Tag Archives: Canadian Geese

Methods Of Goose Control Hamilton

Methods Of Goose Control Hamilton

Monday November 29 2010


Understanding that Canadian geese are a problem, for some. Factually  they are a natural bird that belong in our environment. Control is wrong in this writers opinion

and using a species that was  imported to our ecosystem has No affect with Canadian Geese, Mute swans busk  with the geese, but never drive them off where they belong.

Mute swans and geese live side by side all year long . Biodiversity over control, I choose to leave nature alone. A heavy handed Control approach with our environment is wrong . This summer I watched as dogs, leased by the City to chase geese away from parks is noneffective and comical.After the pest control man and dog leave, the geese fly back, another waste of taxpayers money. Again there are to sides to every  story, and I  believe a small farm pond could be controlled by the more aggressive Mute swan., controversy over facts.

Geese and swans coexisting

Methods Of Goose Control Hamilton

Canadian Geese are a nuisance across much of North America, where flocks of several hundred at a time may take up residence in public space and create major waste problems.  While the Canada Goose is a welcome native species in North America, they have been naturalizing in parts of Europe where they are not native. In the United States where they have been protected for decades their numbers have boomed enormously, and can cause problems for businesses that rely on large areas of open turf as part of their business model.  From golf courses, to retirement communities, Canadian Geese can cause major problems if their numbers are not modified, and controlled, and the pound of poop per day that they produce can be a public health hazard.

One method of natural Canadian Goose control aside from goose fencing,  and population control,  is to use larger birds to limit the number of mated pairs hanging around a property and creating more geese.  Mute Swans are European, and Asian native birds that can be used to effectively control the nesting population of Canadian Geese.  They are large, ornamental, and aggressive with other bird species once they have reached sexual maturity  at 5-7 years of age.  When they reach sexual maturity, if they are in a mated pair, care must be given around them once the mating season arrives since their aggression is not only limited to other animals.  If you use a mated Mute Swan pair to control the population of nesting geese it is wise to let the human population know that the birds are unpredictable in their territory in early spring, once they begin to nest, and that they may chase after humans.

While there are other methods of goose control that can be used in tandem, or alone, Mute Swans are a reliable way to control a pond’s Canada Goose population around the clock.  They may not eliminate every single pair of Canadian Geese, but they will keep the numbers of geese very small or completely nonexistent.  Captive pairs for ornamental and private ownership can be purchase by reputable breeders, and should arrive in perfect health, with a veterinary certificate, and be pinioned, so they are incapable of leaving your property.  It is important to speak to a breeder about the values of getting a pair of male and female, or whether getting two females or two males will work best for you.  As with all domestic animals, Mute Swans must be cared for and looked after year round, and their population should be controlled on your property to prevent their offspring from breeding in the wild and interrupting the balance of the native eco-system.  Always inquire with a breeder whether there is the possibility of having the animals sterilized before they are shipped to you, to prevent any clutches of eggs.  Mute’s can live for upward of 50 years, and with yearly clutches ranging from 5-12 eggs per year, eliminating the viable eggs from a mated pair will be a long term commitment if they are not neutered.

Due to the invasive nature of Mute Swans in the wild, particularly around the Great Lakes, and the Chesapeake Bay, it is imperative that any goose control program involving Mute Swans be tempered with an equal program to control the population of the domestic Mute Swan as well.  Whether it is in sterilizing the birds you already own, or committing to eliminate any eggs that they produce, laws across the states are tightening restrictions on the owners of private swan collections, as a step to protect the eco-system.  Mute Swans while beautiful and interactive, have been responsible for damage to the environment in both the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes, and they have gone so far as to prevent the native birds from nesting in their traditional habitats, and destroying the eggs of native birds found in “their” territory.

Swan Sunset

As with all methods of animal control it is important to check any rules and restrictions for your area about the purchase and upkeep of Mute Swans before you purchase them, and to check with your local Department of Fish and Wildlife, or Parks and Recreation periodically for updates.  There are positive and negative aspects to most methods or goose control, and Mute Swans are no exception to that. Make sure that either you as an individual, or as a company have a long term strategy for the care and control of Mute Swans and their offspring before you use them to modify the goose population.

