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Homemade Nest Sites for Giant Canada Geese


Although Canada geese readily use homemade nest sites, such sites must be placed in good wetland habitat. Permanent wetland complexes of large and small marshes are essential for Canada goose brood rearing activities. Such complexes permit parents to move broods away from disturbances with a minimum of overland travel. Nest sites must also be close to area where adults and goslings can graze relatively undisturbed.

Homemade Canada goose nest sites have been used extensively by other waterfowl, particularly mallards. Also, mallards and Canada geese have been observed nesting on large round bales at the same time (Figure 16).

Once you have built and placed a homemade nest site, you have made a commitment to maintain it. If the structure is not used the first year, don't become discouraged. Since Canada geese have strong homing tendencies, it may take time for young geese to move (pioneer) into your area.

JPG - Round Bales Used by Geese and Mallards
Fig. 16. Large round nesting bales will be used by mallards as well as Canada geese. Note the mallard nest on the right side of the bale below the incubating goose. (R. Martin)

Once a pair of geese successfully use your homemade nest site, they are likely to return to use it year after year. In two or three years, surviving young females will return with their mates to nest in your area. When this happens, you are well on your way to establishing a growing local population which will continue to nest on homemade nest sites.

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