It’s not just human babies coming into the world at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital — a mother Canada goose is currently waiting for six eggs to hatch in a garden outside the facility, and Alberta Health Services has set up a live cam to stream all the action.
The mother goose has made a nest at the Ted and Lois Hole Healing Garden in the Robbins Pavilion to brood her eggs. AHS says they should be ready to hatch within the next few weeks.
“Mom, Dad and the eggs have the entire garden to themselves right now,” Ken Dalton, medical photographer at the RAH, said. “They’re quite protective at this point and will get even more so as the incubation period goes on.”
The family has caused quite the stir at the hospital. According to the site’s executive director, the geese are the topic of conversations all over the building.
“At every table, the conversation begins with ‘Have you heard about the goose family?’” Janie Clink said.
“It just brightens everyone’s day and it gives us a warm, springtime feeling.”
The incubation period for geese is typically between 28 and 30 days. The mother spends the majority of the time on the nest, brooding her eggs.
When she needs a break to feed and water early in the morning, Dad comes in and takes over the responsibility. He’s nearby the rest of the time, though, watching for predators and keeping an eye on his family.
The garden remains closed while the two brood their eggs for the protection of the geese as well as visitors to the hospital.
“The RAH is all about providing compassionate care to all — and the goose family has become part of that,” Clink said.
“They chose to make the RAH their home. We want to make it as welcoming and safe as possible. I’m looking forward to seeing the baby geese arrive.”
The livestream is available to watch 24-7 on the AHS website.