Canada Geese

Goose

Our Geese Solutions

 

Based upon our inspection and your answers to the questions below, we will determine exactly what bird control method will rid you of your goose problem and implement it quickly and efficiently. We use many different methods of bird control so that we can ensure you are getting exactly the type of control you need. Select the options below if you are interested in learning more about the control methods we use.

 

Geese Control Professionals

 

You do not want to deal with a geese problem on your own, especially with how nasty these birds are prone to being when disturbed. Hiring a professional bird control company can be your best bet to get the whole thing resolved as quickly as possible. The damage caused by birds runs US residents millions of dollars each year and it can cost individuals more than they can afford. This is one reason why we focus on every aspect of bird control, to help you save a lot of money in the long run.

​There are several Geese Management Control options that are available.  Each control methods have pros and cons and varying expense associated with the method.  It is important to understand that the success of each control method will vary depending upon the implementation time frame and the frequency of treatment.  For example, if a control method is implemented late in the season after the geese have had a chance to establish nesting, the treatment will be less likely to succeed. 

Several control options may need to be integrated to manage the geese populations, which can depend upon the time of year, how severe the bird pressure is, property features, and the size of the affected area.

Let Aviaway develop a bird management program to remedy your specific goose problem.  With over 30 years of designing and installing bird control systems, Aviaway will ensure that the bird control program solves your specific bird problem.

We think about what you need when developing a custom plan for your geese problem. We take several factors into consideration, inlcuding:

  • ​How long has the geese problem been going on?

  • How many geese, and how big is the problem area?

  • Do they have a food or water source nearby?

  • Are there any mechanical or structural problems allowing a food or water source to develop?

  • Are the geese nesting, loafing, or roosting?

  • Is heavy nesting causing fire hazards?

  • Do surrounding buildings also have a bird problem?

  • Are there bird droppings along walkways or parking areas?

  • Are there any liability issues due to the geese infestation?

 

About Canada Geese

There is nothing more majestic or awe-inspiring than a V formation of Canada geese flying south for the winter. The birds usually winter in the southern United States and spend the summer in more northern areas including most of Canada.  Canada geese have been known to find areas of the United States that provide all the needs for living and remain in that area all year long.  (Resident geese vs. Migratory Geese).  In New Jersey, the population of resident geese has been on the rise.

One of the unique characteristics of the Canada Goose and one of the sources of the problems that the birds cause is the bird’s ready acclimation to people and manmade habitats, which they use for nesting or food sources. Canada Geese are a protected bird species under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 USCS 703-712). As such, this bird species cannot be harmed in any way.  

Taxonomy

Order: 

Family:

Genus: 

Species:

Subspecies: 

Anseriformes

Anatidae

Branta

Branta Canadensis 

B. c. canadensis, B. c. interior,

B. c. maxima, B. c. moffitti, B. c. fulva, B. c. occidentalis, B. c. parvipes

Specifically, this bird species is protected under U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  Within the state of New Jersey, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDFW) agency provides protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Federal Regulations (50 CFR 10, 13, 20 & 21), NJ Statutes Annotated Title 23, and the NJ Game Code. 

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Evolutionary Traits

 

The Canada Goose has many evolutionary adaptations that make it suited to its environment. These traits include webbed feet for swimming, sharp eyesight and hearing, as well as oil glands that can make their feathers waterproof. 

 

Additionally, the Canadian goose can drink saltwater for small periods of time due to salt glands they can turn on, making them capable of living in areas with large bodies of water like the Great Lakes. If they do intake too much saltwater, however, they can still die.

 

Canada Geese are large birds with a white head, neck, tail, and belly, while the remainder of the body has brown feathers. The most common color of a Canada Goose is black and white, but they can also come in shades of brown, gray, and even with a slight lavender tint. One identifying feature of Canada geese is black markings on their head and necks.

The male Canada goose is smaller than the female by about 10%. Both males and females look the same in coloring, but the female tends to be slightly larger. The subspecies B.c. Maxima, also known as the Giant Canada Goose, is the largest geese species in the world, with some individuals weighing in at 20 lbs.

