Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
On March 27, 1939, a Canada goose (Branta canadensis) nest containing six eggs was found on top of a haystack. On April 20, the incubating bird was disturbed by photographers and left the nest for approximately 2 hours during the heat of the day. The goose continued to incubate until June 22, when the eggs were taken, examined and found to contain dead embryos after at least 87 days of incubation. On March 18, 1940, a goose nest containing two eggs was found on the top of one end of a large haystack, more than 18 ft (5.5 m) from the ground. Two or more wagon loads of hay were being taken from the opposite end of the stack each day. A last visit to the nest revealed that the goose hatched two goslings in spite of the fact that she had been disturbed each day during the incubation period. Overall, six desertions were directly traced to man's activities. The disturbances of irrigators traveling the canal banks with their dogs were responsible for five, and one was deserted when the author flushed an incubating goose from her nest while two crows were circling overhead. Although the eggs were carefully covered, the goose never returned.