Saturday, May 28, 2016

Canadian Geese: Pest or Danger?

I live in a semi-rural suburban development. It's not too far from both a river and a lake. And there are many small and large ponds, brooks, streams and creeks near my residence. Combined with the trees this means there are lots and lots of birds. More to the point this means there are lots and lots of waterfowl: ducks, swans and especially Canadian geese. This last group is a big problem. First off they appear to have gotten used to staying in the area year round. Like annoying in-laws or distant relatives they drop in and never ever leave. Next they produce a truly astounding amount of waste material. Between the ducks and geese you really need to watch where you walk. And their biggest irritating feature, thanks in part to people feeding them, is that the geese seem to have lost most of the fear that wild animals normally have for humans. As this is their nesting season they are particularly aggressive around this time. And a Canadian Goose is already a pretty belligerent bird. Whereas the ducks usually waddle off at the first sight (smell?) of humans or dogs the geese do not. In the early mornings some geese congregate on sidewalks like they own the place. I wouldn't put it past them to start charging tax to walk on what they clearly consider their property. It's only when a large dog gets super close and gives verbal indication of impending bloodshed that the geese will reluctantly depart the immediate vicinity. I'm not a hunter or a fan of killing animals for fun. I realize that we're all part of the circle of life. But I'm also not a fan of playing hop-scotch on the sidewalk trying to avoid goose crap or watching ponds or lakes die because of the algae build up caused by goose crap. You don't know how much you can hate an animal until you are mowing your lawn and suddenly feel that disgusting squish that lets you know that yes you just stepped into another one of their leavings. And the germs and bacteria these things carry can't be good for pets either. The way I see it these creatures are vermin. We need to reduce their population and/or convince them to leave. Maybe this means extending hunting season. Maybe this means concerted usage of dogs. Maybe this means finding predators who eat Canadian geese or their eggs and bringing them into a target rich environment. Dunno. But I do know that if I see one more green pile of s*** then that's it.
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