Canada goose attacks: How to avoid them during the spring peak

Canada geese are all over the city's parks and pathways, and can sometimes act aggressively towards people and pets. A Calgary bird expert has some tips for a more peaceful coexistence.

It can be an uneasy coexistence for people and geese in the city

Sid Andrews of the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary gives his advice for running into Canada geese with their goslings.

It's that time of year. Spring has sprung, the grass is 'riz' and the Canada geese are all over the city's paths and parkways.

And while people and geese coexist peacefully most of the time, there can be conflicts in an urban setting.

Calgarian Jillian Daniel recently witnessed an incident in her Beltline neighbourhood.

"(I) recently had encountered it watching a man walk his dog down the street and the goose had come after the dog, wings outstretched, ready to look for a fight."

Daniel ran into her building to avoid a confrontation with the goose. 

'Don't make eye contact'

Sid Andrews, with the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, says the geese will usually stay close to water, but they also call residential areas home. 

A family of geese cross the bike path in S.W. Calgary. (Submitted by Katy Anderson)

"It's a population of geese that are used to coexisting and that means they will be come into contact with us because there are good sources of food and good habitat for nesting," he said. 

Andrews says in spring the new parents are also protecting their young and anything fast-moving or loud could be considered a threat.

"I don't make eye contact," said Andrews. "I talk quietly and move very slowly."

He suggests that anyone who encounters a truly aggressive goose should contact the city's parks department.


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