by Alex A. Kecskes
A former chef at the Villa Victor in Syosset who claimed he was attacked by a goose sued the restaurant for $1 million. Richard Braue insisted that he was standing by a pond on the restaurant's property when he was charged by a Canada goose. In a fruitless attempt to stay clear of the attacking goose, Braue fell and broke his back.
In Jacksonville, Florida, a goose created somewhat of a ruckus outside an office building on Salisbury Road. Having built its nest near the perimeter of the building, the goose attacked passersby. Some say the bird is just protecting its nest. But police recently reported that the goose actually bit a woman's ear.
Residents in Gotwals Pond in Kimberton, Chester County, Pennsylvania reported that there were 500 to 600 Canada geese on the pond. In fact, Jeff Effgan, part owner of the Kimberton Country House restaurant--which is a stone's throw from the pond--said that one day there were so many geese on the pond, the water wasn't even visible. Needless to say, the pond smelled pretty ripe that day.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services, the growing numbers of resident Canada geese pose a threat to public health and safety and cause damage to property, agriculture and natural resources.
Without effective goose control measures, geese will typically flock around lakes, reservoirs, large ponds, and near rivers and seashores. They like to feed on aquatic vegetation, grasses, seeds and grain. When adult geese molt their flight feathers in the summer, they can't fly and simply gather in huge annoying flocks, pecking and bumping into anyone who they regard as a threat to "their territory."
Even when not attacking people or knocking down children, geese will leave an awful mess. The smelly, disease-carrying droppings can contaminate ponds, lakes and other bodies of water. And they're not exactly welcome around golf courses and business parks.
Fortunately, there are a variety of goose deterrents available to commercial property owners. These are humane, since many species of geese are protected by federal and local statutes.
For large, open spaces, one popular goose deterrent is the Supersonic Goose Deterrent. This easy-to-use device plays recorded goose-distress calls every ten minutes to alert geese that danger is nearby. Geese hear these calls and their natural instinct makes them leave the area. The devices come with one internal and two external speakers to provide effective goose deterrents for up to three acres. Additional speakers can be added to cover larger areas. The rugged device is both sun and waterproof and can be programmed to turn on or off at night.
For smaller areas, you might try hanging a few Visual Goose Scare Deterrents. One popular deterrent in this category is the Predator Eye Balloon. About the size of a standard beach ball, it intimidates geese with its large predator eyes as it bobs and weaves in the breeze. Geese take one look at this "huge predator" and they become too nervous to hang around and loiter. The balloons are made of a U.V.- and weather-resistant vinyl.
To deter geese from pools and other bodies of water, Predator Eye Balloons can be partially filled with water and allowed to skim the surface with their predator eyes facing up to frighten geese.
The time to implement these goose deterrents is now, before flocks of geese arrive. It's also a good idea use goose deterrents in tandem. And to move them around for best deterrent effect.