Friday, March 22, 2019

They're Back!

At a meeting of the Friends of the Hudson City Cemetery back in February, the problem of Canada geese befouling the pond and adjacent areas was brought up toward the end of the meeting. (See Dan Undell's video of the meeting, starting at about 52:40). 

Gerald Fenoff pointed out that Canada geese always returned in the spring to the place where they were born. That would mean there will be about twenty-four geese returning to the cemetery in the next few days. Dominic Merante shared the information, based on his own experience, that it is possible to frighten the geese away from their old haunt and force them to go someplace else. The method he suggested was positioning big, tall faux flamingos around the pond, to scare the geese away, but cautioned that there was only a small window of time in which to do that if it were to be successful.

Alas, the window may be closing . . . or it may have already closed. Yesterday morning, when Joey and I were in the cemetery, we observed a pair of Canada geese already back.

And then there was this guy--a mallard drake, without a mate in sight.



  1. I realize that the geese make a mess, but they are wildlife and that is their home. It seems a shame to move them on.

  2. Alderman Merante is right - you've only got a small window in which to discourage the geese. Regular dog patrols this time of year would help, terriers being perfect for the task.

    The pond itself is a human artifact maintained for our own cultural purposes; it follows that our relationship to these particular geese is itself a variety of artifact.

    It has only been in our lifetimes that Canada Geese, as a species, have split to form migratory and semi- or non-migratory populations, the latter group having learned to exploit human activities that suit their preferences; e.g., airports, gold courses, race tracks, municipal parks and ponds, etc.

    It's a major problem throughout the east, and the federal government has spent millions in search of a remedy.

    The best remedy so far: terriers.

    Also, mark your calendars because next year they'll be back probably to the day. This is solvable, but it will require discipline.

  3. Ah, city life versus country life. Out here in Taghkanic, Mary and I thrill to the cries of Canada geese as they return to our lakes and fields every spring. Beautiful V-shaped silhouettes in the sky as they circle before landing in Bell's Pond. Or we are startled to hear and see dozens and dozens take to the sky from their early morning grazing in Skoda's cornfield. I was even moved to write a book recently, "Lucy and Max," a love story describing the strange and inspiring pairing of a Canada Goose and a ferocious guard dog.

  4. I gotta say, I wonder what all the wildlife says about humans every time we mow down their habitat to build something dumb? Where are they supposed to live????
    I have no problem with the animals around me here in Hudson, it's the humans that cause the problems(i.e feeding these geese).