While feeding them may seem fun, it is not healthy for our parks or the birds. Canada geese are migratory, flying south in the winter and north during the summer. Feeding them encourages them to stop migrating and leads to domestication. The result is an overpopulation of geese, which in turn causes environmental damage, creates unsanitary conditions and adds excess pollutants to neighboring waterways. Overpopulation also leads to the spread of diseases among the flocks. Human food is not meant to be fed to waterfowl and in the long turn can also lead to deformities.
Geese that do not migrate also rapidly lose their fear of humans and can become territorial and aggressive.
Many parks departments and others experiencing geese problems employ several types of aversion techniques. First, you can limit the growth of flocks by preventing hatching. This is done by treating eggs shortly after they are laid. This can work — unfortunately all geese do not nest in the same general area and finding nests can at times be difficult, especially when spread among urban areas.
Placing a barrier like cable, rope or fencing between the waterway and open land is another avenue. This helps prevent geese from landing in the water then making their way up a gradual, sloping bank to open areas to feed. Letting creek banks grow up with native vegetation can also help provide a natural barrier.
Some professionals also use chemical deterrents. When sprayed on turf it makes the grass unpalatable to flocks of grazing geese. This method can be costly and the chemical usually lasts only several weeks, at best, depending on mowing schedules and rainfall amounts.
Some groups have resorted to using border collies to harass geese. These dogs are trained to target Canada geese, then chase them off. This encourages them to vacate the area without being harmed.