Volunteers needed for Easter-time egg hunt

Your goose is cooked!: Photo by lisso at
Your goose is cooked!: Photo by lisso at

The city of Chicago is looking for volunteers to go on a wild goose chase. The city has been plagued for over a decade by an ever-growing flock of Canadian geese. The birds have virtually taken over some city parks, harassing users and covering the ground with their droppings.

The city wants volunteers to find goose eggs during the nesting season. Then, wildlife control experts will shake the eggs to destroy the embryos. The geese will continue to incubate the eggs (and not lay new ones), but no goslings will hatch. Experts claim this is a more humane form of animal control than rounding up wild geese and killing them.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

this is the stupidest thing that I have ever read! Of course they are going to harrass you if you or a child runs after them. I would also be defensive if someone ran after me. They do not attack you unless they have a initiative. Yes, they do poop but i hardly believe that people "slip" on it. Come on! Killing the geese by aborting the eggs is not humane. People need to stop and enjoy the nature of all the wonderful species that we have in this world. If you cant have a picnic..move to another location and leave the poor geese alone.

posted on Fri, 09/14/2007 - 10:12am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I don't think it's stupid.

Goose populations are exploding, largely due to human activity. For example, we often aerate ponds here in Minnesota that would otherwise freeze over. That allows more geese to stick around, instead of moving on, and breed.

Goose poop is a serious problem. Maybe not for the "slippage" factor, but the the huge numbers of birds produce so much poop that it contaminates the nearby bodies of water and can cause health problems in humans and other species. Goose poop also contributes to algal blooms, which remove oxygen from the water and can have devastating effects on local ecosystems.

And I can't think of a more humane way to control the goose population than shaking the unhatched eggs. (In fact, a similar program is being used in Saint Paul right now in an attempt to control the pigeon population before the Republican National Convention next year.)

posted on Fri, 09/14/2007 - 10:43am
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I've gotta agree with Liza on this one. As a former Chicagoan, I can attest that some parks are rendered all but unusable by the tremendous amounts of goose poop. The original item did not mention "slipping" at all, but I can tell you from personal experience, it does happen. <:-( Geese can be quite territorial, and will attack with little provocation. (Again, I speak from personal experience.) And if geese (or goose poop) is everywhere, then there's really no place to move the picnic to.

Which brings me to my last point: parks are not "nature." Parks are built by humans for human purposes: playing ball, walking the dog, jogging, having picnics, etc. Unlike a forest preserve or nature preserve, where animal have (or should have) the right of way, parks are for people. Animals are welcome, until they become a nuisance.

posted on Mon, 09/17/2007 - 10:18am
Pat's picture
Pat says:

Geese are a huge problem for our parks. I totally agree that parks are built for human enjoyment. We are not talking about eradicating canadian geese. Only controlling them around public places. Even our elementary school playground and our middle school and high school track are contaminated by goose droppings. It's disgusting as well as a serious health concern.
One last comment - I have also been told that oiling the eggs prevents them from hatching. I would like a source of information on this if anyone is aware of one. Thanks.

posted on Fri, 10/05/2007 - 12:52pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

not to be too much of a snob, but i do believe that the correct common name for the species is "Canada geese", not Canadian geese. It's somewhat of a pet peeve of mine.

I think a good way to prevent the problems associated with Canada geese in our parks is to rid our society of its absurd preoccupation with the perfect lawn. Lawns like those we Americans drool over are quite unnatural, and they do little good for the prevention of runoff into sewers, which then ends up in our waters, causes algal blooms, which then die, sink to the bottom and decompose, depleting oxygen and causing fish kills. Without artificially manicured lawns, geese would hang around less, poop a lot less, and our water would be cleaner.

posted on Fri, 10/05/2007 - 6:57pm

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