Q: Is there a way to control Canadian geese that won’t leave our pond?
A: Extension agent Jule-Lynne Macie says Mike Mengak, UGA Extension Wildlife Specialist, always reminds people that, “A Canadian is a human being from the country of Canada. All geese are Canada Geese; one of them is a Canada Goose“.
The Canada goose is a migratory bird species that is afforded the protections of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Federal regulations, and State laws. Handling and lethal management of Canada geese for damage management purposes, such as capturing and euthanizing birds, or shooting birds outside of established hunting seasons, require depredation permit(s), but there are a couple of options.
Obviously, don’t feed the birds if you have been. The easiest and cheapest option is to allow the grass to grow tall (20 to 30 inches in a strip 20-30 feet from the bank). This will deter geese from foraging. They also avoid these areas because they cannot see predators that might be hiding in the tall grass. Unfortunately, most people want a smooth lawn down to the pond or lake. It’s much better from a water quality standpoint to have a riparian buffer such as tall grass or shrubbery. This helps ‘catch’ pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides and even trash, from getting into our water.
There are geese taste repellents. The active ingredient in MIGRATE (Bird-B-Gone) is Methyl Anthranilate. It can be an effective repellent. However, it is water soluble and washes off with rain and irrigation. There is another – similar – product called “Goose Chase”. These products may be rather expensive.
USDA Wildlife Services will capture and relocate geese. There are two types of trapping that they do. The first is called Goose Round Up and takes place during wing molt (late June-early July). When the birds are molting they can’t fly and are easier to catch. They are relocated at least 100 miles away