The Canada Goose is one of the oldest bird species in North America, with fossils dating back to the late Pleistocene era, commonly known as the Ice Age. Canada Geese can be found in the fossil record dating back to 40,000 years ago. It was also found that Canada Geese subspecies are paraphyletic, meaning that while they share a common ancestor, the descendants that eventually made each of the subspecies of Canada Geese differed. 

Diet

 

Canada Geese are mainly herbivores though they sometimes eat small insects and fish. As Canada Geese sometimes live and roam in areas near humans, they are also often fed human-made food and will pick through garbage for food. If food is not available in the habitat, Canada Geese can go up to thirty days without eating.

In addition to food, Canada Geese also need water for swimming and bathing and often make any pond or lake their home, including sites like the Washington Monument. They have a tendency to enjoy marshy areas and freshly cut and cared for lawns such as college campuses and golf ranges are a common resting and feeding ground for these birds.

Behavior

 

Canada Geese are considered very social animals and can often be seen in large groups. They are also one of the most aggressive bird species when it comes to defending their territory. Most Canada Geese will attack humans, dogs, cats, and even other animals if they feel like these animals threaten their home. In the past decade, there have been several cases of aggressive Canada Geese attacking joggers, bicyclists, and even small children who came too close to their nests or babies. Canada Geese are also known for vocalizing loudly. They will even do this in the middle of the night if they feel threatened by changing their environment or mating season.

 

Life Cycle

Reproduction

 

Canada geese begin nesting at 3 years of age, and lay between four and nine eggs per year. The average is five. The female lays one egg every one to two days during nesting season, usually early in the morning. She does not leave the nest, eat, drink, or bathe while the eggs are incubating. Geese are very aggressive when protecting their nest and eggs, so if you happen across a pair of Canada Geese that are nesting, it is wise to steer clear. 

 

While it may be very inconvenient to have this water fowl nesting on your property as they are very defensive and noisy, once eggs are produced it becomes protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty and cannot be disturbed. Fortunately Canada Geese only have an incubation period of around 28 days, which is the average for all water fowl. 

 

These water fowl like to make their nest in an open and unobstructed area, usually near water at a slight elevation. They do this so they area able to look out for any predators in the area. Because undisturbed natural habitats for nesting is at a decrease, they are often found nesting in urban areas. In some cases, these waterfowl are known to reuse abandoned nests of other large bird species, such as eagles or osprey. 

Egg Description

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Goose Egg
egg color variation

 

Size: 

Color: 

Incubation: 

Brood Size: 

Frequency:

 

8 - 9 centimeters

Creamy White, although

 in nest will appear darker

approx. 28 days

4 - 9 eggs

once a year

Nesting Behavior

 

Once the goslings have hatched, they are able to open their eyes within 24 hours, and only remain in the nest for two days before being able to walk, feed, and even swim.

Nesting Material

 

One interesting fact about how geese prepare the nest is that once a spot is selected by the female, she does not leave the spot and in fact, only uses nesting materials that she can reach from the selected location. This is why nesting material often varies with Canada geese to whatever material is available, and they often end up using their own down feathers as they are easily accessible and make for excellent nesting material. If these geese are seen nesting in urban areas, nesting material gets tricky, and they often rely on trash, mulch, or roof gravel. 

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woodchips.webp
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Maturity & Lifespan

 

Canada Geese can live anywhere from 5-30 years, depending on the subspecies and environment. They can travel distances of 1.500 miles daily and fly at speeds up to 70 mph, although their average remains around 40 mph. They are usually between 24-29 inches in length with a wingspan of around 52 inches. Their average weight can range anywhere from 4 1/2 to 12 pounds, with males larger than females.

