Canada Geese

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There are eleven types of Canadian Geese and their population has increased considerably in the recent past. They spend a good amount of time on land and find vast expanses of grass typical in parks, golf courses, campuses and other human built environments as their ideal habitat. These birds are grazers and prefer the young tender shoots of grass that are most abundant and accessible in North America's fertilized lawns.

Public Health Concerns

Canadian Geese are not implicated in any serious health threats to humans, although their droppings are cited as a cause for concern for water quality in Municipal lakes and ponds. However, of equal concern are poor water circulation, nutrient loading, and over fertilization.

Problems

The problems people have with Canadian Geese are primarily concerns over maintained lawns. Droppings can accumulate at considerable rates and are regarded as a nusiance in areas that people use frequently.

Solutions:

Tolerance

As with other urban wildlife, compatibility between Canada Geese and people is more the norm than the exception. When conflicts develop, some people demand quick fixes that often lead to expedient rather than prudent courses of action.

Feeding

Geese are often attracted to and encouraged in some locations by the generosity of humans. Sustained supplemental feeding of Canada Geese is usually not good for the goose and ultimately will create problems for humans as well. We encourage people not to feed the geese as they are perfectly capable of finding their own food even in winter. Often food that kindhearted humans feed Canada Geese is not suitable for them and can actually in some cases do them more harm than good.

Habitat Modification

Modifying habitat to make it less attractive to Canadian Geese is usually the most cost effective and lasting approach to limiting a site's attractiveness to Canada Geese. They prefer and feel safer from predators in short grass because they can see danger a long way off. Planting shrubbery to create visual barriers will often be a deterrent to them. The effectiveness of scare devices often declines with repeated use; however, the use of trained dogs and / or trained birds of prey can be an effective deterrent to Canada Geese. Motion activated sprinklers are effective against Canada Geese as well.

Repellents

Two chemicals have proven effective against Canada Geese. Anthraquinone and Methyl Anthranilate both have been tested and proven effective against Canada Geese.

A Last Word

I have found Canadian Geese to be quite social and intelligent creatures. They have impeccable visual acuity that would rival that of a hawk and seem to have the ability to reason and solve problems. Therefore, it is very important when dealing with Canada Geese to use their intelligence to your advantage. Killing large numbers of them is not the solution to keeping the numbers down. If the habitat is still suitable for Canada Geese, others will come and replace the numbers that were taken away.