Calgary

Get lost, goose: City hall takes steps to prevent bird family's annual nest

Each spring for more than a decade, a goose — who city workers call Lucy — would nest on a planter on the east side of city hall.

Mother and father goose were known to hiss or charge at people who came too close

For at least a decade, a goose, who city hall workers dubbed Lucy, would nest on a planter on the east side of the building. (CBC)

Calgary's city hall is rolling out the plywood to keep an annual visitor from squatting near the building, again.

Each spring for more than a decade, a goose — who city workers call Lucy — would nest on a planter on the east side of city hall.

In years past, Lucy (although not necessarily the same bird) and her mate would be allowed to hatch their eggs before being escorted to the river by volunteers from a wildlife group.

Jillian Henderson, executive advisor with facility management, stands in front of the city hall planter, which now has a piece of plywood bolted on top to keep the geese from nesting. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

The pair were known to hiss or charge at people who came too close to the eggs.

But this year, the city took steps to keep Lucy from coming to roost in the planter by bolting sheets of plywood across the planter.

There's no eggs or nest right now.

Geese are protected by law once they nest. In this file photo, the mother goose's head is just barely visible on top of the planter, the area was cordoned off to ensure people stay back and no one gets injured. (CBC)

Jillian Henderson, executive advisor with facility management, says keeping the birds at bay is best for the geese.

Preventing the nest will become the new annual tradition.

"We reached out to the Canadian Wildlife Service and consulted with them and their recommendation was actually for their well-being, it's better to block off the location so that the geese are forced to nest somewhere closer to the river, without the traffic, without the construction," she said.

In the past, the city had to close some of the nearby doors to the public to keep them safe from being pecked by the birds.

With files from Scott Dippel

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