Re: NANFA-- two local goose stories

Jay DeLong (
Sat, 19 Apr 2003 12:15:59 -0700

Mark wrote:
>I'm curious as to why the increased canada goose population is resulting in
>increased poop pollution. Do they not digest their food enough or is the
>problem that they let loose in and around the water? Has the biomass in
>their ecosystem actually increased due to their presence?

I write:
Urban geese congregate around parks with water and private ponds. Before
long every stump or knoll along the water has a nest. Adults and their
precocious young find areas of open grassland and poop away in picnic areas
and other places where people want to play or sit. After that you don't
want to go there. And of course they do their thing along the water's edge
and ruin the area for swimming. Meanwhile the homeowners along the water
that don't need to use the public park feed them from their private docks
and don't want anyone to get rid of them because they're attractive and
they feel the geese somehow enhance their concept of a wild
experience. But geese are large and agressive and drive away or outcompete
other types of waterfowl. A mile from my home is a lake just like that,
but only a few miles away is a wildlife refuge with a diverse group of
dabbling and diving ducks, mergansers, grebes, coots, etc...and a few geese
for good measure.

You also made a comment about snow geese overgrazing their habitat. Do you
think this could be from reduced availability of habitat forcing too many
geese into too few areas?

Tom wrote:
>It is now illegal to feed waterfowl in King county Washington. If they were
>forced to find their own feed, they would move on. This prohibition is not
>enforced or respected because many people feel that feeding the birds is
>their "contact with nature". I challenged a friend who manages a county
>park and he said "this is as close as some children will ever come to

I write:
Ah, that species Warmus cuddlii returns, or maybe it's Cuteus
swimlii :-) All those people that want geese on one hand would demand
opossums and gators be removed on the other, wouldn't they...

There was a good show last year or so on Discovery or a similar program
that dealt with Canada goose problems in Toronto and other large
cities. It goes beyond people not wanting geese killed. They don't even
want their eggs addled. It's an emotional thing, not logical.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA
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