Establishment of a Resident Breeding Flock of Canada Geese in Louisiana)

Canada Geese were released on Rockefeller Refuge in Louisiana in 1960 in hopes of establishing a resident, non-migratory flock. One nest was constructed in 1961; however, the Dumber of nests increased each year and by 1973, 265 nests were located on the refuge. The geese became acclimated to the warmer southern temperatures and adjusted their nesting season accordingly. They tended to nest earlier in the year with succeeding nesting seasons. The earliest nesting date on the refuge was February 19, 1968. Parent geese were allowed to incubate the majority of the nests; however. eggs were confiscated from 187 nests and placed in an artificial incubator in an attempt to increase production. Approximately 48.5 percent of the eggs naturally incubated hatched, whereas, only 26.8 percent of those artificially incubated hatched. The greatest loss of eggs incubated by parent geese was attributed to infertility and embryonic death. Sixty percent of the nests which were allowed to incubate naturally produced at least one gosling. Early nests appeared to be slightly more successful than late ones. Predation and desertion each account for 13.4 percent of nest loss. Approximately 13.2 percent of the nests failed to produce young because of faulty eggs.

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