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Mama goose returns to Gig Harbor tavern to nest

Stella the Goose is a Tides Tavern regular -- she raises a family in one of their planters every year! #k5evening

GIG HARBOR, Wash. — Every spring there's one table at the Tides Tavern that's very popular.

"Yeah people love that seat,” said Skye Carsten, who’s worked at the Tides for many years. “It’s definitely an attraction.”

It's the table at the back of the restaurant with the best view of Stella - a Canada goose who decided one of the planters at the Tides Tavern would be an excellent place to raise a family.

"Stella comes every year and she lays in our pot here, that we set up for her. She's been doing this for as long as I've known. Over ten years. She comes back every year,” said Skye.

Stella was named for Stella Artois, and Mac, her partner, is named after Mac and Jack – two brews that are popular at this longtime Gig Harbor watering hole. Stella and Mac are true Tides regulars:

There’s a painting of the two of them on the wall over the bar.

The tavern's owner built a special ledge for her planter during a deck remodel.

And the landscaper plants pansies in the half barrel container Stella returns to every year to keep it looking nice - because Stella always tears out the daffodils to make her nest.

Caution tape and warning signs go up in the spring as well, so that the mama goose can nest in peace.

But Stella doesn't seem to mind the audience that peers at her through the windows from inside the tavern. 

It’s almost like she wants to show off the seven eggs she laid this year.

“It's always such a fun and exciting thing to see all the cute little babies and a lot of people will come in again just to see them hatch,” said Skye.

If you can't make it to the Tides in person you can still see Stella 24/7 via their live streaming 'Goose Cam'.

Credit: Tides Tavern
Stella nesting at night

This is also a good way for kids to see Stella - since they're not allowed in the Tides Tavern until they’re drinking age.

"Stella has definitely gotta be over 21 especially to be in her barrel,” laughed Skye.

Around the end of April these eggs will hatch - and Stella and her new family will move on.

But right now everyone at The Tides is content to watch Stella take good care of her eggs and enjoy this one-of-a-kind sign that winter's finally over.

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