Geese don't mind mixed-use zoning lifestyle

A Canada goose, seemingly unruffled by the business of Carson City's downtown, has taken up residence, for the fifth straight year, on a rooftop of a local business at Second and Curry streets.

And since she is within the residential-office zoning redevelopment planners are eager to encourage, she is unlikely to face eviction.

Jeff Nicholson, owner of Great Basin Art Gallery, said he and his partner, Rick Davis, have been observing the nest that the pair of geese first selected five years ago, as the site to rear their young - on a rooftop above a doorway.

"People line up out there, sometimes a dozen or more at a time are waiting for their appointments, and she just watches them. She watches all the activity." Nicholson said.

Nicholson readily admits he and his partner don't know whether they are observing the male or the female, since pairs split incubation duties, but they usually see only one at a time.

"She arrived at the nest March 15 this year," he said, "and she didn't lay the first week, so she's only been sitting for a couple of weeks."

Once the goslings - 6 or 7 of them - hatch and are ready to move to a more respectable goose habitat, she waits for just the right moment to escort her brood to safety, Nicholson said.

"When they're ready to go, she just drops to the ground, and those little things drop right off of there, 12 feet or so," he said. "She always picks a quiet Sunday to leave with the goslings."

Nicholson recalls one year when one of the little guys didn't make it to the ground, ending up instead in the bed of a pickup truck.

"She didn't leave; she was just hanging out there honking, but when I took a trash can outside of my business, I heard this peeping. I took it out of the pickup, and they went on their way," Nicholson said.

Whatever their destination, the little family often requires assistance as they negotiate through traffic, lined up behind their parent.

"They usually head west, and one year, lawyers were out in their suits blocking traffic so that they could cross Division safely," he said.

"Another year, she decided to head west, so a bunch of customers from Mom & Pop's Diner were out blocking traffic on (Highway) 395 so she could get them safely to the legislative grounds," Nicholson said.

"It's quite the ordeal getting her to safety every year," he said, laughing.

But for now, mother goose is content in her loft, keeping an eye on the busy downtown.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment