After the addlers have destroyed the egg...

Suburban Goose Management: Searching for Balance
A Video Production from Cornell Educational Television Center
Media and Technology Services

The number of Canada geese nesting and thriving in suburban areas has increased dramatically in recent years, creating nuisance problems. Many communities have been forced to examine goose management issues. Yet population control methods and their effectiveness are as varied as opinions on wildlife management issues.

How many geese is too many? What are the most effective population control methods and how are they implemented? How do communities and wildlife agencies deal with social aspects of management techniques?

Suburban Goose Management (28.30 running time) offers a critical look at current techniques from hunting and habitat management to the use of border collies.

My role was production assistant; I went on several different location shoots, including a hunt in Pennsylvania and egg-addling on Long Island. I learned, among other things, that carrying the sticks (tripod) changes your center of balance. It's not cool to try and make the same leaps the guys do. (Yes, I fell in a mudhole and spent the next three hours with freezing feet. But I didn't complain. Which, if nothing else, must at least have made me look like a trooper, albeit a klutzy one.)

I documented one of our downstate shoots with my still camera. Below you can see a team of egg addlers, who are hired in breeding season to scare the geese away from their nest long enough to puncture and destroy the eggs with a long, thin needle. The geese return to the nest and continue to wait for the eggs to hatch, rather than breeding again. (Top photo shows goose sniffing eggs with suspicion after her return to the nest.)

We shot the video at a variety of locations, including several parks, an industrial center, and a golf course that had been overrun with geese. No one got bitten, though at one point our sound man had to fend off an angry Papa Goose with the boom.

scaring the geese away from the nest Egg addlers scare away a brood pair in order to gain access to the nest and destroy the eggs.

close-up of addling technique

A long darning needle is poked into the egg, destroying the embryo but not the shell; the geese don't realize what has happened and continue to try and hatch the eggs.

here goosey, goosey, goose It was easy enough for the videographer Ric Hase and sound engineer Bertrand Reed to get close and trail the geese.

Gary unsuccessfully attempts to direct the talent But producer Gary Ingraham tried in vain to get the geese to walk INTO the shot.

Mama guards the next  Ric focuses on Papa Goose while the mother guards the nest.

Papa doesn't like company Bert keeps his distance as papa comes over to see if he can scare away the intruders.


©TLC Productions 1999. All rights reserved.
Unauthorized use or reposting of photos or graphics prohibited.