Native to the arctic and temperate regions of North America, the Canada goose, with a scientific name of Brenta Canadensis, is a goose that has color black head and neck, with white patches on the face and an amazing brown body. Interestingly, there are seven subspecies of this bird, but all are identifiable as the Canada Geese. These birds can range from 75 to 110 cm (30-43 inches) in length, and has a wingspan that measures about 127-185 cm (50-73 inches.) With regards to their weight, the male goose typically weighs about 3.2 to 6.5 kg (7.1-14.3 lb) and can sometimes be aggressive when it comes to defending their territory. About the females, they are much lighter, weighing about 2.5-5.5 kg (5.5-12.1 lb), and are smaller in dimension compared to the males.
The Canada geese are species that are native to the parts of North America. They build on a variety of habitats and breed in the countries of Canada and the northern United States. The same as with other type of geese, the Canada goose is a natural migratory and they spend most of their time in the United States. When in a group, they form and fly in V-shaped formation and this indicates the transition from spring to autumn. However, in some places, the migration routes of these birds have changed because of the changes in habitat and food sources. Moreover, there are some birds, especially in places where their mild climate like in California, that have become non-migratory because there is enough food supply and the absence of their predators.
As stated from the previous paragraph, the male goose is a naturally defensive and aggressive one when it comes to their nesting grounds. One interesting example is a male goose defending its nest from the attack of a Brant Goose that roam around the area. The male goose protected the nest well, attacking the strange bird. The strange bird eventually died due to the suffocation and drowning in the mud that was caused by the pecking in the head into the mud of the Canada goose to the Brant Goose. If you were the Brant Goose, you would really be scared and will not consider wandering around the Canada goose’s nest, right?
A Canada goose is a herbivore when it comes to food preference. Although sometimes, they eat insects and fish in a small amount, but they really are plant eaters. Some of these foods include vegetation and grains. When on land, a Canada goose eats a wide variety of grasses. They also eat beans and grains like rice, wheat, and corn when there is an available supply. Canada geese also feed on aquatic plants such as seaweeds and in urban areas; they are known to pick food out of garbage containers.
Enough with the characteristics of the Canada goose, we shall now move on about their relationship towards us. They are mostly found on golf courses, in parking lots and urban parks. Moreover, in most areas, non-migratory Canada geese are often considered as pest by humans. Why? Simply because they are the reason why there is an increase in high fecal Coliforms especially at the beaches. Regarded as being protective and aggressive towards their nesting grounds and young, they tend to attack humans when they feel that their young are in danger. They will first stand erect, then spread their wings and produce a hissing sound. They will then charge and may then bite or attack with their wings. This attack may cause harm and several injuries to the attacked person.
In the worst case scenario, Canada geese have been connected in a number of bird strikes by aircraft. They are considered to be the most damaging bird strike to airplanes in the United States, following the most damaging species of turkey vultures. When they strike an aircraft’s engine, it can cause fatal crashes. One interesting case is during 1995, where a US Air Force E-3 sentry aircraft in Alaska was stroked by a flock of Canada geese during takeoff which resulted to power loss in both side engines. This happening caused the death of 24 crew members. Another case is during 2009, where the US Airways Flight 1549 had a collision with a flock of migratory Canada Geese that resulted in total power loss of the engine just right after its takeoff. Fortunately, there was no reported death but the accident brought some minor injuries to the crew.
In some places, Canada geese are rounded up and killed. This method is considered to be inhumane, ineffective and unnecessary. Many of animal advocates see this method as not ethical because the mess that they cause among us or the wastes that they accumulate around is not a good enough reason to just kill them. They are readily caught once they are gathered together and can’t fly away from inside the trap. From the cage, these geese are picked up one by one at a time and are carried to a gas chamber or crate. Afterwards, the crates of goose are then transport to a slaughterhouse where they are killed and processed. The meat itself cannot be sold because it is protected federally, so instead, it is offered to food banks to make an impression that the killing was a charitable act.
If not brought into slaughterhouses these birds are killed by lethal gas and is often done in small chambers at the back of the truck and are brought directly to the roundup site. When inside, these birds are loaded into a chamber one at a time. It really breaks the heart of some witnesses because they can hear the birds banging, thumbing, and showing a clear sign of the desire to escape. They are gassed and dumped into trash bags when to chamber is full, to make room for other birds. So the question that should be asked here is: Does this method solve the problem? The answer is really no. They may, however provide a temporary solution but is really not a long term solution. Roundups just make a room for other geese to move in to. The optimal solution to this problem is to use methods that are humanely, which will be discussed in the preceding paragraphs.
