PTC says, ‘Don't feed the geese!’
Peachtree City is asking residents to avoid feeding geese and ducks at local ponds, in part because of the nuisance they cause and the potential for spreading disease or attracting other animals and their predators.
The city also makes the case that feeding the geese and ducks popcorn, bread or shelled corn is tantamount to giving them junk food and causing an unbalanced diet that can cause deformities in juvenile birds that can hinder their ability to fly.
Feeding the animals causes overcrowding at ponds and lakes, allowing diseases such as botulism and cholera to spread easily, perhaps resulting in large bird die-offs, officials said.
The overcrowding issue also leads to damage to lawn and vegetation, including the goose excrement that accumulates in parks and areas frequented by children.
The contact with humans can cause regularly fed ducks and geese to lose their fear of humans, which can lead to violent bird on human attacks during nesting season, according to the city. Overfeeding the ducks and geese can also lead to the attraction of predators such as foxes or coyotes, officials said.
In the past the city has paid for large flocks of Canada Geese to be removed from Lake Peachtree due to problems at the Picnic Park/All Children’s Playground area.
For residents who are fed up with dealing with geese and ducks near a pond, the city recommends:
• Don’t feed the geese;
• Plant dense hedges or erect fencing near lakeshore areas to reduce access to your lawn;
• Check your property frequently for nest building activity in the spring;
• Remove any nesting materials found unless eggs are present;
• Harass geese that frequent your property (noisemakers, dogs, brooks, rakes) and be as persistent as the geese themselves;
• Some people have had success stringing a wire or string about 10-12 inches high along the shoreline which seems to deter them from crossing.
But before you pull out Wile E. Coyote’s Acme Products catalog for some potential geese violence, know this: the city warns humans against crossing the line into vigilantism. Canada geese are protected under the Georgia and U.S. migratory bird regulations so no one may injure, capture or kill them (except under applicable hunting regulations), no one may disturb geese on an established nest; and no one can collect or destroy goose eggs.
For more information and other ideas to deter geese, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/mode/2098