HARTWELL, GA -- 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.
But that proximity to people sometimes leads to frustration for property owners, 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 is asking people to be patient with geese, especially this time of year because the geese are molting and raising their young.
DNR Law Enforcement officer Craig Fulghum says during the molting period, Canada geese cannot fly.
“On Lake Hartwell we do have a large population of Canada Geese,” Fulghum said. “This time of year, they are going through their molt and they cannot fly. So they do tend to group up more this time of year on the lake, golf courses and you do tend to have more issues.”
That, Fulghum said can lead to a lot of complaints from property owners. Wildlife experts first, just be patient and understand this is part of a yearly cycle for the geese and it will be over in a matter of weeks.
“Just go around them and be patient,” he said.
But there are some things you can do to get the geese moving to another location.
“If you have issues where the geese are on your property, loud noises, air horns, are what we recommend,” Fulghum said. “Typically, they will move on to where it’s not as populated.”
Property owners can also get a permit to have the geese relocated, but Canada geese are federally protected and
Fulghum says it is illegal to hunt, kill, sell, purchase or possess Canada geese except according to Georgia’s migratory bird regulations.
“They are migratory birds and they fall under the Migratory Bird Act and they are federally protected,” he said. “So, we don’t want to have any harrassing the birds this time of year, such as driving boats over them or near them because they are federally protected and this time of year they cannot fly.”
For a brochure on a variety of methods of dealing with nuisance geese, visit www.georgiawildlife.com.