Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)
Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) were introduced to Scotland as an ornamental attraction to parks and gardens in the 17th century. Since then, they have become established as a common sight in both rural and suburban habitats. Canada Geese frequent ponds, lakes, marshes and coastal flats, and are mostly non-migratory, moving only short distances between breeding and wintering sites in a locality.
The Key Facts About Canada Geese
The Canada goose is a large bird at 92-102cm on average. Colouring is a brownish back with a black neck and distinctive white chin stripe. As the name suggests, this species originated in North America, but have since been introduced to Northern Europe, New Zealand, and South America.
Canada geese mate for life and by instinct are strongly attached to the area in which they were born. They build large nests and lay 5-7 eggs during the breeding season in late March or April. Incubation takes 28-30 days and the young are flightless for 10 weeks. Adult Canada Geese moult around the end of June rendering them unable to fly for 3-4 weeks.
Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) Significance of Control
Canada Geese are herbivorous and eat large quantities of vegetation, ridding areas around lakes and ponds of grass and wetland plant species by overgrazing and trampling. The abundance of droppings can look unsightly in public areas, as well as being a hygiene issue and a slip hazard.
The main issue that many people experience with Canada geese, though, is the sheer amount of noise that a group of them will cause. This problem has grown increasingly serious as time goes on since there are few natural predators of the Canada goose here in the UK. This has allowed their population to grow unchecked, and develop from as little as 2200 in 1953 to more than 80,000 by the 1990s. Not only are the geese noisy, but they can also be highly territorial, especially when guarding their goslings. It is far from rare for members of the public to be attacked by Canada geese in parks and along riverbanks.
When numerous, the geese can cause considerable erosion problems and destruction of wildlife habitat. When present in large numbers, they could end up doing lasting damage to the ecosystem of parks by eating more than their fair share of water plants. Wild geese have also developed the annoying habit of begging humans for food since they have learned over time that this is an easy way of feeding themselves. Many people therefore find that when they walk through a park, numerous Canada geese come up to them and pester them, especially if they are eating something. Many park authorities take steps to limit the number of geese on their land, but this can prove to be extremely difficult without professional assistance from expert pest controllers.
Lastly, Canada geese can be a considerable hazard near airports where, due to the large size of these birds, bird strike could have devastating consequences. The famous “Miracle on the Hudson”, where a passenger jet was forced to make a crash landing into a river in New York City, was caused by the aircraft hitting a flock of Canada geese in midair. Such incidents only happen very rarely, but since Canada geese are so large, they pose a very real threat to aircraft engines, which are only designed to withstand strikes from smaller birds. A flock of geese can therefore cause havoc at an airport, where they can interfere with aircraft taking off.
Our highly trained service technicians are able to rapidly eliminate any infestation and install long-lasting pest bird deterrent systems. Contact our Glasgow, Edinburgh or Aberdeen office for a service visit, survey or advice.
Call Pest Solutions to Get Rid of That Pest Today!
Pest Solutions skilled BPCA accredited team of service experts and support staff are here 24/7 to assist in your Pest Control Management related concerns. Canada geese are stubborn creatures, but our pest control technicians have a variety of different techniques that they can use to disperse these birds from your property. Pest Solutions have many local offices throughout the UK enabling our highly knowledgeable service professionals in your town to respond rapidly to control those pest infestations.
To have a member of our Pest Control service team carry out a FREE survey or a service visit today phone 0800 027 2555. Find the details of your local Pest Solutions Branch here.