You may have noticed Canada geese starting to make an appearance in Edmonton and over the next few weeks they’ll return by the thousands.
“Right now, all the geese are coming back and they are going to be jockeying for prime nesting sites,” WILDNorth executive director Dale Gienow said.
WILDNorth, a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation society, gets dozens of calls each year from Edmontonians dealing with geese nesting on their properties.
“It’s really important for residents of Edmonton, if they don’t want those nests on their balconies, parking lots, or rooftops — to deter these animals from starting to build their nests.”
Gienow says there are many different ways to do that.
“You can actively be outside,” Gienow said, “if you see them building nests with nesting materials and being active — you can get out there and shoo them away.”
“You can put flagging tape, so surveyors tape, that flaps in the wind — or anything that has some motion to it will keep them away.
“They also like flat areas to nest so they can see predators coming, so if you have shrubbery or physical barriers, they’re not likely to nest in that area.”
If you’re too late, however, you have to leave their nests alone.
“These are federally protected birds,” Gienow said.
“The incubation of the eggs is about one month, so once those nests are there, and once the eggs are there — they’re there for a month and you can’t do anything.”
Once the month is over, the babies hatch within a day. Then they head to the closest water source.
“Maybe they decide to nest in front of your business,” Gienow said. “The parents can get very protective over their eggs, so it’s going to infringe on the number of people that come to your business.
“Maybe it’s (on) your balcony — you can’t step outside your house, because there’s a nesting bird on your balcony.
“(People) are concerned because it’s interrupting their normal activities and there’s nothing that can be done about it,” he said.
There are an estimated seven million Canada geese living in North America, according to the Canadian Wildlife Service.
–with a file from The Associated Press