It’s nearly spring: the daffodils are in bloom and the wildfowl have returned to the docks to feather their nests for new clutches of goslings and ducklings. Avoid engaging in a stare-down with the geese, give them a wide berth and don’t blame them for taking such a liking to the planter boxes attached to our homes and lining the docks. Remember that these are federally protected (wild) birds.
Geese and ducks are known to return to a nest—year after year—and once settled on a site, it takes a lot to discourage them. Persistence is required, whether regularly disturbing the nests—remove all bedding and goose matter and level any divots they’ve started—or using spikes and contraptions to thwart their nesting instincts.
In search of alternatives we discovered Bird-B-Gone, a company offering myriad solutions, a good many of them for marine settings. We took a pass on the plastic molded coyote (!) , instead starting with a spider and a repeller (the red and black rotating eyes) and then another spider (see video below). Each addition worked for a while but eventually the geese made another go at building a nest. We might have dented their enthusiasm but we still need to check and occasionally clear the nests.*
There doesn’t seem to be any one solution. Those big webbed goosey feet can easily flatten stakes and other impediments; and rotating predator eyes only seem to work until the geese catch on. Even if you are successful—and your neighbors thank you for discouraging these squawky creatures (they are obnoxiously loud)—they will soon realize that you’ve simply passed the problem on to them.
photos and post by Jenny Stein