www.savethegeese.ca

Geese Management

           Geese prefer habitats that provide ample food, easy access to clean water and protection from predators.   Many of our parks, waterfront properties, golf courses, farms, etc. provide geese the EXACT habitats they prefer.  Geese management involves eliminating or decreasing the geese population where it interferes with human populations.  We advocate ONLY NON-lethal management methods.

         NON-lethal management methods seek to remove or decrease the number of geese WITHOUT killing or harming the geese.  The methods include scare tactics, habitat modification, providing barriers, etc.   Methods are chosen based on whether you wish to completely remove the geese or simply reduce the numbers.  We will discuss several methods below; many more are available, so please check the references listed at the bottom of the page AND check the links under “Management Resources”.  If you have any additional suggestions you feel we should add, please contact us.

1- Scare Tactics: 

         Scare tactics should be used to prevent the geese from settling and nesting in a given area and to keep existing populations from moving into specific locations.  They should not be implemented or should be “limited” once the geese have young OR once they have become flightless; this can cause unnecessary stress to the birds and can lead to injury to the birds AND humans/dogs involved in frightening the geese. 

           Geese don’t like loud noises, moving objects, objects that reflect light, objects that resemble their predators, etc.   Scare tactics use the fear response to make the geese move away, but they only work when they are MOVED around and not left stationary.  Geese are SMART and will quickly realize that they pose no danger if left stationary for an extended period of time!  Unless they have moving parts, they must be moved very frequently

Items that make noise 

· Noise cannons — they produce random loud bangs. 

· Devices that play predator noises — they play random noises from animals that prey on geese — coyotes, owls, wolves, dogs, etc. 

· Devices that play geese warning sounds — they randomly play the alarm sounds made by geese.

· Wind chimes — they are available in many shapes & sizes and produce many different tones.  You may need to experiment to see which ones work best.  These also move and reflect light, which is also disturbing to geese. 

· Loud Music — music, such as heavy metal or bagpipes, etc., played on a CD player may also disturb the geese. 

Cost effective, but labour intensive suggestion: Obtain recordings of loud bangs, predator sounds, wind chimes, and/or geese warning sounds from the internet (many sounds can be found for free or for minimal cost) and load them onto a remote controlled CD player/MP3 player (w/ speakers)  and hide it behind bushes.  Move it and make it go off at random intervals.     

 

Items that move

· Decoy Swans — swans are natural enemies of geese, so geese avoid places that have even 1 swan.  Floating decoys work great when tethered (and anchored) near beaches and on the edges of waterways so they move with the current.  Geese will not even land in the water when they see swans!  They can also be used on land as long as they are moved around frequently.  (We are mentioning them here, as well as in the predators & enemies section).

· Other moving decoys —  see the predators & enemies section further down the page...

· Water Remote Control Racing Boats — these can be used to chase geese in the water.  If the geese feel threatened on the land, and you also make them uncomfortable in the water they may move to a new location! 

· Whirligigs and Pinwheels — these garden items spin and are available in many shapes, colours and sizes.  Some are also available with gazing balls that reflect light.

· Flags and Banners — these garden decorations are available in many shapes, colours and sizes; some are even available as small free-standing sets that can be nestled among small bushes—which will make geese extra nervous.  Also, don’t forget about fabric or plastic birthday banners or strings of banners (like what you’d see in a used car lot); they provide lots of “flapping” parts, for a low cost!

· Streamers — foil, plastic or fabric streamers like what you’d is to decorate for a party can be attached to garden poles or dowels to produce long flapping item; these too are low cost solutions.

· Kites like streamers, they can be attached to garden poles or dowels.  These too are cost effective.

· Balloons — These can be attached to garden poles or dowels.  They can be filled with different mixes of helium and air to change the way they move — little helium will make them hang from the pole, while a lot of helium will make them float.  Make sure to adjust your “pole” height based on the air/helium mix — you want the balloons where the geese will see them best.  These are inexpensive and come in a number of shapes, colours and sizes.  Attach several together on the same pole to add some noise!  Please remember to make sure the balloons are attached securely so they don’t float away and end up in the ocean somewhere!

