By Richard D. Gainar, CEBS – Lake Management Committee
Canada Geese are a valuable natural resource that provides recreation and enjoyment to bird watchers, hunters, and the public. The sight of the distinctive V-formation of a flock of Canada geese always brings a special thrill. Their calls herald the changing seasons. But in recent years, flocks of local-nesting or “resident” geese have become year-round inhabitants of our recreational areas, waterways, and residential areas, where they can cause significant problems.
Canada Geese deposit their feces anywhere the urge hits them. They too often like the same areas we do – swimming beaches, lawns, docks, and boat launches. During the day, a goose drops one pound of dung. In addition to contributing to E. coli levels in the lake, geese are also major contributors of phosphorus and nitrogen in lakes and waterways that encourage algae and weeds to grow rapidly.
In January and February migratory geese are moving through our area with some of the breeding age geese breaking away from the flocks in early preparation of the nesting season. These geese begin to pair up and separate themselves from the migratory flock. By March geese are paired and begin to set up nesting territories laying their eggs in early April and incubating the eggs late in the month. Goose eggs begin to hatch in May. In June adult geese begin their molting and, like their goslings, are unable to fly.
Flight feathers grow and mature on both adult and young geese enabling them to fly in mid-July. July is an important time of the year for us marking the beginning of our annual ‘Goosebusters’ campaign to harass the geese encouraging them to make their home elsewhere. Some geese find our lake too comfortable and safe and will, unfortunately, become “resident” geese forming flocks in August and September to stay for the season. Migratory geese move out of our area in October through December.
Your Lake Management Committee thanks you for your efforts last year reporting nesting sites and harassing geese to move them along. You’ve made a noticeable contribution to benefit our lake community.
Love our lake and be lake responsible.