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Councilor honking mad about all those goddamn geese

Geese in Hyde Park

Blame Canada geese: The honey badgers of the avian world.

Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George refuses to duck the issue any longer: Boston has become infested by Canada geese that befoul our parks, sidewalks and waterways and chase after other animals, little children and even small adults.

In a request to fellow councilors for a formal hearing on what to do about the fowl beasts, Essaibi-George writes each bird can "produce as much as three pounds of fecal matter every day, causing little league teams to spend time cleaning fields, dog owners to clean goose feces from their pets’ paws, and walkers to walk in the street to avoid fouled sidewalks."

Also, they're territorial as all get-out and that makes them a menace to "other wildlife, children and small adults, hissing and even slapping and biting."

She notes that in Washington, the National Park Service has successfully used border collies to "haze" the birds away from the National Mall.

The council will consider her request at its regular meeting tomorrow, which starts at noon in the council's fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

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Comments

I don't really care either way but if it means a whole pack of adorable border collies running around public parks being cute I'm 1000000% for taking measures!!!

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Of border collies and other working dogs that make terrible house pets in the city. Give them a job and clear out the geese. Everybody wins. Except the geese. And the dogs not suited to chasing geese. But mostly wins.

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They can fan out into the city and teach our pedestrians how to stay on the curb until the walk signal appears.

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Would be pedestrian control lights that showed "walk" during those times that the traffic lights prohibit a vehicle from crossing through that crosswalk.

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The Canadian equivalent of the TLF?

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There are too many of them. With no real predators and lots of food, they do what animals do and their population grows unchecked. Scaring them away from one place is OK, except they just go elsewhere. (Kind of like rounding up the homeless and busing them to a park in Quincy. Not really a long-term solution.)

A longer hunting season (not in the city, obviously) seems to be the only answer.

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and therefore not going where hunters are so hunting is not a solution. I'm not anti-hunting, just pointing out that it won't help here.

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You can't harm them due to the MBTA - Migratory Bird Treaty Act. IMHO, it's time for that treaty to be revised. Many of these geese don't migrate anymore and they aren't a species in need of protection.

But short of chasing them away or making the grass they eat sour, there's little the city or state can do. It's a John Kerry problem, at least until January.

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Apparently you don't need to go as far as changing the law. Apparently you can get a permit to "take" protected species.

https://www.animallaw.info/article/detailed-discussion-migratory-bird-tr...

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Hunting is banned within city limits. There are even No Hunting signs on at least one Boston street (Meadow Road, way, way down in Readville).

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You can hunt them during hunting season (in September/January-February). Probably not in Boston parks, though...

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We're hunting Elmers!

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You can't harm them due to the MBTA - Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

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New restaurant idea... Goose Burgers.

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..........and even small adults. hahahahahahahaha

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some of metallica's finest work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAITxlCsj4Y

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Canadian geese shitting all over our fair city. It's enough to make ya sick!

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Keep those damn geese from coming in from Canada and eating all our grass!

We can do it with WINNING and all of the oil in Iraq that we should have taken with us so that ISIS couldn't get it!

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I've seen one hazing the geese on the Esplanade, but I don't spend enough time there to notice how effective it is. And to do all the parks in the city you would need a bunch of them.

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There are trained dogs that patrol the Esplanade (hired by DCR I assume) to chase the geese off. The geese are smart enough to figure out to fly out to the river when the dogs show up and then fly back when they leave.

A different outfit has been hired by the city's Parks Dept and the Friends of the Public Garden to use dogs to chase geese from the lagoon at the Public Garden. The geese there are smart enough to figure out to fly away (to the Charles or across the street to the Common) while the dogs are present and then return after a suitable interval.

So dogs don't seem like only a temporary and very local solution, if that.

Somebody, not sure if DCR or DFW, has routinely tracked down nests in the past to "addle" eggs - drown them in water or paint them with oil to kill them. They put the eggs back so that the geese don't just lay new ones. After a while the eggs don't hatch and they give up. But it's a very labor-intensive process - one person to fend off the geese defending the nest, the other to do the addling. And they miss lots of nests (geese are surprisingly good at hiding nests for such a large bird) or the nests are inaccessible. I haven't seen any addling activity recently where I've seen it in the past (Esplanade, e.g.) so maybe that's been abandoned.

So what else? Apparently just killing them is not acceptable. They'd have to kill thousands to make a significant dent in the population and I just don't see that happening - the public outcry would be enormous.

Some places have tried distributing feed laced with birth control but it's expensive and I'm not sure how effective it is.

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Get some swans -- they hate geese (but are OK with ducks). I have seen one pair of swans drive a hundred geese out of a lake for the whole time the swans were there. When the swans left, the geese came back. The trick would be persuading the swans to stick around.

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My office is surrounded by a large-ish field with a couple of ponds. The company used to employ a full-time border collie for goose control. Now we have a pair of swans. They work much better.

