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Got Geese?

Nonmigratory Canada Goose populations have been increasing in many parts of the country. You know if you have them–they are making a mess on your lawn or in your parks! What to do about these big birds? Well, the problem isn’t so much the geese, as our landscaping practices. If you create a lawn next to water, you’ve made a goose Shangri-La. You built it, and they came! Pretty simple!

So what to to about them? Take away what they like, if possible. You don’t see too many geese walking through the forest. You can plant cattails and other aquatic plants to create a barrier between the water and a lawn or grassy area. You can rip out the grass and put in native landscaping. If you can’t get rid of the lawn, you may be able to treat it with chemicals that are noxious to the geese, but otherwise apparently harmless to humans and other wildlife.

And there is always GeesePeace, the organization that can help you humanely haze the geese or otherwise limit their numbers in your area.

Check out some of the following resources for more help:

Extension Wildlife Damage Assessment
Wire Grids (UNL.edu digital commons)
Berryman Institute

Puffin in Your Birdbath?

Back in 1973, Stephen Kress got to pondering the disappearance of Atlantic Puffins from islands off the coast of Maine and came up with a plan to bring back the puffins by transporting young birds to where the birds once nested and attracting them back with decoys. Project Puffin was born and eventually the puffins started nesting again on the islands.

While you may not be able to get a puffin in your birdbath, you can follow Dr. Kress’s lead and bring back the birds that once lived in your neighborhood. By restoring or creating new habitat, you may be able to bring the missing birds back.

For some initial ideas of birds you may want to try and bring back to your yard or neighborhood, check out Audubon’s Birds to Help pages. Choose a bird that you think should be in your yard or neighborhood, and follow the guidelines on the species fact sheets for providing what that bird needs to thrive.