Gig Harbor’s well-known geese, Stella and Mac, are back in town.
The pair of Canada geese have been nesting in Gig Harbor for years. Find them in the flower beds at Tides Tavern, 2925 Harborview Dr., in the spring. Tide staff named these famous geese after the beers: Mac and Jack’s and Stella Artois.
Stella has returned to lay her five eggs again in the flower barrel created personally for her, giving her a view of the harbour. Her partner Mac doesn’t spend much time in the flowerbeds, but is around the harbor watching things, on the nearby wharf or swimming in the water.
Those who want to watch Stella and her progress can visit her live camera feed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B3o61HYAtE.
“This is the second year of the livestream,” said Michael McManus, chief marketing officer for Tides. “It’s amazing to see her dedication as she rarely leaves the nest for herself. When she does leave the nest it’s usually only for a short time while she bathes and rests on our dock with Mac.
If you sit close enough to the window, you might catch Stella flipping her eggs.
“We get a lot of requests for Stella’s table,” McManus said.
The Tide Tavern has had geese nesting in its flower barrels for about 20 years. Around 2015, the owner had a special landing and flower barrel prepared for Stella to easily get in and out of, and she has been back every year since.
Nesting usually takes place between St. Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day, according to Stella’s webpage. In 2021, Stella had six goslings.
It’s unclear if any other visiting geese are Stella’s babies from previous years, but that’s what the staff at Tides Tavern like to think.
With Stella laying her five eggs right now, they expect to see fuzzy little chicks by the end of the month. The chicks usually leave the nest within 24 hours, making the leap to the shore below.
“Our gardeners take special care to plant the same flowers each year for her to nest with. She pulls the flowers out and uses them as nesting material to keep the eggs isolated or covered,” McManus said.
Stella and Mac are very vocal, taking turns honking their horns when Stella takes a break from the nest. It’s a protected place on the landing to keep Stella comfortable and quiet.
“She seems to like having her picture taken and even showing us the eggs,” McManus said.