Yes, that’s Lucy Goosie. And she’s made a nest. In October. Out in the middle of the pasture.
I wasn’t even aware she was laying eggs, but she’d been quietly collecting them out there. She now has about a half dozen. A few days ago, she went broody and will only come off the nest for quick breaks.
I don’t want to move the nest into the barn; she’d almost certainly abandon the eggs if I did. I’m not even sure the goslings are developing, given the cold weather we’ve had. And even if they hatch, what are their odds of survival in late October or early November?
I can be certain of this: if I trash the nest, they’ll die for sure. If I don’t trash the nest, we may get some surprise goslings. The thing I’m most concerned about is Lucy Goosie’s safety out there in the middle of the night. In Illinois, we lost a few broody geese to coyotes. Fortunately, there aren’t any of those around here. Foxes, raccoons and possums are a concern, but an adult goose defending a nest is a pretty tough fighter.
I’d lay my bets on Lucy, if it came to that. And her nest is near enough to the house, I’d be able to hear her alarm honk and come to her assistance.
Still, it’s tough to shake the feeling that this isn’t going to end well. But we’ll see. Around here, we never seem to run out of surprises.