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Swans are considered worse pests than Canada Geese by many, and their nests are actively disrupted in places on the South Shore to keep their population down.

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I did some searching for swan problems on the South Shore. While there were some saying they are a problem, and that lots of people wished they were gone, I found NOBODY saying they are worse than geese. One swan family may be worse than one goose family, but the limited number of swans is not going to be more trouble than huge flocks of geese. My suspicion is that they are complaining about the swans because they don't have infestations of geese. The swans keep the geese away.

So, do you actually have someone saying swans are worse than geese?

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There will be no babies born if two females are settled in together. They just build a nest for sterile eggs and buy a Subaru.

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The ones on the Esplanade recognize the car in which the dogs arrive, and are outta there before the car is even parked. I saw this and it amazed me.

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I run on the Esplanade almost every day and while I see plenty of geese, I've never seen any dogs out chasing them.

I do encourage dog owners to let their dogs off-leash for a bit to chase them. "Hey I wouldn't mind if you let Fido run and chase for a bit"

Maybe more frequent harassment is the answer. I don't know. The crap they produce is nasty, not to mention ruining/stripping the actual grass.

Meanwhile all the tourists keep feeding them.

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each can produce as much as three pounds of fecal matter every day, causing little league teams to spend time cleaning fields

they're territorial as all get-out and that makes them a menace to other wildlife, children and small adults

Adam, I think this is a double post--if we're going to talk about its board members, we should put this in the previously posted discussion about the rebranding of the BRA.

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Let's just introduce a bunch of coyotes to our parks? They were native once, right?

They should take care of the Geese.

PS- I agree, they are a menace and don't seem to deserve a lot of extra legal protections.

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There are plenty of coyotes in at least one park in this city - Stony Brook Reservation.

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I saw one lounging in the Arboretum maybe 3 years ago, very unexpected and unnerving. And another reason for dog owners to keep their dogs leashed.

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Everything I've read says that coyotes are not native to the northeastern US. They were a western species that moved east after we wiped out the wolves that are native to the region.

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The green goose feces is the worst. They should buy falcons to prey on those geese.

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And then gorillas to eradicate our burgeoning falcon infestation.

But how do you get rid of the gorillas? Oh well, gorillas for errbody.

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That's the beauty of it. When winter comes, the gorillas just freeze to death.

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But who cleans up the gorilla carcasses?

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You know those goats DCR is using to clean out poison ivy infestations? Like that, only lions.

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You average Peregrine Falcon weighs about 2 lbs, your average Canada Goose about 8 or 9. Falcons like pigeons and songbirds, and occasionally will show their stuff and take out a duck, but a goose is extreme. And falcons, unlike geese, are truly territorial, so you won't find more than a single pair in any one hunting domain. Two falcons against the vast honking hordes are not going to make much difference.

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situation. These fowl are nothing more than poop producing criminals. On the other hand and according to anonymous government sources monitoring the TLF, Turkey shit doesn't stink.

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This statement is entirely factual and in no way coerced through means banned by the Geneva Conventions*

*which we voluntarily follow as nonsignatories to be moral while preserving legal sovereignty.

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Of course, it would help if people would refrain from feeding waterfowl of all kinds, like the posted signs found in most parks explicitly put forth.

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For 100k salary This is what we get for all the shit going on in this city. Elected officials worrying about geese shit. yikes!

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How long, exactly, do you think it took somebody on her staff to write that request?

If you're so concerned about her work, you might want to call her up and ask her about education in general and the issue of homeless kids.

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Cut taxes and spending. She laughed. I doubt a phone call will do anything.

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We don't want the problems that such an approach has created in Kansas, Maine, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas ...

In short: If you want to live in the kind of place that your "advice" creates, there are plenty insolvent shitholes full of poorly educated and impoverished people to chose from. We don't need to manufacture more of them here.

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equals shithole in the liberal pea brain. Go back to the Shattuck.

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That was articulate.

Does that computer of yours help you pray for Sam Brownback or for Louisiana College Football programs?

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the last registered democrat. Tax and spend, tax and spend.

Go pray for more bike lanes you old bag.

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You organize and make them happen with facts, logic, reason, and economic arguments.

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So sad for you that Barbara Anderson is dead. Beating her corpse on UHub won't hasten her return.

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It won't make tax cuts and service cuts stimulate the economy, or make trickle-down economics work for the first time.

These things simply destroy economies and leave states unable to render basic services. They kill people. Plenty of examples.

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Enough people complained about geese and their waste that Essabi-George felt compelled to take action.

