Wednesday, June 29, 2011

TO FOOL A GOOSE? Maybe. Maybe not.

Coyote decoy.  photo provided by Oakland County Parks

There is nothing quite as tasty as a crunched, munched, slurped or sucked goose egg omelette in the shell; that is if you are a coyote wise to the ways of Oakland County. The past ten years have seen an explosive growth of geese on golf courses, palatial lawns, mowed areas of parklands and most anywhere grass is cropped close. Geese are  highly adaptable grazing animals.
And we give them plenty of grass to graze.

Coyotes too are highly adaptable and these intelligent predators know opportunity when they see it. Or smell it.  Adult geese, goslings and goose eggs make for fine entrees.
Geese are not bird brains. They learn what danger is and what danger is not.
They waddle towards the sweet little well-meaning lady tossing bread crumbs.
The flee from four-legged animals, coyotes included.

Oakland County Parks has used that bit of knowledge as a catalyst to place full size coyote decoys at Waterford, Springfield and Groveland Oaks Parks. The decoys are in areas where a reduction  in goose numbers is desired.  Decoys are moved a few times a day to avoid goose habituation.  
 The project is on a trail basis.

BOTTOM LINE: I have seen pigeons sitting calmly on top of roof top  great horned owl decoys and I smile when I view pictures of crows perched on scarecrows.  As ferocious as this decoy may seem to human eyes, I would not be surprised if after awhile geese will graze next to this stealthy yellow-eyed, non-moving predator stuck on a stick.  
Geese are wary of motion.  Shapes are of little concern if not moving. 
Coyotes and geese both learn from experience: That is their dance of evolution.
 "Hey kids, this is just a dummy! Lets eat!, the gander may signal.
Is this a good project?
Yes it is, for without science experimentation the answers remain honking in the winds.


Blogger Sandman256 said...

Geese know what a shotgun blast means. Geese are not any trouble if it wasn't for their dropping and golfers not having to clean their clown shoes.

June 29, 2011 at 11:05 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a similar problem in our local parks with Geese. We started to pick up all the goose poo and fling it at the sweet little old ladies that were feeding them. Problem one solved. Got some of them coyotes decoys, but the local dog population kept stealing them and using them at home for God knows what. I am surprised that Oakland County did not go right to getting REAL coyotes and letting them loose on the goose so to say. I remember back in the mid 80s Detroit was going to allow shooting seagulls at the landfill for a one day shoot-a-thon to anyone that brought their own gun. Needless to say, it is easier just to throw crap at sweet old ladies. LOL

June 29, 2011 at 11:37 AM 

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