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Councilman: Raleigh should take gander at tougher stance on geese

Posted August 10, 2012

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— 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.

Canada geese Some say Canada geese becoming more of nuisance in Raleigh

"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."


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  • here2defend Aug 14, 2012

    Don't blame the geese - blame the people that make the man made wetlands that attract waterbirds. Draining/preventing the man made ponds and lakes will prevent a goose problem. People demonize these birds to suit their own agenda. I personally have no problem with these birds and enjoy watching them in my neighborhood with "no feeding" signs. Not feeding them will cause them to move on to greener pastures so they are a temporary problem if any.They take better care of their young than some people. They are more noticeable from May thru July because that is when they nest and have their young. They're usually gone when the young are mature enough to get their wings. During this time, the parent geese molt their flying wings which is why They can only walk from place to place until their young are old enough to fly. At which time the parents flying wings grow back. Recommended viewing is the DVD : "Fly Away Home". Birds including geese are God's Angels. So be careful with your wishes.

  • SMAPAEA Aug 13, 2012

    Running over the geese is a terrible thing to do. I may not like them, but hitting something the size of a dog with your car borders on the behavior of a sociopath. Man has done so much to muck up the environment and the world around us, and has little tolerance for much else. So sad.

  • oleguy Aug 10, 2012

    1 Or 2 are Ok,, but when you get 50 well they can really leave a mess,,, Also they dont cook up so good,,, they are real Gammy, and greasy,,, but they can really fertlize your lawn, and very fast,, But its only bugs and grass

  • discowhale Aug 10, 2012

    So, let me see if I understand this, in a city of 400K+, the City Council got 30 to 40 e-mails, about geese blocking roadways and 'messing' in folks yards.

    I'll give them the 40, the math works out easier.

    40 e-mails, in a city of 400K people is 1/10 of 1%. So the City Council and WRAL think a story is news worthy if it affects 1/10 of 1%. It sure didn't work that way when I lived on Avent Ferry Rd and they had the road torn up for resurfacing and the work crews were spending 5 mins working for every hour shooting the shirt!

    The city wouldn't listen, and WRAL said they thought the city already knew it was a mess. And trust me, there were WAY more than 40 of us with busted tires, trashed front ends, broken headlights and cracked windshields.

    Then again, those geese sure are cute and PETA doesn't want them harmed by the mean old cars or people who'd like a clean lawn. Yep, they sure are cute. Oh, and tasty!

    (I am SO glad I moved to Clayton and out of Raleighwood...BWAHAHAhahaha

  • TomLynda Aug 10, 2012

    Buford T. Justice:

    Right on man. They don't cause me to come to a dead stop on a busy street. I'll honk my horn, and if they don't move.

    When I was on the Rescue Squad I would go to wrecks where a child was killed by some stupid motorist stopping for a goose. There is no animal worth the life of any human being.

  • corey3rd Aug 10, 2012

    They need to be caught, butchered and given to food banks for a traditional Christmas goose. This is being done right now in NYC. You can get the federal protection taken away on them.

  • archmaker Aug 10, 2012

    maybe city council can adopt some arizona-type laws and if the geese don't produce their papers, we deport them back over the border to canada.

  • thomasew Aug 10, 2012

    The geese are a menace. They multiply like rabbits, they are nasty birds, and they need to be done away with.

  • Commenter Aug 10, 2012

    I don't understand why they are protected either. They're not native here but were introduced fairly recently. Just look at them as kudzu with feathers because they are just as much of a pest.

    Meanwhile, on the Outer Banks, natural and native predators are being shot so they won't bother the Piping Plover.

    In all cases, we should just nature run its course.

  • boneymaroney13 Aug 10, 2012

    I catche'm in my pasture they're toast!! I don't need a dog for these pests.