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The Canada Goose is a large species of bird most notorious for their black head and neck. They have white feathers that extend from their cheeks under their chin and a brown body. These geese are native to the Arctic and temperate regions of North America but some do fly south in the fall. Their lifespan is anywhere from 10-24 years in the wild.
They are a nuisance bird for golf courses, parks, cemeteries, sports fields, and occasionally on certain bodies of water. Geese gravitate toward regularly fertilized and maintained lawns, especially those of Kentucky Bluegrass. Their feces and urine make a visual mess and can pose a potential threat to water quality. One goose can defecate 1-3 lbs. per day!
These geese live in large flocks called roosts and reach reproduction age by their 2nd year. A female Canada Goose can produce 1-50 goslings each lay! Nesting females can become quite aggressive toward humans or other animals. A juvenile Canada Goose tends to come back to where they learn to fly; this is why consistency becomes key in the eradication.
During the winter, geese can remain in northern areas with some open water and food resources even where temperatures are frigid. Geese that breed in the most northern reaches of their range tend to migrate long distances to overwinter in the more southern parts of the range, whereas geese breeding in the southern United States migrate lesser distances or not at all. Individual geese tend to return to the same migratory stopovers and wintering areas each year. Spring migration may be difficult to follow because of birds that over-winter and movements between overnight rest stops and feeding areas. However, the bulk of spring migratory patterns tends to move north behind the retreating snow line, where the temperature is averaging 35 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
Migrating flocks generally include aggregations of family groups and individuals, in both the spring and fall. Flights usually begin at dusk but may start at any time of day; the birds fly both night and day. They travel in a V formation, with the more experienced individuals taking turns leading the flock.
Canada Geese do have a permitted hunting season, however, outside of the season it is best to use herding dogs to eradicate the issue. Noisemakers and other persistent, consistent deterrents will ensure a flock does not return. This must be on a consistent, even yearly, basis if the property seems to be a hot spot for Canada Geese.
Hogarth’s Pest Control and Wildlife Company is NWCOA-certified for Geese removal and has a Border Collie on staff— an ideal tool for these types of jobs. Call us today!