Quick Goose Facts
Canada Geese are regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the guidelines set forth by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 making it unlawful to kill, sell, hunt, disturb nests and eggs, or purchase and possess migratory birds unless permitted by the Secretary of the Interior.
Goose Life Facts:
Life Span of up to 24 years
Mating is for life. If a mate is lost, a new mate is often found
Average nest size 3 to 6 eggs with as many as 12 possible
Molting of adult birds occurs every summer, for up to a 6 week period rendering all birds flightless
Nests can be very large, up to 4 feet across, built on land and usually close to water
Geese are grazing animals, eating grasses and other succulent plant material
An adult goose eats up to 4 lbs of grass daily
An adult goose drops 2 lbs of fecal matter daily
Goose fecal matter has been linked to the spread of diseases and bacterial infections
Population growth ranges from 10 to 17% annually
Geese typically return to the same nesting and birth sites every year
Current goose conflicts in urban and suburban settings are often caused by resident Canada Geese flocks and not migratory birds. During the 1930’s an ambitious effort was undertaken to reintroduce a resident population of geese throughout the Continental United States.
Many things have changed since the reestablishment of resident geese, particularly the use and development of our land resources. Creating open spaces with well manicured lawns, often dotted with ponds and lakes, and the lack of predators in these suburban settings creates an environment in which geese can thrive. Extensive food resources, excellent nesting areas, and security from predators are all that is needed to create a population explosion among resident Canada Geese.
Often these Geese feed in adjacent farmland creating a hardship to the land owner. Hunting access is often limited due to the proximity to human environments.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimate the current (2002) national resident goose population at 3.5 million. At an average annual growth rate of 10%, within three years 1.1 million new geese will be added to the current population.
These unnatural conditions work to produce healthier and larger geese capable of laying larger nests and living much longer than their migratory cousins.