Geese are leaving a big honkin' mess in Windsor's parks — but the city is working on it
With the arrival of spring, city will be out in 'full force' to clean up goose droppings
If you've taken a gander around Windsor recently, you've likely seen a lot of Canada geese. And with geese comes their waste.
For those walking around parks and natural areas, it means trying to dodge the deposits.
University of Windsor student Mila Macera, who spoke to CBC News at Dieppe Gardens, has experienced it first hand.
"I wear crappy shoes for a reason now. Just in case," she said with a laugh.
Three years ago, the city got a machine to clean up after the geese. James Chacko, Windsor's parks and facilities director, said it will now be out more frequently.
"Certainly now, with the warmer spring weather, we're going to be out in full force. So people will definitely see the equipment out amongst the parks cleaning up after our friendly goose poop."
City of Windsor naturalist Karen Cedar hasn't seen any population estimates but said that geese are doing very well and can be found everywhere locally, especially along the waterfront.
If you don't want geese nesting on your property, one way to discourage them is to plant flowers and shrubs, she said.
That's because geese are attracted to wide open spaces, as they lay their nests on the ground.
"Because they are ground-nesting birds, they need to keep an eye out for predators coming, so the more wide open view they have, the more secure they feel in that they can see a predator approaching," she said.
The city of Windsor removed Canada geese from a park near the airport 10 years for safety reasons, but it has no plans to get rid of geese — which are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act — anywhere else.
While the goose poop may be unsightly, the federal government says there's no direct evidence the droppings pose a hazard to human health.
Geese are among the birds susceptible to avian flu, which has been causing concern in Canada following the discovery of cases in four provinces.
One case involving a Canada goose in the Ottawa area was recently discovered, according to the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit.
With files from Dale Molnar