Normally, I don’t look forward to seeing the Canada Geese on the lake near my Florida home. There are too many for the size of the water body,  and they don’t migrate.  Did I mention they’re loud and  a bit aggressive?

And yet, one time each year,  I hit the surface of the water with my kayak in search of these waterfowl: spring.
The bright yellow, fluffy chicks emerged only a few weeks ago. The adults have been paired off for months, building nests in the grassy edges of the lake (except one pair, who nested in a wooden pail at the end of someone’s dock) and finally the adorable babies emerged from their cream-colored eggs.
In these stressful times, the babies swimming after their parents or scuttling amongst the grasses make me smile. I paddle after them for just a moment, snapping a few photos as they run up on a grassy lawn.
Of all the pairs on the lake, at least half-a-dozen have goslings now, ranging from the recently hatched to “teenagers” nearly the size of their parents. Though I’m ignoring the ecological impact of too many geese, I can’t help but hope for more each morning!
Written by Erika Zambello
Erika Zambello is a National Geographic Young Explorer who grew up in Maine, inspiring a deep interest in nature at an early age. She fell in love with birding after receiving a Sibley field guide for Christmas during her senior year in college, and has birded across the eastern seaboard and internationally ever since. To inspire others to protect birds and the environment, she has blogged for the Conservation Fund, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Triangle Land Conservancy, and Duke University, and is writing a birding guide to Northern New England for Wilderness Adventures Press. She has founded, and is currently living along the Emerald Coast in Florida's Panhandle. You can check out her exploration site or follow her on Instragram.