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Name: Marilyn
Status: other
Grade:
Location: NC
Country: USA
Date: Summer 2012


Question:
I am a retired teacher of the visually impaired and blind; however, I need information to educate my adult neighbors about the correct manner to control a male swan on our lake because he actually terrorizes people. We live in one of 16 homes on a 30 acre lake, and it is lovely; however, the Canadian geese were a major problem due to the huge amount of fecal matter they produce making backyards veritable minefields of goose droppings. Our homeowners association bought one swan which supposedly would control the geese, as it turned out, Crystal got along quite famously with the geese and the decision to buy a male was made. At first, "Sinbad" was fine and when his hormones kicked in was very good at chasing away the geese; unfortunately, it is now impossible to walk in one's own yard, enter a paddle boat or be free from attack by the swan while working in one's yard. The swan couple have had their wings clipped, have bred 8 young'uns after two gestations. Most of the little ones disappear in the circle of life, those that survive do fly away. BTW, one of the families undertook the feeding of the swans and they get a swan diet with vitamins and minerals. I did not quite understand why they should be fed year round siince they live on a lake. Interestingly enough, the woman who feeds them was on her knees in the garden, "Sinbad" came up from behind, jumped on her back and squeezed her so hard that she had bruises and lumps on her arms. He also "bit" her on her thigh and her entire thigh was bruised. Crystal has remained sweeet, Sinbad is nasty even when no chicks are near. Also, another neighbor feeds them bread or whatever from his dock on occasion and he is attacked as well. Thanks for your attention to this matter, it might seem silly, but a good proportion of the people are senior citizens and helpless as far as fending off a swan is concerned. Me included.



Replies:
Marilyn, It doesn’t matter whether anyone feeds the geese/swan or not, they aren’t going to go away because all they need is in the lake. In general, my personal advice is that people shouldn’t feed wildlife. br>
I really like the attached .pdf file from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources which you might distribute to your neighbors, I got it from this URL:

http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/9/pdf/goose%20conflicts/gooseconflict-4.pdf

The .pdf points out that if you feed wild animals they will become dependent on you and that is detrimental to the wildlife. Feeding geese also knocks their natural diet out of balance. Feeding geese (and swans) also teach them to associate people with food, which is unhealthy if they encounter unfriendly people.**** Feeding wildlife also corrupts their natural instinct to migrate during the seasons which could also be deadly to them.****

Here is another good reference internet article:

http://www.articles.lovecanadageese.com/feedingcanadageese.html

A more aggressive tactic would be to release aggressive dogs (especially Jack Russell Terriers) in the area.

The alternative is for the home owner’s association to provide pooper scoopers to residents and set up a system of fines for unkempt areas. That way everyone can enjoy the company of the geese, but it will just take a little more effort.

This URL has links in it for geese control:

http://www.poultrypages.com/goose-facts.html

You can find immensely more info on the internet by using

http://www.google.com and searching for Geese or Swan information.

Sincere regards, Mike Stewart


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