That's what we did at our lake. We decided, as a community, to let our geese be, and encourage volunteer involvement. Now everyone is bonded to the geese whose presence has proven to be a great benefit to the community. The killing doesn't work anyway. As soon as those geese are gone, there'll be 25 more in their place. Geese are constantly on the move. That's what wings are for. At our lake, we have our regulars -- about 20 geese who show up every few days or so but even they don't stay. I had a gander that I adored and gave him every imaginable treat to entice him to stay longer. It didn't work. When it was time to go, he left. I also couldn't tell you whether there are 200 geese or as many as 1000 over the course of a year at our lake. During the winter, we get geese that stop off for a few hours to graze and rest. Others stay a few days or show up once a year during the molt. When the feds kill during the molt, they're also killing geese that show up only at that time so the roundups resolve nothing. There'll be new geese within days. View Comment
That philosophy should apply to the Canada geese roundups in Westchester County and a proposed roundup in Scarsdale. You don't think that geese suffer unjustifiable pain when they're rounded up and gassed? Or that such actions send a message to younger generations that says it's okay to kill whatever gets in your way? During a study of the habits and behaviors of geese (and their interactions with humans), I gradually became aware of a disturbing ‘disconnect’ between children and wildlife. Rarely a day went by that I didn’t see students bully, torment or harass adult geese and goslings, once chasing a newborn gosling until it was near death from exhaustion. Another time I saw a child come up behind a goose and kick it as though it was a football. I called the police and an officer came out and talked with the boy’s parents. I began documenting the abuse to illustrate the need for public awareness of such violence. You have to wonder how far is it from bullying a goose to bullying a classmate. I commend your interest in keeping domestic pets safe but that concern should also extend to wildlife.
The Scarsdale geese could also be used as a way to bring the community together. The solution is simple. Plant shrubs around the library (geese don't like obstacles), fence off that section of the lake (a tiny fence will do; nothing fancy) or clean up after the geese as part of park maintenance. In my community, the maintenance crew sprays the sidewalks daily; volunteers clean up extra feces, which is biodegradable and basically harmless. The volunteer effort gives us a chance to meet and greet our geese, many of whom have given names. Like most geese, they fly in and out so we enjoy seeing them when we can. View Comment