Guelph Humane Society advises people to stay away from geese

Guelph Humane Society are advising people to stay away from geese during nesting season. Ken Hashizume/CJOY

It is that time of the year where geese are seen in and around Guelph.

The Guelph Humane Society is urging residents to be on the lookout and to exercise caution when they are near geese.

“Nesting season for them starts as early as February,” said Victoria Welsh, manager of animal services at the humane society.

“That’s when you will see the pairs kind of grouping and very being adamant to stay in one area.”

Geese can become very protective and start to get agitated when around people, according to Welsh. She advises the public to adapt in order to minimize potential conflicts.

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“Wildlife is best parent for their own young,” Welsh said. “They are beautiful to watch but getting too close causes a lot anxiety.”

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Geese often laid their eggs in parks, backyards, or even parking lots. Welsh said this is to allow adult geese to keep an eye on their nests with minimal obstruction of view and protect their eggs from predators like foxes and coyotes.

When the eggs are hatched, the baby geese and their parents move from the nest to a body of water such as the Speed River. That is when motorists will see them crossing streets to get to their destination.

Welsh said in those situations, people can contact the humane society.

“We can put up signage where geese are nesting just to let people know to avoid the area,” said Welsh. “We can also assist them in busy roadways to make sure they and their young ones are not struck by vehicles.”

Canadian geese are protected species under the Migratory Bird Convention Act. It is against the law for people to disturb them or damage their nests.


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