Avoid issues with Canada geese

UNDATED – Less than fifty years ago, the giant Canada goose was extremely rare in Indiana. As a result of restoration efforts and a large increase in small urban and suburban water bodies, Canada geese are now quite common.

Many people enjoy seeing them fly in a v-formation or hearing their distinctive honk, but problems can occur when too many gather in an area.

Large areas with turf grass, waterbodies, and food sources create ideal habitat for Canada geese, potentially leading to human-goose conflict. Most conflicts occur during the nesting season from March to June. If you see a goose exhibiting aggressive behavior, give the bird and its nest some space and calmly leave the area. Injuries resulting from human-goose conflicts most often occur when people run from geese.

Prior to nesting, harassment techniques can be implemented without a permit so long as the birds are not harmed and local ordinances are not violated. Harassment techniques can be audial, visual, or physical. If a Canada goose nest does not have eggs or birds in it, it can be destroyed without a permit. The nest must not be kept. Once eggs have been laid, no further action can be taken without first registering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.   

Remember, efforts to deter Canada geese are not effective if supplemental foods such as bread or birdseed are being provided.