Update: The eggs have hatched! The Tides Tavern posted the official birth announcement on Facebook May 1. Six healthy babies are settling in on the tavern’s deck.
The stork has arrived at Tides Tavern! Well, sort of. In this case, the stork is a Canada goose, whose eggs are expected to hatch within the next week.
Meet Stella. She’s one of Tides Tavern’s resident geese, along with her mate, Mac. Since they first appeared at the iconic Gig Harbor restaurant in 2011, the couple has become the tavern’s unofficial mascots.
From the very beginning, Stella and her mate made a notable impression on the Tides staff. Michael McManus, the marketing manager at Tides Tavern, spoke to us about how Stella began building a rather unique nest in one of the flower barrels that they have on deck.
“We always have daffodils growing in the flower barrels. She started to tear them apart and build her nest there,” McManus said.
At Tides, Stella and Mac found a home away from home. They returned to the tavern, and to their flower barrel in 2012. While it can be hard to tell Mac and Stella apart, the employees at Tides Tavern knew that it was Stella once she settled in their flower barrel and began building her nest again.
“They’re creatures of habit, so we just kind of assumed that that’s them,” said McManus.
Since then, Stella and Mac have become a huge part of the Tides Tavern family. Thanks to one of their employees, they were given names that reflect the spirit of the tavern. Both birds are named after beers they have on tap. Mac got his name from a brew by local Redmond brewery, Mac & Jack’s, and Stella from Stella Artois.
The tavern even made some special improvements to accommodate Stella and Mac. In 2013, Stella’s nest got a new upgrade. They installed a platform just for Stella’s nest, bringing her closer to the guests and raising her further above the water.
Now after 3 years of nesting in other locations, both Stella and Mac are back at Tides Tavern — and the employees and guests at Tides Tavern couldn’t be happier. Now that she’s claimed her special ledge, she is back to her old antics. One particularly funny memory was when Stella first returned and took up her usual tradition of tearing up their daffodils. “She had one daffodil in her mouth and was kind of scratching her back with it,” said McManus.
She soon settled down and began her nesting, laying five eggs on April 1. With a 28-day gestation period, guests at Tides Tavern should be treated to views of cute, fuzzy chicks within the next week.
Though Stella rarely returns with her babies, the Tides Tavern is positive that Stella and Mac will come back on their own. “They’ve been around for a while and we’ve kind of kept the saga of Mac and Stella going,” said McManus.
It’s clear that no matter where the wind blows, Tides Tavern will always be a welcoming home for Mac and Stella, as well as any future little ones!