Parenthood

A canada goose delivers a lesson to its young chicks
A canada goose delivers a lesson to its young chicks

One of my favorite wildlife subjects to photograph is a parent with their new young. Watching how different species teach their children about the dangerous world in which they live is a joy.

Two canada goose chicks forage at the edge of a small pond
Two canada goose chicks forage at the edge of a small pond

Seeing siblings interact is also a lot of fun. They play together, squabble, and compete for food. All of these help activities teach them important survival skills.

Two canada goose siblings swim together in a pond
Two canada goose siblings swim together in a pond

Photographing these family interactions is challenging. You have to be close enough to catch the action, while still maintaining enough distance to let their natural behavior unfold. If you get too close to a family group, the parents will corral their chicks as if from a dangerous predator.

A gosling stands in shallow water eating
A gosling stands in shallow water eating

Canada geese is one of the easiest species to see these types of family behaviors in local wildlife. In the bay area they are a year-round species so there are lots of chicks running around in the spring.

A canada goose escorts its chicks to a small pond for a swimming lesson
A canada goose escorts its chicks to a small pond for a swimming lesson

They are much larger than ducks, which allows the parents to teach their young in open areas, rather than keep them hidden in the pickle weed like ducks.

A canada goose keeps a careful eye on its young
A canada goose keeps a careful eye on its young

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in watching these chicks that I forget to take photos, and end up using my lens as a scope. They always bring a smile to my face.