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As a resident I am glad to see a councillor devoting efforts to quality of life issues like this-our green spaces make the city livable . I live near the Back Bay Fens and have mostly stopped walking over there because the geese and their shit have overwhelmed the space-they've also colonized the rear lawn of the MFA (where the baby heads are). I believe the efforts to curb the population in the Fens has been limited to egg-addling (my info on this could be out of date), but early in the summer I saw a brood of 8-10 newborns among the dozens and dozens of adults. Since they have an average lifespan of 15 years, with some living into their 20s, it would seem more aggressive "resettlement" efforts should be tried.

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This isn't a minor thing or a simple nuisance - this is a serious public health issue.

It is also a serious water quality issue because shit always washes downhill.

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I can't get a single Councilor to call for a hearing on the mayor's in-progress give-away of the City's $150 million Winthrop Square garage property to the BRA, to pass along to his development cronies. The Councilors won't lift a finger to do something about the illegal extension of the Urban Renewal Plans, done in a way that forever strips the Council, and thus the citizenry, of any voice in the perpetual extension of the Plans -- which confer on the BRA absolute powers over 3,000 acres of central Boston. I mean, these were two of the teeny tiny handful of really important issues over which the Council (and through them, we, the people) actually had some power! And they gave it away! Stupid? Cowardly? Lazy? Corrupt? All of the above?

Yet, here we are, a story about the urgency of goose droppings, the Council is in high gear (apparently this is what they think is exactly at their 6-figure pay grade), and look how many comments! Oy vey!

I'm so dismayed (how have I retained the capacity to be shocked around here?!) that this crop of Councilors has continued the decades-long Council vacuum, choosing to remain blind, deaf and dumb (and dumber) about the important problems that are deforming our city, and to spend their time (and our money) flailing about trivialities and issues over which they have no jurisdiction. I had, for example, high hopes for Michelle Wu -- didn't we all? The guardian of transparency, accountability, and good government process? A chip off the ole' Elizabeth Warren block? Nope. Might as well have cloned Bill Linehan. In fact, now it's Bill Linehan with help from a Harvard-educated lawyer, a dangerous team that has locked up the Council's power over BRA-related issues (hence, no hearings), "reformed" the Council meeting agenda postings so that we now cannot have any clue as to what will be voted on at any given meeting; and no doubt other stuff I don't know about. (As people said to me, "We've been Wu'd!") Annissa, another candidate I thought had potential, has also chosen to remain ignorant on complicated important issues and play softball. Ayanna Pressley has voted the right way on the two above BRA issues, but she is AWOL in terms of leadership on them. Tito Jackson also voted right, and has stood up to speak up, but I'm still waiting for him to use his position to mobilize public action and get something done about them. Why won't anyone do something about mayoral malfeasance around here? Could the Mayor of Boston really, like, shoot someone in the middle of 5th avenue without any consequences?

To paraphrase de Tocqueville: In a democracy, most people get the government they deserve. Unfortunately, the rest of us get it too.

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The geese thing is a no brainer. Your issue (which I am not necessarily in opposition to) has several different constituencies going in very different directions.

In short, if geese voted and/or contributed to political campaigns, we would probably not be talking about this.

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This is clearly pandering to the mindless dog voters that demand constant attention. Publicity whoring is all these hacks can do. The only way to get them to act is to add a dog or diversity angle to your proposal.

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What does the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) recommend?

The DCR seems to be *way too highly politicized*, but appeared to be courageous in advocating for a rattlesnake refuge in the Quabbin.

This is not an easy problem. I'd like to hear from some wildlife professionals.

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And goose meat is pretty tasty stuff. Seems like we could kill two birds and feed some hungry people. I know I've heard of this solution in other cities.

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Which other cities?

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I'd love to see who wins THAT battle.

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How about we round up all the human species that are ruining our parks and sidewalks with feces, needles and litter first then focus on the geese. How dare a wild animal eat and poop on his own land!

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Drones. The answer is drones. They can make the geese flee on land and water. You can utilize them anytime from anywhere.

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    Bur what if they join forces ? What could be more fearsome than a goose-drone hybrid ?

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    That would be a grone.

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    Is there an aural way to get them to disperse? I thought strip malls use recorded bird noises to deter gulls and pigeons from loitering in parking lots.

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    The birds figure out that the bird noises (typically in distress sounds) are not real and show back up.

    Example: they had such a recording at the formerly closed DCR-run Melnea Cass skating rink at Washington St and Martin Luther King Blvd. The pigeons were driven out but returned within 2 weeks. From then on only the neighbors were annoyed by the recordings. The pigeons stayed and pooped everywhere.

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    Predator noises on speakers

    Step 2: actual predators when they return.

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    To be walking through what is now the Ray Flynn Marine Industrial Park on a Sunday and all of a sudden hearing all these screaming birds and looking around and not seeing anything that then realizing its coming out of a loudspeaker in a loading dock at the Au Bon Pain building.

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    In the third world, all the slow birds have already been eaten.

    Give the homeless people barbecues and let them take care of the geese. Thanksgiving every night under the bridge.

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