Why Are Geese Aggressive?

May 21, 2018

Most people see geese as mean. Whether it’s from a personal experience, a funny video they see online, or a story they have heard from a family member or friend, most everyone has this opinion of our feathered friends. But are they actually mean, or just protective parents? The answer may be more complicated than it seems. Because geese control in the Columbus, Ohio area is our business, we aim to understand these creatures beyond just the legends and viral videos. What makes them tick? Why do they act the way they do? What are their habits? Is it our fault they can be aggressive? In learning more about them, we gain an understanding to why they can be aggressive at times and how we can avoid confrontations with them.

No Place Like Home

Just as humans and other animals do, geese know the importance of protecting their home. Female geese stay in the nest during incubation, and it is the males job to protect the nest at all costs. Imagine someone you were unfamiliar with was attempting to move in on your home, or worse, your loved ones. Normally, if a potential predator gets too close to the nest, the gander will send out a warning call. If this does not work, they may become aggressive as a last resort to protecting their home and family. The typical goose nest will be within 50 yards of water, will contain some amount of cover, and will be elevated enough to give the nesting goose a clear view of their surroundings.

Protective by Nature

While serious injuries from geese are uncommon, it is generally a good idea to avoid them during breeding season especially. Because many geese are fed by people, they become desensitized to humans, and will often build their nests within close proximity of busy areas. This may sound pleasant, but it can cause a riff in the natural tendencies of geese. Being used to being around humans does not get rid of their protective nature, which will then cause them to become aggressive to those same people that they were used to being around once breeding season comes around. This, among many other reasons, is why you shouldn’t feed any geese.

Watch the Signs

Not only are geese understandably protective of their families, but they are top-notch at reading potentially harmful situations. Geese have excellent vision and will pay especially close attention to your eye movement. If they sense you are anything but harmless, they will go into defense mode to protect their loved ones. Looking them straight in the eye and pointing your body directly at them is key to showing them you mean no harm. If you squint your eyes, turn your body to run, or make sudden movements, they will interpret that as predatory behavior. Back away slowly and maintain normal eye contact to avoid causing a potential conflict.

While geese are generally pleasant, they can become aggressive if they sense danger or if someone is threatening their loved ones, much like humans or any other animal. Their natural instincts are to build near water, and for that reason, are likely to be fed by humans that can cause harm to the bird’s natural disposition. Once we understand these birds in more detail, we can learn how their instincts to be good parents causes them to be misunderstood by the general public. To learn more about how to handle geese or to inquire about geese control, contact us today.