Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Golf Course Canada Geese Problems

I started my career in the Golf Course Industry, so I have a particular fondness for managing geese populations on golf courses. At the course that I was the Superintendent for we used numerous tactics, but the best resource we had was the border collie that we purchased. And that was the start of the my education and then eventual career in Canada Geese Management.

I just read an article about a course in Canada and how they managed their geese population. There are some techniques that I think can be pulled, but also some lessons to be learned. First of all, I applaud the fact that they recognize the need for a multi-tiered approach. There is no quick fix. They used landscape management techniques, put in some fencing and used a "scarecrow" technique to try and instill the fear of a predator on site. The tactic that worked the best that they didn't even plan on was the Superintendent's dog that happen to be with him when he was on the course. Unfortunately, it wasn't a border collie, and they didn't deploy the dog on a regular basis at different intervals throughout the day. Their result was a decrease of only about 20% of the Canada Geese population, and that included the culling of the flock that they did in the summer.

I can't see how they can deem this a successful geese management program. On the course that I worked on with our border collie, we were 100% effective in deterring the geese from settling on our course. The border collie was used throughout the day and into the evening when needed. The geese were kept off the course by servicing the area on a continual basis. It was not on a short-term or seasonal service. Whenever we were on the course, the dog was on the course (respecting course etiquette.)

I like to see golf courses trying to manage their geese populations, as a golfer with little tolerance for disturbances or goose droppings, I wish they would all hire a border collie.

If you have any comments, let me know at www.ohiogeesecontrol.com.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No Harm, No Fowl


People have mixed opinions of Canada geese.  Geese are probably the most adaptable and tolerant of all native waterfowl. As their populations have increased, and man has encroached on their natural habitat, a conflict between man and geese was certainly inevitable.

Canada geese will readily establish nesting territories on any suitable pond, located on a golf course, apartment complex or commercial property. Most people will welcome the first pair of geese. However, in a short time a pair of geese can easily become 50 birds, which causes aggravation as they foul the area (1 to 2 pounds of dropping a day per bird), damage landscaping and become aggressive towards people.

It is possible to control the geese population in a natural way, which will remove the conflict between man and beast. The key to solving the problem is to make your property less attractive to Canada geese -- reduce goose food and increase the birds’ wariness of potential danger.

Limit the amount of food sources.
-          Stop feeding the geese
-          Let grass grow taller (at least 6 inches)
-          Keep tall grasses (at least 18 inches) around ponds

Increase wariness of predators on site.
-          Use dense tall plantings along shorelines
-          Add variety to landscaping with clumps of taller plantings
-          Locate ball fields and other grassy expanses as far from open water as possible
-          Maintain stands of trees so geese do not have easy access to water
-          Use harassment techniques such as border collies

Border collies’ wolf-like glance and natural ability to herd convinces the geese that there is a predator on site. With consistent use, geese will feel too unsafe to stay at that location.  Jeff Hower, President, Ohio Geese Control, www.ohiogeesecontrol.com

According to The Humane Society, the most effective way to scare geese away is with trained goose-herding dogs. Herding dogs convince geese they are not safe from predators. Only trained dogs working with a handler should harass geese. Dogs should never catch or harm geese. For more information on methods of controlling Canada geese populations naturally, contact Ohio Geese Control, www.ohiogeesecontrol.com.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Canada geese numbers are growing

With the explosion of the numbers of Canada geese since the 1970's, there will be more articles on the dangers of geese and human encounters.

We want to remind people of the dangers that geese do pose on people. Here is an article in Michigan of a recent attack.

The article sites that the number of geese has increased from 9,000 to 300,000 in the state of Michigan alone.

Have a problem controlling your Canada geese population? Are the geese becoming a pest at your work or home? Call Ohio Geese Control to help you find a solution.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Goose droppings plague Parks and Recreation

Park Video from Newsnet 5
Public parks are a beautiful asset to every community, but with the influx of Canada geese, their aggressive nature and the goose poop they leave behind (about 1 to 2 pounds per goose per day) it becomes more difficult to enjoy the scenery.

Dogs are the perfect solution to help mitigate the problem. They are a natural, humane alternative to other more destructive methods. Also, the use of trained dogs are not a disruption or a detraction to the beautiful parks they patrol. It is a safe and effective method to rid your park of geese.

