The Town of Greenwich takes a proactive approach to mitigating the negative impacts of overabundant resident Canada goose populations. Resident Canada geese are distinct from Migratory geese in that they do not fly north to Canada to nest. Resident populations have become established in the US since the 1950s. Resident Canada geese are attracted to properties with open grassy areas near water features such as many town parks, athletic fields, corporate campuses, schools, and residential lawns.
The Conservation Commission uses a three-part approach to controlling the resident Canada goose population which includes 1) stabilizing the population, 2) hazing geese on certain high-use or environmentally-sensitive properties, and 3) reaching out to residents about the Commission’s population stabilization program and educating the public about problems with feeding geese.
To help stabilize the population, Conservation Commission staff and volunteers apply vegetable oil to goose eggs on predetermined properties during their nesting season which typically occurs late March through early May. Egg oiling is considered the most humane and effective method of stabilizing the resident goose population.
Next, the Conservation Commission has contracted GeesePeace to regularly deploy trained dogs to haze geese on certain town parks. The dogs do not harm the geese, but continually harass them, causing them to seek another area where they will not be disturbed.
The Conservation Commission staff conducts education and outreach activities each year. The town advertises the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) permit program which private property owners can participate in to control resident Canada geese on their property. Conservation staff also provides training to interested residents on proper egg oiling protocols.
Finally, signs discouraging the public from feeding geese and ducks are strategically posted around town. Geese and ducks that are fed nutritionally deficient food, such as bread, may be more susceptible to disease and malnutrition.
For more information about how the Town of Greenwich manages its resident Canada geese, please contact a Conservation Department Staff member at 203-622-6461. Additional information about the USFWS Resident Canada Goose Nest and Egg Registration program is available at: https://epermits.fws.gov/eRCGR/geSI.aspx.