GeesePeace Model Program

Canada geese and other wildlife live within or at the fringe of our landscapes and communities placing them in conflict with us.

Our challenge is to devise means for wildlife to live benignly in the transitional space with minimal harm to the wildlife or disruption of the human community, wildlife habitat or natural areas.

  • Manage resident Canada geese through population stabilization, habitat modifications and site aversion so that the numbers of geese are in balance with other wildlife and no longer pose a significant problem in parks, public areas and recreational facilities.

  • Create a model program for the management of Canada geese that is sustainable, economic, effective and non-controversial and engages the whole community in a coordinated, cooperative effort.

  • Educate the public on the history of Resident Canada geese, their unique behavior and why recreational of geese and other wildlife is bad for the wildlife and the community.

Resident Canada Geese Behavior - Overview

The GeesePeace program uses adaptive management; adjusting timing and strategies as the situation warrants, and adjusting to changes in geese behavior during the year.

March to mid May:

During mating and nesting (Late February through mid May) the Resident geese are in pairs, not in flocks.

When resident Canada geese begin nesting in late March and early April, the mother goose is on her nest and the male (sentinel) goose is close by. Juvenile geese (under three years of age) do not nest, but may pair up or congregate in flocks.

During the mating and nesting period geese should not be chased or harassed unless the nest is located in an area which is close to human activity (like and entrance to a building). If geese are chased during this period they will just find another nesting site nearby resulting in “walk–in” goslings.

Mid May to late June:

In early May, when nesting is completed the resident Canada geese look for a safe place to molt. Since the plan includes extensive egg oiling, there will be no or only a few goslings allowing the resident geese to leave on a molt migration[1].[2] 

Late June to mid August:

Most geese leave on a molt migration.  Only injured geese and those geese that had goslings remain at the site. Most geese are flightless by mid June.

Late August and on:

Geese in other areas will have completed their molt so it is possible that geese from these locations will visit program sites as part of their pond hopping after the molt.  In September the numbers of geese may increase with the start of the early hunting season as geese may fly out of the rural areas for sanctuary in the suburbs and cities.

[1] Molt Migration of Atlantic Flyway Resident Population Canada Geese,  Cornell University et al. 2004

[2]Movements and Survival of Molt Migrant Canada Geese from Southern Michigan, LUUKKONEN, PRINCE, MYKUT; The Journal of Wildlife Management 72(2):449–462; 2008