Reduce Property Damage from Nuisance Geese this Migration Season

Feb 27, 2024
Migrating Canada geese

You can always tell it’s spring when Canada geese return to your property during their spring migration. To help properties prepare for this eventuality, Wild Goose Chase, a property services company that helps manage nuisance birds, has outlined the most appropriate solutions property managers can implement to control nuisance geese during the key developmental stages that will unfold over the next six months.

While the solutions effectively manage nuisance geese, it’s imperative to remember that Canada geese are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As such, multiple permits are required from state regulators before your property can manage geese or their nests.

Harassment During Migration & Mating (February to May)

From February through May, Canada geese search for areas to establish nesting. Biologically, Canada geese prefer to nest on properties on which they were born or previously, successfully, nested. Before nesting becomes successful – i.e., a female goose lays eggs – the main goal is to deter non-paired geese from your property through routine, yet varied harassment techniques. Effective harassment techniques include trained canines and handheld and/or automated lasers.

Trained canines can be deployed regularly to harass nuisance geese. As geese perceive canines as a threat, they typically leave the property. Trained canines are particularly effective as they do not actually harm the geese, which are a federally protected bird species; if geese are harmed by an under- or untrained canine, parties can be subject to federal fines.

Below is a video of our trained canines harassing nuisance geese:

Handheld lasers can provide ad hoc harassment of nuisance geese. The laser beam can travel over a mile and, because of the laser’s portable nature, it can cover a large surface area in a short amount of time. Geese are able to see the entire laser beam in all light conditions and, similar to their perception of trained canines, perceive the laser beam as a threat and, subsequently, leave the property.

Below is a recent video of a handheld laser harassing nuisance geese in a property setting that was unsafe for a trained canine:

Ecological Solutions During Nesting (March to May)

From March through May, adult geese pairs begin to establish nests. Once a clutch of eggs is laid, it takes just over a month for goslings to hatch. With an average egg clutch size of five to seven eggs, a few, paired geese can quickly become a large gaggle, unless prompt action is taken.

Goose nest and egg management is performed to reduce the overall population of targeted nuisance birds. Routine visits to the property – at least once every two weeks – to adequately manage the nests and eggs through the duration of the nesting season is required. This process requires securing the necessary permitting, and managing and reporting relevant data by set deadlines in order to comply with applicable state and federal regulations.

Biological Deterrents During Gosling Maturation & Molting (April to August)

From April through July, geese that have successfully nested will monitor their goslings to ensure they are foraging for enough food (grass) to grow and develop. Their movements are even more constrained during the molting season, which is when geese become flightless for six to eight weeks between June and August. If this occurs on your property, an appropriate solution is to deter them by affecting their food source.

Goose repellent is a biological substance that is applied to grass and produces a strong but harmless digestive irritation in the geese after they have eaten treated grass. Once the geese experience these adverse effects, they learn to avoid treated areas to reduce further digestive issues.

Protect Your Property from Migrating Geese

In 2023 alone, Wild Goose Chase helped hundreds of commercial and industrial properties manage over 613,600 nuisance geese. For more information about our bird control solutions, or to schedule a site evaluation, contact us.

Contact us to learn about Canada goose control solutions