There is a goose that has taken up residence on the patio of my office building. I suspected her of having staked a claim a few weeks ago when I intended to bribe her into friendship with pizza crust. Since then, our security staff has taken it upon themselves to erect Caution tape around her nest. I took the liberty of naming our fowl friend in the garden, and I have dubbed her “Rhonda.” I think it suits her resilient, no-nonsense attitude.
I also took the liberty of learning more about Rhonda’s life thus far (admittedly, via Wikipedia) and how she ended up on our patio.
At the age of two, Rhonda found a mate. His name is Vernon. They made a vow to each other to remain mates for life, till death do them part.
This summer, Rhonda laid between 2-9 eggs (possibly just five), and she and Vernon will take turns protecting the nest while the eggs incubate. Rhonda will spend more time at the nest than Vernon, who spends much time as a yoga instructor in the front parking lot.
Rhonda will incubate their eggs for 24-48 days after they are laid. During this time, Rhonda will lose her flight feathers, ensuring that she cannot become a dead-beat goose mom. She will grow them back about the same time as the goslings start to fly, at which point she will likely say “Enough with y’all, I’m going to Bali” and peace right the heck out.
As soon as the babies (whom I’ve taken the liberty of naming as well: Raymond, Beyonce, Xander, Quinton, and Emily) hatch, they’re already capable of walking, swimming and finding their own food. Pretty much, they’re like fluffy teenagers and really don’t have time for Rhonda and Vernon’s crap. Which is just fine I suppose because that way Vernon and Rhonda have all the time in the world to cultivate their love and the goslings can act like 1950s teeangers at a diner and smoke cigarettes and stuff.
After the spring migration, Rhonda and Vernon’s offspring will leave their parents and return to their birthplace. In 2016, we will welcome Raymond, Beyonce, Xander, Quinton and Emily back with open wings and lots and lots of caution tape.