Clairbourn School: “Our Famous Geese”

Clairbourn school has an unusual addition to its student body this year, a pair of Canada geese! Over the spring break when the campus was completely quiet, a pair of migrating birds took note of the school’s newly refurbished swimming pool and athletic field. They clearly thought this beautiful, quite, park-like campus was an ideal place to build a nest. So they landed and laid some eggs adjacent to the pool.

A few days later, classes were back in full swing and the birds were quickly discovered by our maintenance staff. Since Federal law protects migratory birds and their eggs, Clairbourn took swift action to rope off the sensitive nesting area and made sure to keep students clear of the very-protective papa goose. The school decided to use this occasion as a teaching moment to help students learn about migration, the nature and habits of geese, the incubation period of their eggs, and the importance of protecting creatures in our environment.

There seem to be at least four eggs in the nest and the mother goose dutifully tends the nest night and day- only occasionally taking breaks to eat or swim in the pool. The father goose spends most of his time out on the athletic field, mainly to ward off other geese who might want to nest in the same area. Both geese are awake for most of the night to watch for predators.

Each morning at Chapel, Headmaster Dr. Nafie, gives students an update on the activities of the geese since he has a front row seat from his headmaster’s residence and he also watches them on the school’s goose-cam, viewable at One such update inspired a parent to contact Channel 4 news, and they picked up the story. A film crew was soon on its way to film the geese and interview our students. View the news clip here on

Teachers, parents, and staff alike have been impressed by the respectful and accommodating attitudes of the student body towards the geese, especially since they’ve had to postpone swimming as the weather has warmed up.

Clairbourn School, 8400 Huntington Drive, San Gabriel, (626) 286-3108 or visit



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