Mute’s can be valued members of private communities, and corporate sites, taking on the status of a mascot, and pet all in one.  For those of you who decide you are able to keep a Mute Swan or pair of Swans, I can attest to their value in adding beauty and grace to your property and ponds.  Their personalities are wonderful, and they can be trained with daily interaction to treat people with respect, and good will.  I have used Mute Swans as part of a Canadian Goose controlstrategy for 7 years, and value their place in my arsenal of tricks to keep my local population in manageable numbers.  I have committed to careful handling of my birds, and to controlling the swan population in my area, and I hope that you will do the same if you choose to use these beautiful birds as well.

Information Green gardenista

Photography Doug Worrall

Canadian Geese Mate For life Hamilton

Canadian Geese Mate For life Hamilton

Friday 19 November 2010

Canadian geese

Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Konrad Lorenz, Father of the Greylag geese, devoted his lifetime to the study of geese. In The Year of the Greylag Goose (in my opinion, the best book about geese and animal behavior ever written), Dr. Lorenz mentioned that in his many years of observing geese, he only witnessed three instances in which a pair split up after breeding and raising their young. Goose pairs generally remain faithfully united until death unless “dramatic circumstances” intervene, for example, if the original pairing was not strong because either one of the partners had lost his/her first great love and acquired the new partner as a substitute. In two of the three instances, the same gander was unfaithful. This gander had previously lost his first great love.

I have been observing Canada geese for six years and I can tell you from experience that the pairs I have bonded with – The Franks, The Chesters, and The White Wings – have remained loyal and faithful to each other the whole time.

I have been friends with The Franks for six years and The White Wings and The Chesters for four years. During that time, they have remained with the same mate and their marriages appear to be strong.

Canada geese parents are loyal to their goslings and vice-versa. In 2003, The Franks raised two goslings. In 2004, their nest was destroyed during a May snowstorm. They joined their two children at an unknown molting location in June. All four returned to the park pond in September.

According to Dr. Lorenz, geese possess a veritably human capacity for grief. In his conversations with laymen, he would frequently say, “Animals are much less intelligent than you are inclined to think, but in their feelings and emotions they are far less different from us than you assume.” Quite literally, a man, a dog, and a goose hang their heads, lose their appetites, and become indifferent to all stimuli emanating from the environment. For grief-striken human beings, as well as for geese, one effect is that they become outstandingly vulnerable to accidents; they tend to fly into high-tension cables or fall prey to predators because of their reduced alertness.

After the death of his beloved mate, Ado attached himself to Dr. Lorenz. According to Dr. Lorenz, “…Ado would shyly creep up after me, his body hunched in sadness, and he would remain motionless about 25 or 30 feet away.” Ado spent the remainder of the year sad and isolated.

Swan chasing geese

There have been reports of pair bonds that are so strong that if one goose is shot down by a hunter, the partner will circle back. Drawn by its need to stay with its lifelong companion, the single goose will often ignore the sound of shooting and return to die with its mate.

In The Pig Who Sang To The Moon, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson writes about a goose who had a broken wing. During the fall migration, as other geese flew south, her gander accompanied her by air and by foot. She was going to walk south since she was unable to fly. He would not leave her, so after flying for a few hundred yards, he would stop and wait for her to catch up. He would call to her with his wildest, most piercing cry, urging her to spread her wings and fly with him to their distant home. He accompanied her until she was killed by carrion eagles and he had to continue his journey alone.

Widowed geese have been observed circling around and around, crying in heartrending sorrowful tones when their partners die or are murdered by hunters. The remaining goose may mourn for a period of time and then mate again. Or they may mourn for the rest of their lives and never seek another mate. Just as with people, it varies with individual geese.

Some people say that animals are incapable of love and that their behaviour is instinct. How then, do we describe such devotion and sacrifice? Do animals have to tell us that they love and care for each other in English or in Chinese in order for us to acknowledge that they do?

information Love Canadian Geese


Doug Worrall