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Votes

Happy Family

For the past two years, the parking lot at Dulles Town Center has become home to two Canada geese, Mack and Matilda Dulles. The security staff monitored the activity of the couple as part of the regular survey of the property. Merchants and customers alike have enjoyed seeing the couple nest and raise their young. The birds had chosen a median in a back parking lot to nest and incubate their goslings. Last year, Matilda hatched five goslings and another six goslings hatched April 22, 2005. Sadly, Mack was hit by a car just days before the eggs hatched.

The Canada goose mates for life. Male geese establish the nesting territory and defend it from intruders and predators. The gander stays with the female and helps to protect and raise the young; the two take turns sitting on the eggs throughout the incubation period.

Chuck Juneau, May Canete and Allison Fischer-Stasiowski who all work for the shopping center's owner, Lerner Corporation, made it their duty to ensure the safety of the goslings, and contacted the Northern Virginia Wildlife Rescue, Dave "The Gooseman," who has been assisting in the rehabilitation of Canada Geese for nine years. The quartet was able to safely catch Matilda and her babies. The family was taken to a local Loudoun pond where mom and babies happily waded in and began their new life in a safer area.

The six goslings were named after their rescuers Chuck, Allison, May, Dave, Melanie and James.