Family of geese 'spread their wings' and depart Springfield park - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Family of geese 'spread their wings' and depart Springfield parking lot

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

Earlier this month, we brought you a story about a pair of Canada geese looking to expand their family.

Well, the good news is that they've expanded, but now, they've left their nest in the urban Stop and Shop parking lot in Springfield and are ready for the wild.

Water bowls, seed, and feathers are all that's left of a Canada goose nest in the Springfield Plaza parking lot.

"When the females are nesting, they pull out down feathers to kind of line the nest," said Hannah Orenstein with the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center.

A picture from a Western Mass News viewer shows that sometime last week, four goslings opened their eyes for the first time, bringing the total number in this gaggle to six.

Right now, it's believed that this family of geese has waddled from their nest in the Stop and Shop parking lot to the nearest body of water.

"The babies are usually mobile within a couple of days of hatching and that point, they usually start to make their way towards water," Orenstein explained.

Szot Park in Chicopee has one of the nearby bodies this family could be headed for.  While they don't look too worried now, floating about the pond, life in the wild isn't always easy for a goose.

There's predators that lurk the shores, like this coyote.

Orenstein said that danger can also come from above.

"Unfortunately, predators like hawks and raptors being on water sources will not protect them at all.  When you're a baby goose, there's a lot of animals that want to eat you, so a lot of these babies do not make it to adulthood," Orenstein said.

As far as us humans are concerned, it's best to give these winged creatures their space.  It's also important to remember not to feed the waterfowl.  There's a fine and you could be doing the geese more harm than good.

"Especially items like bread.  It causes a condition called 'angel wings' which can be fatal to them," Orenstein noted.

However, there's good news for goose watchers at the Stop and Shop parking lot.  There's a good chance the family may return to the same spot to nest next year.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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