff) ( Mark DuFrene )

This year, a goose started building her nest, as usual, on March 1. Within days she had laid seven eggs and was sitting patiently while a video camera broadcast her every move, sunup to sundown.

On Wednesday, two of the eggs hatched, but even though Mother Goose waited patiently, extending the normal time she would stay on the nest with goslings, the five remaining eggs never pipped. Whether the eggs were infertile or something went wrong in the process, we don't know. But Mother Goose finally decided it was time to get her goslings to the ground, and off they went.

Within minutes, another goose had taken her place. Goose cam will continue to broadcast the action.

Under escort to protect the geese from traffic, the little family made its way to a nearby artificial pond, where Mom and Dad hopped in the water followed immediately by the little goslings, who took to it like, well, ducks to water.