Canada Geese shed their feathers once per year in late summer/early fall to reproduce in the spring. They will look very scruffy and often lose body weight during this time. This molting process can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

 

During mating season, geese find their mates by identifying familiar geese they have flown with the previous year. Once a mate has been found, courtship begins. They circle each other while making loud honking noises to show affection for one another. After the courtship process begins, the male and female geese stay near each other to strengthen their bond. They even tend to dress up their choice mate with grass and around their neck to impress them and make themselves look better than the rest of the geese. Once courtship is complete, Canada Geese mate for life. The only instance where a goose will have more than one mate is if the previous one had died. 

 

Migrating Geese Distribution

 

While Canada Geese are primarily found in North America, and also in Western Europe, there have been sightings of them reaching certain portions of Asia and Africa in the past 50 years. There are 16 speculated different subspecies of Canada Goose, but only 7 have been confirmed thus far.

Breeding Season

 

There's two different groups of Canada Geese, Migratory, and Resident geese. Migratory geese only go south for a portion of the year and return north for the spring and summer months during their breeding season.

 

The Resident Geese are the ones that remain

in the United States region of North America all year round and were introduced in the 1900s when Canada Geese were nearly extinct due to overhunting. 

All Year Resident

The only noticeable differences between resident and migrational geese are behavioral. It is impossible to differentiate them based solely on appearances. If Canada Geese are nesting in the central region of North America, they are likely resident geese. 

Winter Migration

 

The Problems With Canada Geese

Geese Poop

 

Canada Geese eat about four pounds of grass a day and turn that into about two pounds of droppings. Geese spend about 12 hours a day eating and poop about 28 times a day. Multiply this by an entire flock of geese, and you can quickly find yourself with a goose poop problem on your hands.

As Canada Geese often frequent areas with people, their droppings can pose a serious health risk. Not only can geese poop contaminate water sources and make them unsafe to drink from or swim in, but they can also cause unwanted infections. Their droppings can also have unwanted side effects on airport runways and frequently trafficked sidewalks and roads.

Health Hazards

 

​Canadian geese can acquire and carry all known forms of bird flu. Some birds seem to have developed immunity to these viruses but they can transfer the diseases to other birds, animals, and humans. Most known bird flues usually kill Canadian geese. Cases of Bird flu are responsible for a huge cull of chickens in the United States. Some bird flu is deadly to humans because the virus has become antibiotic-resistant. Canadian geese are used as a measure of the spread of bird flu due to the bird’s extensive range.  Many Canadian geese like the beach. The deposit of huge amounts of feces on beaches by Canadian geese as well as leaving feces on parking lots and other areas is thought to have increased the number of fecal coliform bacteria on beaches and in the waters people swim in.

E. coli can be found in Canada Goose droppings which can lead to diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, and even vomiting. These symptoms can last anywhere from a couple of hours to weeks after contact with the droppings has occurred. In addition, bacteria like staphylococcus, coliform, and campylobacter can also be found in goose poop and droppings. Be sure to keep young dogs and puppies away from geese poop as they may eat it and develop an infection.

These health concerns can spread through infected water because Canada Geese most often flock around a pond, lake, or body of water. Ways to avoid potential health risks can include staying away from the geese, not swimming in or drinking from water sources that have been contaminated, and disinfecting any areas where the geese poop has been.

Safety Hazard & Bird Strikes

 

Canadian geese have become an increasing problem to people in several aspects.​ Any body of water is a potential home for Canadian geese.  The mothers will attack people to protect their nests. The birds also leave a huge amount of bird droppings “feces” all over the parking lots and other parts of the facility that must be cleaned up.

More seriously, Canadian geese have come to call airports home. Flights of geese colliding with airplanes during takeoff and landing have caused the death of 24 people and the crash of seven planes in the last 20 years.  

Geese can devastate crops. Canadian geese migrate in very large groups that can number in the thousands. If the birds come to reside in a growing crop field the field can be totally wiped out by the birds.  The dangers to aircraft, the loss of income to farmers, and the nuisance to golfers and other recreation areas are the major reasons the United States government has instituted a planned control of Canadian geese. Canadian geese are a protected species in Canada.