Spring is baby season, and with babies come protective parents. At Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, we’ve seen some Canada goose goslings and mallard ducklings scooting around the pond of late, typically under the watchful eye of a parent.
With mallards, the mother looks after the ducklings while they grow and learn how to make it on their own. Sometimes it may look like the ducklings are by themselves, but the mother is most likely nearby. It’s best to always leave them where they are and not interfere with nature by moving them or handling them.
Sometimes it may look like the ducklings are separated from their mother on the opposite side of a barrier, such as the goose fence at the pond. But think of it this way: they got over there, so they must have a way to get back. These are wild animals, and the best thing we can do for them is let them stay wild and figure it out on their own.
Canada geese goslings are often watched by both parents, as can be seen in this photo of a large family taking a stroll down the boardwalk. The parents are highly protective of their offspring. If a Canada goose feels you’re too close, it may hiss, bite or even whack you with a wing! So even though the goslings look cute, enjoy that cuteness from a distance!