The number of Canada geese
nesting and thriving in suburban areas has increased dramatically in recent
years, creating nuisance problems. Many communities have been forced to
examine goose management issues. Yet population control methods and their
effectiveness are as varied as opinions on wildlife management issues.
How many geese is too many?
What are the most effective population control methods and how are they
implemented? How do communities and wildlife agencies deal with social aspects
of management techniques?
Suburban Goose Management
(28.30 running time) offers a critical look at current techniques from hunting
and habitat management to the use of border collies.
My role was production
assistant; I went on several different location shoots, including a hunt
in Pennsylvania and egg-addling on Long Island. I learned, among other things,
that carrying the sticks (tripod) changes your center of balance. It's not
cool to try and make the same leaps the guys do. (Yes, I fell in a mudhole
and spent the next three hours with freezing feet. But I didn't complain.
Which, if nothing else, must at least have made me look like a trooper,
albeit a klutzy one.)
I documented one of our
downstate shoots with my still camera. Below you can see a team of egg addlers,
who are hired in breeding season to scare the geese away from their nest
long enough to puncture and destroy the eggs with a long, thin needle. The
geese return to the nest and continue to wait for the eggs to hatch, rather
than breeding again. (Top photo shows goose sniffing eggs with suspicion
after her return to the nest.)
We shot the video at a
variety of locations, including several parks, an industrial center, and
a golf course that had been overrun with geese. No one got bitten, though
at one point our sound man had to fend off an angry Papa Goose with the
Egg addlers scare away a brood pair in order to gain
access to the nest and destroy the eggs.
A long darning needle is poked into the egg, destroying
the embryo but not the shell; the geese don't realize what has happened
and continue to try and hatch the eggs.
It was easy enough for the videographer Ric Hase and sound engineer Bertrand Reed to get close and trail the
But producer Gary Ingraham tried in vain to get the geese to walk INTO the
Ric focuses on Papa Goose while the mother guards
Bert keeps his distance as papa comes over to
see if he can scare away the intruders.