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Canadian Geese in Pond

Problems With Aggressive Canada Geese

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Spring is breeding season for Canada geese. The birds often become aggressive if they believe that their eggs or goslings are threatened. Even if you don’t see a nest, one may be nearby. If you get too close, a goose may attack to defend it.

Most goose attacks on humans result in minor or no injuries, but severe injuries can happen. Goose attacks have resulted in broken bones, head trauma, and emotional distress. Many of these injuries occur when the person tries to avoid an attacking goose and trips and falls.

If wild geese are fed by people, they lose their natural fear of humans and will often build their nests close to people. The geese will then become aggressive if humans get too close to the nest. This is one of many reasons why it is not a good idea to feed wild geese.

The female stays in the nest with the eggs during the incubation period, and it is the gander’s job to protect them. He usually stays nearby and stands guard. If a potential predator gets too close, the gander will often give a warning call and try to chase it away. If the intruder does not leave quickly, the gander can become aggressive.

Geese have excellent vision and pay close attention to the eyes and body language of people and other animals that they view as potential threats. If a goose begins acting aggressively toward you, maintain eye contact and face your body directly toward the bird. Never close or squint your eyes, and do not turn your back or shoulders away because that will make the goose more likely to attack. Back away slowly and never run, yell, kick, or act aggressively in any way. If you do, the other bird may attack you as well. If a goose flies toward your face, duck or move away from it at a 90-degree angle to the direction of flight. Continue to face the goose at all times.

Remember that geese act aggressively because their instincts compel them to protect their young, just as humans and other animals do. Serious injuries from goose attacks are uncommon, but it is best to avoid geese as much as possible during breeding season.