Edmonton restaurant won't mess with mother goose that has nest near patio
An Edmonton restaurant says it won't mess with a Canada goose, shown in a handout photo, that has a nest near its patio. (Tom Hedstrom)
EDMONTON -- An Edmonton restaurant says it won't mess with a Canada goose that has a nest near its patio.
The Boston Pizza in Manning Towne Centre in the city's northeast said staff first encountered the mother goose Friday as they were setting up the patio for a nice spring weekend.
"I had one of my managers out there who was getting some cushions on the seats and she heard hissing," said general manager Tom Hedstrom.
"She looked on the other side of our patio ... and on the other side of the glass wall was a Canadian goose hissing at her and ruffling its feathers and just being really aggressive towards her."
Hedstrom said they also saw a nest with three eggs.
"We made the decision to keep our patio closed while she was nesting so that nobody would get hurt or interfere with the goose," he said.
Hedstrom said the eggs hatched Sunday afternoon, but the patio will remain closed until the goose family officially leaves the nest.
Canada geese are protected by the federal Migratory Birds Act, which means it's illegal to disturb a nest once eggs have been laid.
Holly Lillie, executive director of the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, said the restaurant is doing everything right.
"It's great that they left her alone," she said.
Geese can lay up to 12 eggs and the incubation period is between 25 and 30 days, she said.
"This is the normal time of year we see geese being born."
Lillie said Canada geese typically leave their nests to get to water once goslings hatch, usually within a couple days.
"Generally the adults scout for an area to nest that's close to water so they do know where they are going," she said.
Hedstrom said there is a stormwater pond nearby and the goose family has been wandering off during the day, but it hasn't completely abandoned the nest yet.
"They might stick around here for a while longer," he said.
"We're just going to keep people posted on it. We want to open our patio as soon as possible, but we also want to make sure we're being respectful to the wildlife in the area."
Customers don't seem to mind the wait, said Hedstrom.
"Overall, it's been funny," he said. "A lot of people have told us it's the most Canadian thing that they've ever heard -- a patio being closed because of a Canadian goose.
"Generally, it's been pretty positive. We haven't had any negative feedback from anybody."