Resident Canada Geese
A distinction can be made between resident and migratory geese. For the most part, a "resident" Canada goose can be considered a Canada goose that nests and/or stays in the lower 48 states (of the U.S.) year round. "Migratory" geese, as opposed to those described as "resident" geese, are only encountered in the lower 48 states in the fall, winter and spring. A migratory goose can change to resident status at any time, and visa versa.
Resident Canada Goose Problems
Goose problems start out appearing not to be problems at all. When you see signs of resident Canada goose issues slowly escalating, call The Wildlife Whisperer, Inc., to assist you in avoiding what will become an immediate priority when it gets out of hand or a goose attacks somebody.
Growing Out Of Control
Are your geese slowly becoming malnourished and breaking bones due to Metabolic Bone Disorder?; are the geese attacking patrons, slowing traffic, destroying lawns, creating a slippery health and safety hazards, or have they been fed until their population exploded? If so, you have several different choices in order to avoid future escalations, bad press, and monetary ramifications. If you are not proactive, your options can become very limited, but you can use one or more of the below methods at the same time to remedy Canada Goose problems.
Please read below to see some other reasons why it is important to address resident Geese issues and the various methods to do so.
Metabolic Bone Disease
Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), in birds results in painful degenerative changes in the bones that result from nutritional imbalance and deficiencies. The number one cause is regular ingestion of bread and other human foods. Providing food for ducks and geese does not make them healthier. Imbalance of calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D3 can lead to soft or brittle beaks, claws and keel, bone fractures and enlarged parathyroid glands. These body changes lead to health complications, for instance just to name a few, weakness, abnormal postures including torticollis, appetite loss, lethargy, pain, and if untreated, death. This metabolic bone disturbance is termed rickets in young birds, and metabolic bone disease (syn: nutritional hyperparathyroidism / osteoporosis) in older ones.
Canada Geese Solutions
Population control, deterrents, habitat modification, exclusion and decoys are all resident Canada goose management methods.
Egg addling is a process of placing oil on an egg more than one time to cease embryo growth. If you just steal the eggs the mother will simply just lay more. Call it what it is, egg addling, by definition, is abortion. As harsh and controversial as this may sound, The Humane Society of the United States and PETA even approve of egg addling. In fact, I had the privilege of having a chance to help develop the HSUS egg addling protocol. In some cases, it is not feasible to follow the protocol 100% to the letter but, generally speaking, we do follow the protocol except in extreme situations where egg theft, nest destruction and removal are mandated in order to protect humans.
Our addling procedure is different than any other company or individual's methods in our area. We do not oil the eggs multiple times because it is dangerous to revisit the nest any more than necessary, therefore, costing the client more money and the animals undue stress. Instead, we utilize decoy eggs. We take the real eggs and replace them with wooden eggs on our first visit. On our second visit, we would simply be checking to see if mom laid any additional eggs and remove them if applicable. Our third and final visit would be to collect the wooden eggs, count them and charge for any missing eggs due to animal removal or curious and amused humans who take souvenirs.
Canada Goose egg addling and the use of decoys is the least intrusive to the animal and can be done in a manner to draw a lot less attention than any other method available. This will not decrease your existing population but, rather, will not allow it to grow.
When decoy eggs are deployed, per federal law, the real eggs must be destroyed. It is not legal to incubate Canada Goose eggs. In many states, such as New York, goose issues have escalated to the point where hundreds of geese are rounded up, placed in a U-haul truck and CO2 tanks are placed in the truck to kill them all. If you do not want this to happen in your state, stop feeding the geese, addle eggs and be proactive.
Another method of being certain that no additional geese are added to "your gaggle" of lawn cows is to feed them birth control. A mother with goslings walking around your parking lot and streets in your neighborhood can cause accidents and injuries to humans and the geese. We receive countless calls each year from businesses owners who have had the opportunity to addle or administer birth control and eliminate the dangers involved with young wandering in inappropriate places dangerous to them and their patrons. Birth control is a simple, inexpensive method to eliminate the young. Birth control is 100% effective, but remember, goslings can be walked in from areas other than your own and you can still, at times, end up with goslings that were not born on your property.
Birth control for a Resident Canada goose costs approximately $12 to $15 per goose and the cost of the automated feeders at each location, set-up and labor. The problem with birth control is securing the automatic feeders from theft. This is difficult to do so, often times, cheaply made feeders are therefore used in case of theft, so they frequently malfunction and goslings are born. In you are in a high traffic area, we would be concerned about the feeders and how we would secure them.
