Goose Mating Rituals
|Male Embden goose mating|
The geese featured in this photo journal are domestic geese gone wild. They live on a greenfield site called Greenhill where they have become naturalised. The birds are tame enough to be fed (if you don't get too close) and wild enough to be able to observe bird behaviour at close quarters.
Geese mating in March
|Alpha female goose exerts her dominance over beta female. |
Male Embden goose watching.
|China Goose as alpha female 'mounts'|
In the natural world threesomes are not uncommon. Many species have one male mating with more than one female to perpetuate the species. Obviously when more eggs are laid the chances of more surviving are raised. In this case, the threesome had 20 goslings between them. Poultry keepers usually recommend you keep two females for each male.
|China Goose as alpha females broods as many as she can|
After the Hatch
|geese with chicks|
male keeping guard as the females brood the goslings
Now that all the goslings have hatched, the China goose continues to be the dominant female. She appears to take the lead in teaching the goslings new things and in decision making - that is, she is the one who makes the first move to and from the canal. Also, most of the goslings go to her for brooding and quite often the little white female is seen off to one side. At times though, the beta female is allowed a few of the goslings under her wing.
|Geese brooding goslings|
|The whole brood on the canal|