Friday, March 5, 2010

Mud Season

After three months of living in a winter wonderland, the blanket of snow is finally melting away with recent warm temperatures and sunny skies. We have officially entered mud season in Billings. Patches of open water are appearing on the ponds, and ducks and geese have re-discovered the ACEC. The Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are hanging out in pairs, an indication that breeding season is about to begin. Geese form long-term pair bonds and mate for life. They will make their nest near the water, usually of grasses, forbs, sticks, and other vegetation. Eggs will be laid from mid-March through late April. Each pair will have four to seven eggs in their brood. The female with incubate the eggs for 25 - 30 days. When the eggs hatch and the young emerge, the male will help to care for them. Geese primarily eat invertebrates during breeding season, though they are omnivores and often indulge in plant materials during the rest of the year. For more information, click here for FWP's Montana Field Guide.

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