Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act



Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act





Background Information

Fast Facts

Common Problems

Goose Poop

Tips for Homeowners

Goose Control

Habitat Modifications

Exclusion

Harassment

We're Against Wire Fences

Migratory Bird Act

Canada Geese

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Canada Geese (branta canadensis) migrate in the fall but isolated populations reside year round near ponds, lakes, and waterways.

Nesting begins in March and April in a riparian (near the edge of a body of water) zone.

One goose can consume up to four pounds and produce about three pounds of fecal matter per day. Their feces contain 76% carbon, 4.4% nitrogen, and 1.3% phosphorus. Nutrients can cause harmful algal blooms in lakes from runoff. Cryptosporidium parvum, a protozoan linked to the feces of animals, was attributed to more than 400,000 sicknesses.

Feeding during the day, they sleep in or near water areas where they feel secure from predators at night. At least one goose usually stands guard while the others feed. Larger gaggles may have many guards.

Predators: This incomplete list applies to most neighborhoods in Pennsylvania.

  Adult Canada Geese Goslings Eggs
Humans yes   yes
Dogs yes yes  
Coyotes yes yes yes
Foxes   yes yes
Raccoons     yes
Snapping turtles cause severe leg injuries yes  
Large birds of prey   yes  
Ravens     yes
Crows     yes

 

Fast Facts About Giant Canada Geese

Urban and suburban developments in the U.S. create preferred goose habitats. Expansive well maintained lawns with dense, short grass adjacent to small bodies of water are a Canada goose's paradise. Consequently, populations are rapidly growing and large gaggles live year round on golf courses, parks, airports and other public and privately owned property.

Typically, Canada geese cannot fly from mid-June to early July when they molt their primary flight feathers. Because it is illegal to harm Canada geese, harassment may not be an option during the flightless period.

Canada geese are monogamous and mate for life.

Ecological Role

Canada geese are seed dispersers and a food source for predators.

Legal Status

Canada geese are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and possibly other laws in your state (US).

 

Common Goose Problems

 

Do Geese Harm Lakes?

Opinions vary. Researchers do not agree on this issue.

 

The Scoop on Goose Poop

 

Tips for Homeowners for Dealing with Urban Geese

 

The Legalities of Goose Control Under Federal Law

State laws may be more restrictive than federal law. Contact your state wildlife agency for more information.

What you can legally do:

What you must not legally do without a federal permit:

"Damaging" includes piercing the shell with fine nails, needles, or similar tools.

 

Habitat Modification

Eliminate artificial feeding

Remove domestic waterfowl

Domestic waterfowl including mute swans, other geese and ducks, attract Canada geese.

Steep banks of ponds and creeks

Canada geese prefer a gentle, grassy slope that enables them to easily walk into and out of the water. If access and egress are difficult, adult geese tend to leave that area to raise their young elsewhere.

Manage grass and plants

Canada geese prefer to eat grass, especially young succulent shoots, found in abundance on mowed, fertilized lawns.

Preferred Grasses Grasses they do not like
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Brome grass
  • Canary grass
  • Colonial bentgrass
  • Perennial ryegrass
  • Quackgrass
  • Red fescue
  • Mature tall fescue
  • Periwinkle
  • Myrtle
  • Pachysandra
  • English ivy
  • Hosta or plantain lily
  • Ground juniper
  • Switch grass

 

Allow water to freeze

Frozen ponds and lakes force geese to seek alternative water sources encourage migration. Turn your aerators and fountains off.

 

Exclusion

Exclusion methods are used to keep Canada geese from entering specific areas.

Overhead grid systems

One of the most effective methods of exclusion is the installation of a grid system over the water surface that make it difficult, or impossible for Canada geese to land because they require a long glide-slope. Unfortunately, this is also a method that kills, mames and tortures these birds and is, therefore, in the opinion of this author, unethical. If you want to install a grid system, attach flags to the strings, or strips of rabric, or mylar (see below) to make them more visible to approaching birds.

Fencing

Fencing can successfully barricade geese from pedestrian traffic during the nesting season and during their flightless period. The fence should be an opaque visual barrier that keeps geese from seeing people pass by so they can incubate their eggs in peace while keeping people safe from overly protective geese.

Fencing also can be used next to a lake to keep geese from walking from the water to shore. This website does not encourage wire fencing (barbed or straight) for the reasons stated in the "The Legalities of Goose Control" section above. (Click on "Goose Control" to see them again.)

Kinds of fences:

Vegetation and rock

Canada geese prefer a clear view of predators. Large, dense shrubs and rocks (2 feet in diameter or more) create a barrier that geese will be reluctant to penetrate.

Mylar tape

Mylar tape is 1/2 inch wide, red on one side and shiny on the other. One or two strands strung between two posts work well in many applications. Twist the tape two or three times so that the wind rotates the tape which creates a flash between the red and shiny sides.

 

Harassment

Work within the laws in your area.

Dogs

Control of the dog is vital because dogs used to work with geese are legally considered an extension of your hand and must not be allowed to catch, injure or kill any Canada geese.

Lasers

Lasers should be treated like firearms. Always consider the range of the beam and the background against which it is aimed. Exposure to lasers is harmful to eyes !!

Pyrotechnics

Pyrotechnics used to frighten wildlife are specially designed Class C fireworks and include

Propane Cannons

Propane cannons are used at may airports around the country (USA). Some have a built-in timer.

At regular intervals, small amounts of propane are released from a tank and ignited to produce a loud report that startles the birds. Intervals must be set so as to keep geese away. One obvious flaw of this system is that it has the same effect on your neighbors as on the geese.

Other Techniques

Chemical Repellents

Of the many home remedies in existence, few are legal. Over-the-counter products are few because of strict registration requirements.

Methyl Anthranilate

There are three new products using the active ingredient methyl anthranilate (artificial grape flavoring): ReJeX-It Migrate, GooseChase and Goose-B-Gone. Methyl anthranilate makes the grass unpalatable. Geese may still frequent the treated area but they will not feed there.

Methyl anthranilate will not wash off after a rain if allowed to dry first but must be reapplied after mowing.

Anthraquinone

Flight Control, a relatively new product containing anthraquinone, repels geese in two ways:

Flight Control will not wash off after a rain but needs to be reapplied after mowing. This product is considered to be environmentally safe and not harmful in the long run to birds that ingest it.

Lethal Control

Currently there are three methods of legal, lethal control. All require permits, and some may not be legal in your area.

Methods that are not recommended:

 

 

Why We Do Not Approve of Wire Fences

Please click on "Goose Control" to see one reason why we do not approve of wire fences.

If one birds gets caught, that bird will attract predatory species. That predatory species may then fall victim to the same fence.

The Greater Philadelphia area is on the Atlantic Flyway. A flyway is a route birds take on their annual spring and fall migrations. The Atlantic Flyway is used by many juvenile raptors (birds of prey who are less than one year old) and immature raptors (birs of prey up to 4 years of age, depending on species). Many of these species are protected.

 

The Migratory Bird Act

Though Great Horned Owls are a species of "least concern,” they are protected under the Migratory Bird Act.

The Migratory Bird Act protects all species that are listed from removal, hunting and commercial trade. All nests, feathers and eggs are also protected under this law.


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