Canada goose harassment is 100% worthless and senseless once the nests have been made. Once nesting has occurred, there is no turning back. You will have those geese, and possibly more, for the duration until the goslings can fly, until you are proactive and addle them/use decoys. The geese typically return to the same site that fall or in time for the next nesting season.
Harassment attempts can be done in many countless different ways. Well trained goose dogs or quality remote controlled land, air, and water vehicles can be deployed, propane cannons, other noise makers can be utilized, and the list goes on.
Grape Extract Fogging
There is a product on the market which has proven extremely successful when it comes to many types of bird problems. Generally speaking, grape extract is turned into a liquid. The liquid is placed inside a machine that looks like a huge space-age gun, which is carried by an individual. The gun creates a huge, white, foggy cloud. The grape extract causes an uncomfortable sensation to the geese when they inhale it and makes them want to leave the area. Typically, after approximately 1 week of doing this to the birds, they decide it's not worth the effort to stay there, and that particular flock never returns. The problem with this method is that it only will take care of your existing flock which can be replaced by another, and, it causes pain whereas other methods do not..
If used around any people, one negative drawback is going to be public perception and therefore, possibly, negative PR. Another negative aspect of this method is that every Tom, Dick and Harry that sniffles or sneezes after being anywhere within 5+ square miles around the treated area will assume that your harmless white cloud gave them some ailment causing PR nightmares and lawsuit wielding leaches out of the woodwork. With that being said, I still believe that this is a very effective manner of changing the behavior of birds, one flock at a time, considering the fact that they may be rounded up and relocated or relocated to a landfill by some if they continue to be a nuisance.
Using the grape extract fogging method on geese will almost always be more expensive than Starlings, Blackbirds or other birds because they typically retreat to the center of the pond which forces an individual to use a lot more of the product to form a cloud large enough to "hit" the geese and may mandate a very fast boat and other vehicles in order to jump ponds and lakes fast enough to hit them each time they land in an area where you do not want them.
Visual and Taste Deterrents
Generically speaking, this repellent makes the grass taste horrible to the geese and puts an ultraviolet sheen on it that the geese are confused and frightened by. Resident Canada goose repellants "repel" geese through taste and/or visual methods. There is one particular product on the market that will not wash off right away due to rain or the lawn being watered. This product and all other goose repellants on the market generically do one or two things to "repel" the geese. Most of the products other than the one we prefer have a nasty smell to them and do not last very long, not to mention most of them are quite expensive.
Natural Deterrents and Decoys
The Resident Canada goose does not typically get along with swans. Adding swans or swan decoys can get rid of geese, but I have heard stories of them attracting more geese. One of the tools in our arsenal against battling lawn cows on ponds is a swan decoy. When properly anchored with shore-anchored cables and a weight allowing you to change their location to add realism, a quality pair could deter geese.
Another decoy frequently used against geese can be seen at parks and golf courses across the U.S. with goose feces next to them (a goose produces approximately 1 pound of slippery goo per day). Coyote decoys, 2 or 3 dimensional, with stakes to hold them into the ground, are just like plastic owls - if you don't move them around on a daily basis, the birds laugh at them and know that they are fake.
Eliminate The Food And Implement Educational Initiatives
If you care about the geese, do not feed them. Human food is junk food to wildlife. For example, frequent bread consumption causes Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) in wild birds.
Feeding wildlife, such as geese, may attract enough of them to deem them a nuisance. In other states, they round up Resident Canada geese and kill them when they become a nuisance. Please help by not feeding the wildlife. For more reasons not to feed resident Canada geese, please visit our section on reasons not to feed waterfowl.
Install A "do not feed the waterfowl" Sign
Putting up a sign that tells people to not feed the water fowl is only going to upset people who "love the animals". If you actually explain to them exactly why and graphically how feeding them makes the problem worse and hurts the animals versus helps them, it will help. Placing a sign explaining why feeding is bad will calm, enlighten and educate. Explaining how feeding encourages them to increase their population to the point where laws will be changed and the geese will then be rounded up and killed by the 100's on properties if their population continues to explode like it currently is; they can better appreciate the "no feeding sign". Our 18"x24" signs can potentially save your property thousands of dollars
Habitat Modification And Exclusion
Fences, vegetation and large rocks on pond banks are the very best long term type of natural goose control. Obviously, these can also turn into one of the most expensive and totally change the look of a property.
You can learn more about concerns surrounding resident geese issues in our sections on geese in parking lots, reasons not to feed geese and from the widely covered news story about the goose shot by an arrow.
1242 SW Pine Island Rd., Suite 310
Cape Coral, Florida 33991-2126