Tag Archives: goose

Radnor may try swans to get rid of geese

The problem is so bad in Radnor Township that one of the ball fields has been dubbed “Goose Poop Field.”

As they have all over the region, geese have been fouling the fields, lakes, parks, and grassy lawns of housing developments in the wealthy Delaware County community, prompting residents to request action.

Radnor officials say they may have a partial solution to the “rodents with wings”: mute swans.

The township is considering deploying the swans at the Willows Park, a 47-acre former estate off Darby-Paoli Road.

A memo from Stephen F. Norcini, director of public works, concluded that the swans, known to act aggressively toward other winged creatures, were “a reliable way to control a pond’s Canadian goose population around the clock.”

Actually, they are Canada geese. Not that they have to pass through customs; they are members of the nonmigratory species Branta canadensis maxima.

Norcini did not return calls seeking comment.

The memo proposed to purchase two of the graceful white birds from a breeder near Harrisburg for $1,000 and build a $500 island at the pond at the park. The swans also would “add beauty and excitement” to the area, the memo said.

“Noooo, bad idea,” said Barbara Avers, a waterfowl and wetland specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, where swans have proved to be a growing threat to native animals, habitat, and people.

She said the township might be trading one problem for another. As Michigan’s population of the white swans increased, so did the complaints.

Avers said the swans will feed on vegetation important for native species and can quickly alter the wetlands ecosystem, affecting native birds, fish, frogs, and turtles.

Mute swans are nonnative, invasive, and extremely aggressive to people, Avers said, especially when guarding their nests or young.

Myriad swan attacks appear on YouTube, including one that shows a bride trying to flee with an irate swan firmly attached to the back of her dress. (see video below)

In April 2012 an Illinois man working for a company that used the birds to deter geese drowned after he was attacked by a pair of nesting swans when his kayak toppled.

Last year, Pennsylvania’s goose population was estimated at 220,000 and growing, along with droppings.

“We created our own problem,” said John Dunn, chief of game management for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

In the 1930s, nonmigratory “giant” Canada geese – native to Indiana and Illinois – were introduced to Pennsylvania for hunting and to bolster the dwindling migratory flocks, Dunn said.

Humane methods for goose control include loud noises, installing cutouts or blowups of natural predators, applying repellents to lawns, and nest and egg destruction. Landscape techniques have been effective: Geese love short well-kept lawns, but shy away from long grassy areas where they can’t see.

Another option is the border collie.

“We are crazy busy,” said Brandon Schaaf of Langhorne-based Geese Management. “This always works.”

The company employs 17 border collies that chase birds in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. “They want to herd, not hurt,” Schaaf said.

Schaaf said he had contracts with about 20 locations where swans and geese coexisting on the sites.

As for using swans for goose control, Elaine Schaefer, president of the Radnor Board of Commissioners, said she was unaware of problems. While the memo outlined the pros of using the birds, she said more study and public comment were needed.

Source: http://articles.philly.com/2013-06-21/news/40095857_1_mute-swans-canada-geese-geese-management


Goose Patrol Protects NYC’S Birds From Government Slaughter

Goose Patrol Protects NYC’s Birds From Government Slaughter

Summertime is almost here, which, for New York City’s goose population, means it’s molting season. Ordinarily, it’s a time for the birds to shed their wing and tail feathers and grow new ones in preparation for migration. But since 2009, when a gaggle of migratory geese led to the “Miracle on the Hudson” emergency plane landing, it’s been the season when U.S. Department of Agriculture Agents scour New York’s Parks for the temporarily flightless geese, round them up, and slaughter them.

The geese that caused the 2009 crash weren’t local to New York, and several biologists and aviation experts–like Ron Merritt, former Chief of the Air Force’s Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard Team–believe goose slaughter is ineffectual in preventing aircraft strikes, yet the practice continues. Last year, at least 750 geese were killed. One group, however, hopes to defend the birds’ lives. Calling themselvesGooseWatch NYC, the volunteers will patrol parks where goose roundups have occurred and watch over the animals.

“Last summer we watched almost 200 geese every day throughout the molt,” GooseWatch founder David Karopkin told ANIMAL. “At the very least, we know they were not rounded up by the USDA during the time we were there.”

GooseWatch began in May of last year, and thus far, neither Karopkin nor any of his volunteers have encountered a roundup in progress while on patrol. Karopkin notifies the USDA when and where patrols will happen, with the hope that it may stop agents from coming out. Officially, volunteers are not instructed to actually intervene–cell phone photos and recordings are encouraged–but off the books, it’s a different story.

