Aggressive nesting geese a growing problem in Windsor region

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Aggressive nesting geese a growing problem in Windsor region

The geese population has ballooned in the Windsor region in less than a decade, which can create problems for some residents. 

Canada geese numbers in southern Ontario are estimated at nearly one million, compared to the 500,000 estimated in 2008.

And the birds can be a bit of a nuisance, often getting quite aggressive, according to the Essex Region Conservation Authority, which has been receiving plenty of calls from homeowners complaining about the geese.

"They can be quite a nuisance in urban areas," said Dan Lebedyk, a biologist and ecologist at ERCA.

Cecil Parr regularly sees the geese, which are nesting at this time of year, when he's riding his bike along a trail on Grand Marais East.

"They're very bold. They won't get off the trail when you're riding your bike," said Parr. "I have to go around them."

Getting the geese off someone's property can also be a problem. Residents looking to move the geese must obtain a permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Lebedyk says the geese like to nest in wide open areas that are neatly manicured. To prevent geese from nesting, residents should try to eliminate any open spaces.

"Try to get rid of those open flight path areas where those geese can come in," he said.

He suggests people plant trees and shrubs, or provide some fencing as barriers. Scaring the birds away before nesting, using noise, balloons and even dogs.