We see them all the time: a row of Canada geese slowly sauntering out into the road, while drivers in both lanes sit and fume while the birds inch across. The geese are also nearly ever-present in parks looking for insects and hissing or charging at anyone who gets too close to their babies or nests. If for some reason you don’t see a goose one day, you might well step in the fecal mess they leave behind.
The Canada Goose is one of our national symbols and a protected species (learn more about them here), but are less respected south of the border. In several areas of the United States, it is legal to hunt these geese out of season when the population is considered to be excessive.
Like most animals, Canada Geese are especially vigilant during nesting season and there are many reports of people being attacked, even though they were not intentionally disturbing nests. The birds have posed a continual problem at the University of Waterloo campus, which even has its own Goose Watch website, but they can be a much more serious threat to aircraft.
Most city-dwellers co-exist amiably with wildlife, but Canada Geese seem to be pushing their luck at times. Their aggressive tactics and damage potential exceed typical annoyances, like skunks and raccoons, in the eyes of some citizens. It’s not just on this side of the pond either; even some UK residents are saying they have had enough. Not everyone feels that way, however, and some are expressing distress over the way the birds are being culled.
What is your take? Have you ever almost had an accident in your car or on your bike because of Canada Geese? Do you find their feces to be a continual annoyance and do you worry about the associated health hazards?