“We are prepared for an encounter with USDA agents,” says Kropkin. “Some activists have told me they would be willing to get arrested. I couldn’t in good conscience suggest to anyone to do this, but I also wouldn’t try to stop anyone.”

“At the very least, the public has the right to some transparency,” he adds, “and the right to see what it looks like when taxpayer dollars go to pay federal agents to round up and slaughter geese in public parks in New York City.”

Source: http://www.animalnewyork.com/2013/goose-patrol-protects-nycs-birds-from-government-slaughter/

Geese Grow Faster with Loose Mix Feeding

FRANCE – A new study shows that growing geese can be fed loose-mix without adversely affecting their performance of feeding behaviour.

Based on their results, the researchers recommend loose-mix feeding for growing geese because it influenced their feed behaviour only slightly but increased the birds’ weight at the end of the growing period.

The aim of the trial, published recently in Poultry Science, was to study the influence of loose-mix feeding on behaviour, feed intake and bodyweight of growing geese.

First-named author, J. Arroyo from the University of Toulouse and co-authors with INRA and ASSELDOR explain that they divided 252 day-old geese (Anser anser) into two groups differing in the form of diet they received between 42 and 98 days of age (AMEn 11.55MJ per kg, crude protein 16 per cent): a complete pelleted diet containing 500g of sorghum per kg (control group) or a mixture containing 500g of protein-rich pellets and 500g of sorghum whole seeds per kg (mixed group).

Feed intake was measured daily from 42 to 48 days and every three days from 49 to 98 days. Individual bodyweight was measured weekly from 42 to 98 days. Goose behaviour was monitored by the scan sampling method throughout the experiment, which was divided into five periods according to the timing of access to feed: period 1 from 42 to 55 days (ad libitum feeding access), period 2 from 56 to 62 days (2 + 2 hours feeding access), period 3 from 63 to 70 days (2 hours feeding access), period 4 from 71 to 94 days (1 hour feeding access), and period 5 from 95 to 97 days (3 hours feeding access).

Over the whole period, the feed intake (13,968 and 14,480g) and the feed conversion ratio (8.53 and 8.15) were similar in both groups (P=0.112 and P=0.168; respectively).

Body weight was similar in both groups from 42 to 91 days of age but at 98 days of age, bodyweight was 3.7 per cent lower in the control than in the mixed group (P=0.006).

Goose behaviour was influenced by period because the percentage of birds feeding increased when the daily access time to the feed decreased (P<0.001) but not by group (P>0.05).


Arroyo J., A. Auvergne, J.P. Dubois, F. Lavigne, M. Bijja, C. Bannelier and L. Fortun-Lamothe. 2013. The influence of loose-mix feeding on behavior, feed intake, and body weight of growing geese. Poult. Sci. 92(6):1454-1460.  doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02830
Source: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/29258/geese-grow-faster-with-loose-mix-feeding

Flooding Causes Attack On Wildlife Volunteer

It turns out humans are not the only ones who are upset following the recent natural disasters.

Kathy Stelford, founder of Oaken Acres Wildlife Center in Sycamore, Illinois, told KMOX that one of her volunteers was recently attacked by an annoyed goose while performing field work.

“The male just came out after him with his wings spread, running like crazy,” Stelford said of the goose attack.

She said the only explanation for this erratic behavior is the weather. Recent flooding washed away the birds’ nests causing a delay in egg-laying season, causing the birds to become agitated.

The wildlife volunteer was not injured in the attack.

Source: http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/06/06/flooding-causes-attack-on-wildlife-volunteer/

Geese given reprieve in Illinois

Geese 3, Getty Images, photo by John CancalosiSouthern Illinois University in Edwardsville won’t be capturing and killing geese after all because of local opposition to the harvest.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the school announced Wednesday it would cull the campus’ population of the geese. University officials cited more than a dozen documented cases since March of the birds acting aggressively.

The plan was to humanely process the dozens of harvested geese into food products for the needy.

But hours after the plan was announced, it was called off after students and professors decried it as unethical and unnecessary. They encouraged non-lethal methods of addressing the situation.

SIU spokesman Doug McIlhagga says the university has tried to control the goose population by shaking the eggs so they don’t hatch. But that hasn’t worked.

Source: http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/06/07/siu-edwardsville-calls-off-campus-geese-harvest/

HP Goose Warning

Geese (© Dan Burn-Forti/Getty Images)Hewlett-Packard has enough problems dealing with angry shareholders without having to deal with angry geese.

