What to Do If You Encounter a Goose

5 Things to Do If You Encounter a Goose

As geese have adapted to human habitats they have become a common occurrence in our daily lives and sometimes a nuisance in our quest to just run an errand or enjoy a park. With lack of predators and abundance of food, the birds have decided they like the very same areas humans do, therefore increasing the probability of human interaction with geese. Water retention ponds are installed with most large building projects and the architects plan an area to be enjoyed by all (including the geese). Unfortunately, the geese do not share well and will foul the area, claiming it as their own living space. They can be very territorial and aggressive during nesting season, which takes please March through May, as well as when the goslings grow – May through August.

So, what do you do when you come in contact with an aggressive goose?

Many of us have either interacted with a goose or at least seen one walking around a park, parking lot, grass area, etc. Some may see this as just a regular occurrence while coming to and from work. An although these geese may seem comfortable roaming heavily human-populated areas, they are usually more on edge because they’ve both started to claim said area (parking lot, fountain, local park, etc.) and may feel threatened by the presence of humans. Especially if nesting.

Humans and animals interact on a daily basis. That is something that won’t change, and we don’t want it to! We should; however, be armed with the knowledge on how to treat animals, in this case geese, so that when we do interact with them we know exactly what to do so that neither party gets harmed.

Without further ado, here are 5 tips if you ever have an encounter with an aggressive goose:

#1 Face the goose and maintain eye contact

This is not one of those fight or flight scenarios. DO NOT go off screaming and running when you come in contact with an aggressive goose. Stop in your tracks, and look at the goose straight in the eye – just like you would your future father-in-law.

#2 Take it slow

Once you’ve made sufficient eye contact with the goose, as slow as possible without making a lot of noise or any sudden or large movements, back away. Continue to face the goose, and instead of walking straight back, side step. When we back away directly from the goose it encourages them to follow you, side stepping allows you to move away while not disturbing the goose.

#3 Keep calm and carry on

Remember to stay calm! And don’t forget step #1. Continue to face the goose, looking him or her in the eye and slowing side stepping backward. Geese (much like humans, and other mammals) can sense fear. When fear is present it causes the goose to feel the need to defend him or herself. You want to make sure the goose feels calm and no sense of harm from you. Remember, in the gooses eyes you’ve invaded their home.

#4 It’s not fight or flight

We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s very important. DO NOT turn your back to the goose and run away. This tells the goose that there is danger and they need to defend themselves. Remember: all eyes on the goose!

#5 If the goose attacks

It’s possible that even after taking precaution and utilizing the four previous techniques that the goose will still feel threatened. You have “trespassed” their goose habitat. If the goose flies up toward your face, duck and move at a 90-degree angle, still facing the goose. As you continue to move away from the nesting area, the attack should cease.

Geese control and human interaction

The geese habitat is quickly evolving and adapting to the human habitat making geese control as necessary as mowing grass and clearing snow. The geese population in central Ohio continues to increase exponentially as every new goose clutch contains 5 – 7 eggs. A pond with just 4 nesting pairs will be 32 birds in late May. Add to that unmated offspring from the last 2 years still traveling with the nesting pairs and you can have as many as 44 birds, all from 4 nesting pairs!

As the geese population grows, and humans continue to build accidental luxury homes for them, we need to make sure we’re continuing to practice safe geese control and removal practices. You can learn more about what might be attracting geese to your property here, and if you’d like any more helpful tips on goose encounters and/or geese control from your property, please contact Go Geese Go today.