hundreds of thousands. In fact, the
familiar V shaped squadron of honking geese heading
south is becoming a rare sight. Country Clubs and
business parks offer pristinely manicured lawns
and ponds providing an ideal habitat and effectively
modify their migration cycle. Geese are very opportunistic
and easily exploit the new 'easy living' conditions
found in an urban environment.
There are at least 10 or 11 subspecies of Canada geese,
all similar in color pattern with long black neck and
head with large white cheek patches meeting under the
throat. The birds’ brown-gray body has a pale
to dark breast and underparts while the black tail has
white upper and undertail coverts. The bill and feet
are also black. The bird varies in size from 22 to 48
inches long and weighing in from 3-4 lbs. all the way
up to 24 pounds.
Health Hazards associated with Geese (Details) »
The general public's affection toward birds translates
into a serious underestimation of the health risks associated
with pest birds...
Physical damage caused by Goose Droppings and Nesting Materials (Details) »
Pest birds cause tens of millions
of dollars of damage every year to buildings, machinery,
automobiles, roofs, ventilation systems and more...
Geese can cause damage to agricultural crops year
round, either by trampling or consumption. Aesthetic
damage to suburban lawns, golf courses, etc., is
incalculable. Geese are also a health hazard - fouling
reservoirs and ponds. A larger threat is air safety.
Geese are one of the main birds involved in airline
bird strikes worldwide.
Geese Breeding Cycles
Non-migratory or residential geese, once established,
prefer feeding at the nesting site, but will often
fly long distances to and from favorite feeding grounds.
Some feeding may occur during moonlit nights.
Female geese usually lay one egg every other day during
the 25 day spring mating season. The nest is abandoned
a few days after hatching. Canada geese are monogamous
for life, but will re-mate upon the death of their
Nesting sites are typically near water with protective
vegetation in close proximity. Planter boxes on high
rise office buildings and balconies are quickly becoming
a nesting site of choice. Geese are extremely aggressive,
posting sentinels at nesting and grazing sites. Defense
of nests can many times result in serious injury to
people or pets who venture too close.
Goose Control Methods (Detailed Control Solutions) »
Geese are generally very difficult to remove. Before established, immediate
corrective landscaping and behavioral modification
is imperative: Remove cover shrubbery, eliminate aquatic
vegetation and reduce fertilizer, especially around
pond area, to make grass less nutritionally attractive.
Control can include: dogs, pond wiring, birds of prey
falconry, pyrotechnics, nest removal and bird relocation.
During molting season Hawkeye has a special permit
to capture and relocate geese. Physical barriers such
as 4" mesh net can be extremely effective barriers
but are site specific. These grids can be installed
above water surface to prevent landing. Fencing made
of Gridwire (.96mm) provides a discrete barrier to
dissuade geese from entering property (especially
from water areas) and can be electrified for increased
effectiveness. Wire fencing applications should begin
approximately 1’ off the ground with successive
strands approximately 1 1/2’ above the last
to a height of at least 3 -5 feet. Remember Geese
are protected birds.
Fact vs. Fiction
We often hear statements such as: "Windmills work.
To the geese, the ultraviolet light reflecting paint on
the windmill blades looks like flapping of wings of other
geese taking off in fright." - It's hard telling
what blades may look like to geese; fact is, windmills
do NOT scare geese away and have not been proven to be
an effective control method.