Canadian Geese are a nuisance across much of North America, where flocks of several hundred at a time may take up residence in public space and create major waste problems. While the Canada Goose is a welcome native species in North America, they have been naturalizing in parts of Europe where they are not native. In the United States where they have been protected for decades their numbers have boomed enormously, and can cause problems for businesses that rely on large areas of open turf as part of their business model. From golf courses, to retirement communities, Canadian Geese can cause major problems if their numbers are not modified, and controlled, and the pound of poop per day that they produce can be a public health hazard.
The Federal Migratory Bird Act protecting Canada Geese has been adapted in recent years though to allow for careful population control in residential and agricultural areas. The new protective orders allow for careful and documented control of nests and eggs, giving land owners one more option in responsible wildlife oversight.
While Canadian Geese are still protected by the “Migratory Bird Act,” in recent years their population has grown by 300% in some areas of the United States , and caused issues in communities, and airport parks where the bird population poses a threat to human health and safety. In 2006 a new protocol to handle goose populations under the oversight of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service came about in the form of the “Resident Canada Goose Nest and Depredation Order.” This order is completely separate from the Airport Depredation Order and Airport Control Orders, which is designed to keep our airports and flights safe from the threat of goose related damage. The Resident Canada Goose Nest and Depredation Order is designed for landowners, businesses, and local municipalities that have issues with Canadian Geese, and who commit to responsible control methods which can now include egg addling, puncturing, and shaking.
In my area in particular, Canadian Geese are a large seasonal problem. With each goose producing a pound of poop a day, they can quickly wear out their welcome, and your lawn! I’ve seen several suggestions online, as to how to control a goose population, including swan decoys, lawn treatments, and planting options, but I want to share with you an idea that is cheaper, and that will produce far more consistent results! I manage several large community ponds, mowed and natural. I have tried versions of many things to humanely reduce and control the goose population, but for the homeowner who wants to discourage water birds in general from landing on your yard and grazing there, here is a quick and cheap way to keep waterfowl out, without using chemicals, or repellents, and without planting shrubs that will distort your water view.
What to Do: Measure the perimeter around the body of water that borders your property, preferably 2-3 feet from the water line. Divide the perimeter number by five. This is the number of posts you will need to buy. The second calculation you need with the original perimeter number is for the length of rope you will need. To get this number, multiply the perimeter number by 2.
What to Buy:
- Purchase 3-4 foot stakes, or posts (metal, wood, bamboo, or pier pilings, depending on the look you want to achieve).
- Purchase commercial-grade rope, of white, or yellow color. The thickness of the rope doesn’t matter, thin rope will work just as well.
How To Build Your Goose Fence:
- Place the stakes you purchased at five foot intervals, approximately 2-3 feet from the water line, in a row, hugging the shore line.
- Tap these stakes into the ground ideally leaving 30 inches to 3 and a half feet above the ground (depending on the height of the stake you purchased). You do not need a tall fence to keep geese, or other water birds away.
- Tie the rope from post to post, leaving a generous swag bowing down in between each post (this is the key to making this fence work). The rope must not touch the grass line, and should be about one foot off the ground at it’s lowest point.