· Plastic Pop/Juice/Water Bottles — These can be attached to garden poles or dowels and will move in the breeze.  Attach several together on the same pole to add some noise! 

 

Items that reflect light

· Gazing Balls — garden decorations with gazing balls work very well to reflect light; they are available in many shapes, colours and sizes.  Some are also available with parts that spin and in shaped of eagles (a goose predator).

· Halloween Strobe Lights — these have flickering, reflected light and can be found in a number of shapes, colours and sizes.  These can usually be picked up for little cost just after Halloween.

· Driveway Reflector — these are useful near dusk and dawn; many shapes, colours and sizes are available for very little cost.

· Mylar Balloons — These can be attached to garden poles or dowels.  They can be filled with different mixes of helium and air to change the way they move and reflect light — little helium will make them hang from the pole, while a lot of helium will make them float.  Make sure to adjust your “pole” height based on the air/helium mix — you want the balloons where the geese will see them best.  These are inexpensive and come in a number of shapes, colours and sizes — solid colours with lots or reflective surfaces work best.  Attach several together on the same pole to add some noise!  Please remember to make sure the balloons are attached securely so they don’t float away and end up in the ocean somewhere!

· Foil Plates — These can be attached to garden poles or dowels.  These also make noise when several are attached together.  For a cheap foil plate, save your “pizza trays” when you buy a frozen or “take and bake” pizza. 

 

Items that resemble predators/enemies

· Coyote Decoys — Full sized coyote cutouts can be purchased from various sources on the internet.  These will prevent the geese from coming onto land anywhere near them.  They work best when placed near bushes and when moved around frequently.  Geese will quickly figure out that there is nothing to fear if coyote decoys are left in the open and /or left stationary for several days.  Moveable coyote decoys are also now available online as well.

·  Owl Decoys  — Full sized owl decoys can be purchased from various sources on the internet.  The same rules that apply to coyotes apply here.  Some decoys are also available that move (flap their wings) and/or can be hung from building or poles.  These can also prevent geese from landing and taking off.

· Eagle Decoys  — Full sized owl decoys can be purchased from various sources on the internet.  The same rules that apply to coyotes apply here.  Some decoys are also available that move (flap their wings) and/or can be hung from building or poles.  These can also prevent geese from landing and taking off.

· Owl “Faces” — Large hanging balls with owl faces (mostly large eyes) can be purchased from various sources on the internet.  They can be hung from buildings or poles.  These can also prevent geese from landing and taking off.

· Scarecrows — Some have said that scarecrows work very well to frighten geese!  Scarecrows with baggy flapping fabric would work best.  If you can attach reflectors and/or hanging parts (such as foil plates) they would be even better. 

· Alligator Decoys — Full sized alligator decoys can be purchased from various sources on the internet.  These are generally the front half of the alligator and they are intended to be used in water.  Some are stationary, while others can be anchored and allowed to float. The same rules that apply to coyotes apply here—they must be moved and if partially hidden they will work better.  These decoys work great to keep the geese from entering or leaving the water.

· Swan Decoys — Full sized swan decoys can be purchased from various sources on the internet.  These are intended to be used in water.  They can be anchored and allowed to float.  They must be moved frequently.   These decoys work great to keep the geese from entering or leaving the water and even landing if in flight.  Geese and swans are enemies.  If a goose sees a swan while in flight, it will likely not land at all!

· Border Collies (or Goose Dogs) — Border collies can be trained to chase geese.  The dogs can be used to chase the geese into the water and some will even chase the geese while IN THE WATER—making the birds take to the air.  This method works very well and does not harm the geese.  If you choose to use goose dogs, remember NOT to chase the birds once they have young and/or while they are flightless — this can cause unnecessary stress to the birds and it can lead to injury to the dog and/or the geese.  There are a number of goose dog services available on the internet

 

MORE GEESE MANAGEMENT information can be found on  page 2 — click the link below to go to the next page:

 Geese Mangement 2

 

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