There are surely lots of things that these birds can cause. From simply just causing increase in the wastes, to causing death to some people, the Canada goose are considered to be a nuisance. So much to be a nuisance that some would like to kill them or torture them till they die. But they don’t know that this is really not the main solution. There are several ways in order to exterminate these birds. You can limit the egg’s growth, scare them away or change their habitat.
We just have the best solutions in the web on how to get rid of these annoying birds. Aside from using Canada goose repellants, you should use other alternatives that are not only safe but also humane. True, there is no single quick solution that will resolve the conflict between us and these geese. Well designed programs can provide a large difference in resolving this conflict. The main goal that each should put in mind is to reduce the conflict at an acceptable level. Attacking and killing them is not the optimal solution.
Reduce The Population of Canada Goose Humanely
Prevent Their Eggs from Hatching
Stabilizing the population of these birds by keeping the eggs from hatching is considered to be the most humane way of limiting the growth of their flock. For professionals who are experts in this method, it is called “addling.” How can this be done? This can be done by removing the eggs from the nest, then treating it with corn oil. The method is a humane one and should be done during the early stages of the development of the eggs. Addling is a great method because it limits the number of geese in places that people does not pay attention to. By doing this, you are discouraging them to stay at your place and let them consider other places as their habitat. One of the main advantages of addling is that it benefits your local parks, ball fields, and other open spaces. The first thing to remember is there have to be nests for you to perform addling. It really takes a community to addle effectively because doing it in just one property will really not solve the entire problem of the community.
Scare and Frighten Them Away
Remember, annoyed and frightened geese are most likely to move to other places. There are several ways on how to scare these birds away. One thing that is effective for scaring geese away is with a trained goose-herding dog. Geese are frightened by these animals because they will think that they are not safe from their predators. Properly handled dogs put geese in flight and eventually will make them leave the entire place. But when these dogs are not properly handled, they may only put the birds into the water and they will not consider the dogs as a threat. These dogs must never catch or harm these geese though; they should just scare them away so one should really hire a dog trainer to make this possible. You can also use a laser or other light-emitting devices that will surely scare geese away. However, some of these birds easily just lose the fear from simple scare devices. They are smarter than we thought so you might also consider using other tools like fake owls, floating alligator heads, flags, eyespot balloons, scarecrows, and other types of scare devices. You can also use pyrotechnics, propane cannons, and recordings of goose distress calls because these will scare them away as these birds are irritated by the noise cause by these materials.
Habitat Modification May Be Your Optimal Solution
Changing or modifying their habitat is considered to be the most lasting way to avoid Canada goose, because changing their habitat simply just doesn’t appeal to them. One way to do this is to take away their source of food and creating a landscape where they will not feel safe. Another way is to reduce the total amount of lawn. Keep your grass grow taller, at least 6 inches. Because geese love young grass shoots, keeping your grasses tall will drive them away. This may solve the problem in a short period, but treating the grass with goose repellant to reduce food source. Anthraquinone, a chemical repellant triggers a strong but is harmless digestive irritation that will teach geese to avoid treated areas. Another chemical, Methy Anthranilate, is a grape flavoring in our food that really tastes bad to geese. One thing to remember though is that you should re apply the chemical repellant after heavy rains or when the grass is made so that the chemical repellants will still be present and effective.
Also, don’t give them shelter. You surely don’t want to provide them a place to stay so you should conduct methods that will not give them any chance to stay. Add variety to your landscaping by using clamps of taller plantings where predators could “hide.” You may also maintain and establish stands of trees and place it between water and grass so that geese will not be able to fly through. Also, use dense tall plantings along shorelines because it will serve as the barrier between the food and the water. These methods are really a life saver when it comes to getting away with these geese.
You should really keep in mind that killing these innocent flying animals is not the best solution to the problem. Not only that it is inhumane, but killing them may also backfire and cause harm to you. So, consider the above solutions as your optimal method in getting rid of Canada goose. They may be a nuisance to some, causing different problems from acute to severe one, but they are also living creatures that deserved to be treated well.