Canada Geese can become very aggressive during the nesting season and attack people or pets who get too close to their nests. Canada Geese will damage grain crops, turf-grass and plants. They will also make a mess with their droppings in places like parking lots, fields, beaches and parks.
Canada geese fly in a distinct V pattern to save energy. Each bird flies slightly about the bird in front of him, creating less wind resistance.
The Canada Goose is a large, black necked bird with black webbed feet for swimming. They have a white chinstrap marking and a brownish gray body with lighter chest and underside. However, the appearance of Canada Geese varies from region to region as there are believed to be as many as 11 subspecies of Canada Geese. Canada geese are between 7 to 20 lbs./3 to 9 kg.
In spring & fall, migrating flocks fly in a V formation
Canada Geese are well adapted to both wet & dry land. They will often be seen swimming in open waters, on the shoreline as well as in farm fields and parks.
Nests are often constructed in areas with unobstructed views to spot predators quickly.
While some populations of Canada Geese migrate in the spring & fall, increasingly, more Canada Geese delay their migration or forego it altogether due to the abundance of food & harbourage in urban & suburban areas.
Canada Geese will mate in their second year and remain with their mate for life. Canada Geese have 1 brood per year with 42-8 eggs. Eggs are incubated for 25 to 28 days and young remain with their parents for another 42 to 50 days after that but will leave the nest at 2 days old.
Females return to the same area year after year to nest.
The lifespan of a Canada Goose is 10 to 24 years in the wild.
Are Canada Geese protected?
All migratory birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Convention Act and this includes Canada Geese.
What is the most effective way to get rid of Canada Geese?
This depends on the situation - exclusion & habitat modification can help keep geese away, but may be difficult for areas such as golf courses, sports fields, or parks. Harassment programs using trained dogs are highly effective but require frequent visits to be effective.
What risks do Canada Geese pose to the health of the public? Do they carry disease?
Droppings may contain cryptosporidium, Giardia, toxoplasmosis, campylobacter, chlamydiosis, E. coli, listeria, salmonella, avian influenza and encephalitic viruses.
When these geese inhabit water areas such as a beaches and other waterways, the levels of fecal coliform bacteria may be elevated and can pose a health threat to the public. When it rains it can wash the material into the water source causing potential contamination.
Are Canada Geese dangerous?
Yes. Male Canada geese are most likely to attack and usually do so when someone gets too close or threatens their mates, eggs, or hatchlings. They attack by biting or whacking someone with their wings.
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