Flightless Geese Require Patience During The Summer

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Canada goose is an adaptable bird that can live in a variety of locations, including open farmland and rural reservoirs to suburban neighborhood ponds, office complexes, parks and other developed areas.

This proximity to people sometimes leads to frustration, especially in the summertime when everyone heads outdoors to potentially discover areas of feathers and feces.  However, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division asks people to be patient with geese, especially during a particular part of the summer.

“Each summer, geese go through a molting process during which they lose their flight feathers and grow new ones,” says WRD State Waterfowl Biologist Greg Balkcom.  “During the molt, there is a period of a few weeks in late June and early July when geese can’t fly.  It is typically during this time that landowners and homeowners often get irritated with the amount of goose feces and feathers left behind.” 

So, what can you do if you have goose problems?  During most times of the year, geese can be scared away with the use of harassment techniques.  But because geese cannot fly during the molt, these techniques may not work, making people frustrated when the geese just won’t leave.  In these cases, WRD personnel encourage affected landowners and homeowners to be patient.  The new feathers will soon grow in, and the geese will regain their ability to fly and will likely move on. 

However, if geese continue to cause problems, here are a few tips to try and reduce the trouble: 

· Harassment: Landowners who don’t want geese on their property can first try a variety of harassment techniques, including chemical repellents, mylar balloons, wire/string barriers, and noise makers.  These methods are proven to help reduce goose problems.  However, they require consistency from the property owner and are not always 100% effective.

· Relocation or Lethal Methods: Homeowners who want to reduce or eliminate the goose population on their property can obtain a permit from their local WRD Game Management office (www.georgiawildlife.com/about/contact).  This permit allows them to have geese captured and relocated to a suitable area or allows them to legally and lethally remove the animals.  The removal can be done by the homeowner or by a licensed nuisance wildlife trapper (list found at www.georgiawildlife.com/nuisancewildlife).

It is important to remember that Canada geese are a protected species under state and federal law. It is illegal to hunt, kill, sell, purchase or possess Canada geese except according to Georgia's migratory bird regulations.

For more information, visit the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at www.fws.gov/permits. For a brochure on a variety of methods of dealing with nuisance geese, visit www.georgiawildlife.com (Select “Hunting”, “Game Management” and “Nuisance Canada Geese”).


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Brown's Ferry Kayak Tour Aug. 2 The National Park Service will join Outdoor Chattanooga for a special historical tour of Brown's Ferry by kayak on Sat., Aug. 2, beginning at 9 a.m.  Paddle the TN River around Williams Island and the entrance to the TN River Gorge while an interpretive ranger from  Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park ... (click for more)

Three Popular Waterfowl Hunting Areas Have New Regulations

Hunting regulations have been changed on Gooch Unit E, Meeman-Shelby State Park, and White Oak (Lebanon Pond area) Wildlife Management Areas.  The duck hunting on these areas, prior to the change, was on a first come first serve basis. There were not any established hunting sites and hunters could set up anywhere they wanted. This has created an overcrowded issue which ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $8 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Wamp Refuses To Stoop

With less than two weeks before the Aug. 7 th election and the last week of early voting now underway in Hamilton County, Congressional challenger Weston Wamp sounded upbeat and relaxed early yesterday afternoon. “I’m pleased to say that I believe we are right where we need to be … maybe even more than we had hoped.” Wamp, who is challenging two-term incumbent Chuck Fleishmann ... (click for more)