Raleigh, N.C. — City Councilman John Odom said Raleigh is wasting time and money trying to get a handle on a growing Canada geese population in the area.
Complaints about goose droppings and birds in streets blocking traffic are growing, Odom said, noting that he's received 30 to 40 emails about geese this week alone.
"They will peck, and yeah, they're just a nuisance," said Kristen Burnette, who lives in the Quail Hollow neighborhood in north Raleigh. "You have to stop your car. You even beep, and they turn around and look at you like, 'It's my street, not yours.'"
Raleigh's Parks and Recreation Advisory Board looked at ways to control the population of Canada geese, which are federally protected, including trapping and moving them, preventing them from nesting or feeding them oral contraceptives to stop them from multiplying. The City Council approved only the cheapest solution – posting signs urging people not to feed geese and producing educational pamphlets.
"That doesn't work, and that's not going to work," Odom said. "It's only $2,000 – that's a lot of money to me, but in the scheme of the Raleigh budget, it's not very much at all – but if it doesn't do anything, that's my point."
One local resident suggested that Raleigh buy a Border collie because the dogs naturally herd geese and could annoy the birds so much that they leave, he said. If Raleigh doesn't take a more aggressive stance, he said, he worries that the number of Canada geese in the city will double over the next decade.
"I love Canada geese, but I learned back in an agriculture course the definition of a weed," he said. "A weed is a plant that's in the wrong place."