See video of the problems parks are faced with>>

Learn more about Ohio Geese Control>>

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Treating Goose Eggs to Stop Hatching

Resident Canada Goose
The Resident Canada Goose Nest and Egg Depredation Order helps individuals, local governments, businesses, and others manage waterfowl to achieve an optimal balance between the positive value and conflicts that these birds may present.

Once you have your state permit for Canada geese egg depredation (see previous post), you can begin the process of treating the eggs. The process requires the application of appropriate nonlethal methods to minimize the extent to which eggs must be destroyed.

There are three accepted methods of treating eggs.

  1. OilingUse 100 percent food-grade corn oil. The oil blocks the pores in the egg’s shell, and prevents further development of the contents. Some States require a pesticide license to use this method, so check State regulations before proceeding. Many people find this the most convenient method.
  2. PuncturingTo puncture the egg, hold it securely in your hand, braced against the ground. Insert a long, thin metal probe into the pointed end of the egg. Best results are attained by placing slow steady pressure. Once the probe passes through the shell, place its tip against the inside of the shell, and swirl with a circular motion.
  3. Shaking/AddlingShake each egg vigorously until you hear a sloshing sound inside the egg. This technique may prove impractical for large numbers of eggs.
Geese generally nest near water with a good view of the area and potential predators. Nests may also be located on peninsulas and islands, in tall grass near mowed areas, and near barriers such as walls or even flat roofs. Goose nests are round or oval, built of vegetation, with four to six eggs.

Once incubation has begun, the goose may be difficult to see. The gander may appear as a lone guard within a few hundred feet of the nest. Seeing a lonegoose is one important sign that a nest is nearby and egg oiling should be started. After locating the nest, approach with an attitude of confidence and control. The geese tend to be less aggressive if a two-person team begins confidently rather than timidly.

All eggs in the nest can be treated at the same time if they are warm to the touch, indicating incubation has begun. Mark each egg with a permanent marker to identify which eggs have been treated. This is necessary if the eggs are cool, which means the goose may lay more eggs and you will need to return to the nest to treat additional eggs.

The adult goose will remain on the nest beyond the expected hatching date, reducing or preventing the potential for re-nesting. It is not necessary to remove the oiled eggs later. The treated eggs don’t harm the goose and the adult geese will simply abandon the nest. Enter your report at the FWS registration Web site by October 31 each year.

The adult geese may return to the area the following year, so keep a record of where you found the nests and go to the same area next year.

For more information contact Ohio Geese Control or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Management of Canada Goose Nesting

Canada Geese Nest
Canada geese are a protected species (www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/migtrea.html). However, there is a program to assist with the management of Canada goose nesting once they have  nested on your property and are causing a problem.

The Resident Canada Goose Nest and Egg Depredation Order (www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/waterfowl/50_cfr21.50.shtml) was issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in 2006 (50 CFR 21.50). The Depredation Order authorizes landowners and local governments who register with the FWS to destroy resident Canada goose nests and eggs on their property from March 1 through June 30, when necessary, to resolve or prevent injury to people, and damage to property, agricultural crops, or other interests.

In order to conduct these activities, landowners must register anytime between January 1 and June 30 of the year in which the activity will take place. The registration must be renewed annually, following submission of an annual report of the number of nests with eggs destroyed. There is no fee for the registration. The process requires the application of appropriate nonlethal methods to minimize the extent to which eggs must be destroyed.

At Ohio Geese Control, we assist our clients in managing the method of depredation. We can be available to our clients on site and after working hours as needed. Our skilled workers are trained in the appropriate methods that are approved by the Division of Wildlife. If you have questions, email us at questions [at] ohiogeesecontrol.com and we will assist you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Geese and other animals

It's obvious Canada geese do not like border collies. Their wolf-like glance and predatory style of the chase alert the geese that the area is unsafe for them, and instills fear. Other dogs such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors just don't have the same affect on them.

But did you ever wonder how Canada geese react to other animals? I've stumbled upon these videos, that made me chuckle and thought I would share with you.


Giraffe vs. Canada Goose, any bets?

If you have any other videos to share, send me a link at Jeff [at] Ohiogeesecontrol.com