In collaboration with federal and state agencies, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA)
, The Charles River Conservancy
, Geese Peace
, and the surrounding communities, Watertown is working on the population stabilization of resident Canada Geese.What Are Canada Geese?
Canada geese are large birds, averaging 10-14 pounds. Among waterfowl (ducks, geese, and swans) of North America, Canada geese are second only to swans in size. Their long black neck and white cheek markings are particularly distinctive. In Massachusetts, there are two different populations of Canada Geese. The first is the migratory population which passes through in the spring and fall. Massachusetts is one of many resting areas for these migrating birds. The second is the resident population: descendants of captive geese used by waterfowl hunters. With no pattern of migration, these geese began nesting.
Lawns at houses, golf courses, and mowed parks that are well-watered and fertilized, along with the bordering water, provide an excellent source of food. In suburban areas, there are few predators so local populations flourish.
Source: Living With Geese
, Commonwealth of MassachusettsWhy Are Geese A Problem?
Canada geese are grazers. They feed on low grass in our parks, golf courses, and private property, ending in property damage. Geese are also reservoirs for various types of viruses and bacteria, which contaminate our land, drinking, and swimming waters.How You Can Help
- Stop Feeding: Geese concentrate wherever people feed them. Feeding encourages birds to stay in areas where they normally wouldn’t and build up flock sizes that habitats cannot support. The food that the public often feeds geese is not their proper diet (i.e. bread). An improper diet may lead to malnutrition. Feeding makes geese less wary of people and lowers natural winter mortality.
- Reporting: If you have a nest on your property, please notify the Health Department at (617) 972-6446.