Backyard Chirper

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Who you gonna call… Goose Busters?

I’ve been a vocal critic against the gassing of thousands of Canadian Geese at New York City’s Prospect Park, so news that the park was trying to find a new way to scare off the geese was welcomed.

For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the story, the mayor of NYC mandates the killing of hundreds of geese each year on the basis that they might pose a risk to planes taking off at nearby airports.

This was all sparked by the US Airways plane that crashed landed in the Hudson after striking a flock of geese while taking off.

In response to the over-the-top gassing of the geese, some groups have been thinking of ways to reduce the presence of the large birds.

Enter three Border collies named Cleo, Samantha and Spanky.

The New York Times and WNYC reported that these three dogs were being employed to scare and harass the birds away from Prospect Park. While it may seem inhumane to get a bunch of dogs to chase after geese at the park, it’s actually a much better alternative to them being killed.

The dogs will be doing their best to make staying in Prospect Park miserable by chasing the geese and even taking kayak rides on the lake to bark at them.

The Goose Busters, the name of the company that owns the dogs, are being paid $725 a week by the Prospect Park Alliance in hopes of making federal agents pass up the park when going on one of their late night cullings. In fact, the Goose Busters have been contracted in a number of places looking to reduce the populations of wild geese for different reasons.

While this is definitely a good idea to help naturally push the geese to find new homes, the major issue is where they will go afterward, since there aren’t many places geese can go in NYC. Most of them go to a nearby cemetery where the groundskeeper also chases them away, usually back to the park.

The real effectiveness of this method won’t become apparent for a while because the geese keep having to go back and forth and the populations are still low from recent killings.

This method along with others, including oiling goose eggs so they don’t hatch, will undoubtedly keep the sociable residents from becoming prominent fixtures at the beautiful city park. Although it’s more desirable to keep them around, it’s better to have the geese leave the park alive than to leave it lifeless.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.