Wild Goose Chase

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Today my rant is for the birds,
For Canada geese and all their turds,
For splattered playgrounds, walks and grasses,
I wish we could plug up their asses!

I don’t mean to cry fowl, but in the war against Canada geese (Mother Goose excepted of course), we humans are not even in the battle. If you live or walk anywhere near the waterfront, you’ll know exactly why my rantometer is in a big honking kerfuffle.

Here’s the poop: Canada geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. This was necessary at the time due to the dwindling goose population. Well, guess what? It’s 94 years later and those flocking birds have poop-ulated their numbers into an environmental catastrophe! And Bird Treaty or not, it hasn’t stopped the geese from declaring war on our waterfronts and poop-bombing everything in sight.

In a flap! Yes I’m in a flap about it and so should we all. Our beautiful waterfront walkways and parks are laden with an explosion of green goose droppings – all potentially disease ridden and parasite contaminated. The children’s playgrounds are smeared with the stuff and park grasses aren’t fit for human enjoyment. This not only creates a  health hazard for everyone, including our children, but a slipping hazard for the many people who must weave their way through the slime  in order to enjoy the waterfront.

Case in point: I don’t mean to put you off your Green Eggs and Ham, but as they say – a picture is worth a thousand turds. I took this on my morning walk a couple of weeks ago. Feel my pain?

A crappy situation: Each Canada goose will eat 2-3 pounds of grass and unload 1-2 pounds of droppings – everyday! In the urban area where I live – there are hundreds of these gluttonous grazers on our waterfront. And the resident goose poop-ulation doubles in size about every five years. No wonder our beautiful parks have morphed into bird toilets of convenience.

Wings of change: So what can be done about the problem you might well ask? The answer is a lot – and not much! Because of the aforementioned Bird Act, federal permits are required to destroy eggs or nests, capture or translocate, disturb or harvest (fancy word for kill) Canada geese.  So local municipalities must go through the Federal red tape bureaucracy to get approval for any action, before even one of these pooping machines can be culled or controlled. It’s a wild goose chase trying to find a politician at the federal level who will get involved, and there’s usually not much action going on at the local level either. 

Tricky techniques:  But before you think our collective gooses are cooked in this regard, there are various control strategies that can be implemented, if we all honk loud enough to our elected officials. Goose management strategies include everything from oiling or puncturing eggs, implementing various hazing or scaring techniques, use of scarecrows and dogs, erecting fences and wires, installing reflective tape, and a whole slew of other creative devices. Some experts say that introducing swans to the area is a solution. But we have about 40 swans who cohabit with the geese on our waterfront. The geese and the swans stay here year round to party hardy on our local waterways – like one big happy feathered-family.

Note: Re scaring techniques – it is permissable to harass Canada geese without a federal permit, as long as the little flockers are not touched or handled in any way.

For pity sake! Oh I’m sure the animal/environmental activists will want my guts for garters for writing this post. Well, all I have to say is – get over yourself and walk a mile in my muck-encrusted sneakers! Look at the picture above and you’ll see why I’ve chosen to ruffle a few goose-feathers!

Final word: So as I tiptoe through the green pooplets on my morning walks, I will continue to wage my war against this atrocious waterfront embarrassment. And I will persist in my efforts to hunt down some elected official who gives a damn. Now despite my revulsion at what has transpired since the Bird Act Treaty of 1918, I still find the Canada goose a remarkable looking animal. But as W.C. Fields once said about elephants, “I like to look at ’em, but I wouldn’t want to own one.”

Some people find these geese spectacular,
But I’m stuck here – in the vernacular,
They’re beautiful birds, I must admit,
Until you slip in their green sh__!

 Pat Skene

15 responses »

  1. Well holy poopers! You are right! Yes, the geese have taken over the beach where we live too. My husband tried playing loud opera music to chase them away. Tooting a loud horn doesn’t work either. He now flaps his arms wildly and runs after them telling them to leave! Good luck with your geese ridding endeavors!!

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  2. You continue to stir up the sh–. Let’s hope you can get something done to rid us of these poop filled creatures and get them back in the wild where they belong.I haven’t experienced their droppings but they look most uninviting.Good work.

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  3. This is an excellent cause to pursue! I think the health hazard is a very real concern, particularly for small children who love to pick up and investigate what they see. Your picture really is worth a thousand words. If that was ‘crap’ left behind by negligent dog owners you can be sure pressure would be exerted on the by-law officers to get the mess cleaned up!

    An excellent cause, deserving of your rant
    Let’s hope those who can won’t say they can’t
    Clean up our lovely beaches and parks
    Where these little beasts are leaving their marks
    Too many of them are flocking around
    For sure a solution has got to be found!

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  4. This is the perfect rant: funny, true, and full of puns. We have a local park near the river that the geese like, and that I refuse to go to. There’s no place safe to walk. I hope you find a politician that isn’t bird-brained and is willing to do something about the mess.

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  5. Roses are red, violets are blue,
    I’m feeling your pain and here’s what we do,
    Keep up your blogging and we will all read,
    And one day your words a politician will heed!

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  6. Great post! The comments were fun to read too. You have a clever bunch of followers! They are playing with the language right alongside with you. I love it! There is a high school sports field along Lake Ontario in the town where I live. It is often covered with geese. I can’t imagine what it would be like for the teens to share the field with the geese. I wouldn’t want to play soccer in a field of poop. It seems to have gotten worse in Ontario in the last 5-10 years. I wonder why?

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    • Thanks for checking in Jessica. The whole geese problem is getting worse because they’re so protected and no one is doing anything about it. I think people feel bad complaining about the geese and suggesting that they be controlled/harvested/culled – whatever nasty tag we put on it. But something must be done. We shouldn’t have soccer fields covered in poop. Love your blog by the way.

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  7. I live on Lake Burton in North Ga and have tried everything. The only thing that worked for me was this product made by Edgewater Fencing. It was very inexpensive, humane and super easy to install. The people were also great to deal with!!
    Their website is edgewaterfencing.com

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    • Hey Big Ed! I assume you are the “Ed” in sales for this company. This fencing product looks excellent as I’ve seen similar homemade fences that have had the same effect in smaller waterfront locations. I have referred your web site to my Town Councillor and the Director of Parks for my area. Thanks for checking in.

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