A visitor to the tech giant’s Boise, Idaho, office recently had an altercation with a pissed-off goose that was serious enough that officials decided to address the problem with a memo titled “Boise Site Communication: Avoiding Geese Attacks.”

Hewlett-Packard spokesman Michael Thacker acknowledged the memo and told The Huffington Post it was sent out as a preventive measure after a visitor to the Boise office “had a run-in with a goose.”

There has been no fowl play since then, but officials didn’t want any more feathers flying, so they sent out a memo April 10 to HP’s Boise employees.

Sources said those workers found it so “unintentionally hilarious” that they have been forwarding it to employees at other HP locations.

The birdbrained memo obtained by The Huffington Post starts out, in typical corporate speak, by explaining how Canada geese — the type found near the Hewlett-Packard Boise office — “usually start choosing mates and selecting a territory for nesting in late February to early March.”

The memo also lays out how Canadian geese divide the work between genders.

The gander’s job during nesting season is to defend the female, their nesting territory, and eggs. If a person or another goose enters the territory, the gander will usually give a warning call to the intruder before chasing it away. Some geese can be very aggressive and will only stop their attack when the intruder has left or the goose’s life is threatened.

Take a gander at the tips offered on what to do if attacked by a goose.

  • Never turn your back or shoulders away from the hostile goose, and never close or squint your eyes or block your eyes with a purse or briefcase.
  • If the goose makes an aggressive move towards you while hissing or spreading out its wings, you should slowly back away while using your peripheral vision to watch for obstacles you could trip over.
  • Maintain a neutral demeanor toward the goose (i.e., do not yell, swing, kick, or act hostile). At the same time, do not cower, hide your face, turn your back, or run from the goose. Over aggression may cause the female to join the confrontation which usually causes an even more aggressive attack from the male.

Brad Compton, a biologist with Idaho’s Fish and Game Dept., said geese attacks are actually very rare.

“I haven’t heard of one in a decade,” he told The Huffington Post. “We get lots of complaints about goose poop though.”

Yes, the geese feces problem is, er, handled in the memo.

“Goose feces is [sic] very slick so watch where you are walking and stepping to avoid slips and falls.”

“Cars seem to be a favorite spot for some of the geese to rest on. During this process they can also leave deposits on the vehicle. It is advisable to wash this off your car when you get home or on the way home at a car washing facility.”

Employees at the Boise headquarters who “observe any aggressive geese behavior in high traffic areas” are asked to report them to site security.

Read the memo for yourself at the link below:


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/18/hewlett-packard-geese-attacks_n_3289096.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news

Gosling with broken leg rescued after children attack geese

Gosling with broken leg rescued after children attack geese in Burnaby park

A two-day-old gosling was left with a broken leg after being attacked by a group of kids in Barnet Marine Park in Burnaby.

A tiny gosling has been separated from its family and is nursing a broken leg after it was attacked by a group of children in Burnaby.

Early Monday evening the gosling, which was about two days old, was walking with its mother and siblings along the water’s edge at Barnet Marine Parkwhen a number of children ranging in age from three to eight started to chase and kick the geese.

Onlookers tried to stop the children, who were unsupervised, but they continued bothering the geese until the birds scattered.

A Burnaby woman later found the injured gosling in the parking lot. She tried to search for the other geese but was unsuccessful. She took the bird home overnight and then called the Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C.

According to a news release from the association, the woman could not believe what she saw at the park.

“We were in shock as we witnessed this and my son was crying because he was so sad to see these kids were treating animals like that,” she said.

The gosling was stressed and in a lot of pain when it was brought to the Wildlife Rescue Association. Its fractured right leg has been splinted and the gosling is being kept in an incubator because of its limited mobility.

Yolanda Brooks, the association’s communications co-ordinator, said Wednesday the gosling is improving and has started putting weight on its leg and is trying to shuffle around.

When its leg is healed, Brooks said, the gosling will be kept with other orphaned goslings until they are old enough to be released back into the wild.

“If it were not for the actions of a concerned member of the public, the gosling would simply have died of its injuries,” said Brooks.

Brooks said generally the animals they see have been injured by accident, such as birds flying into windows or being hit by cars.

“To see an animal that has basically suffered deliberate cruelty is a horrible thing to see,” said Brooks. “Animals in the wild have a tough enough time without people going around making life harder for them.”

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/technology/Gosling+with+broken+rescued+after+children+attack+geese+Burnaby+park/8421377/story.html#ixzz2UDbfpKAt