Canada geese are descendents of native Canada geese but no longer migrate.
The Canada goose is the most abundant of all North American geese.
The ancestors of resident geese migrated through the Atlantic flyway from
breeding grounds in Canada to wintering areas of the south where it does
not freeze. Now these pesky geese have forgotten how to migrate and live
year round in suburban and urban communities of Pennsylvania.
While migratory geese briefly visit Pennsylvania in the spring and fall,
resident Canada geese can now be found year round in every county of the
Canada geese can weigh up to 18 lb. This giant bird is easy to recognize
by its black neck and white eye patch and chest.
By the early 1900s, Canada geese were nearly hunted to extinction. In
fact, Pennsylvania had no reports of nesting pairs before 1935. However,
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act created protection for existing geese, and
intensive relocation programs helped repopulate historic habitats. When
farmers switched their crops from vegetables to corn and wheat, geese
were given an abundant winter food source. Changing patterns of land use
also provided predator-free nesting areas. Today, Canada geese have strong
reproducing populations found throughout the Commonwealth.
There are many costly and hazardous impacts from resident Canada geese
to aircraft, each year averaging $350 million;
droppings which can harm water quality and cause algal blooms;
Allowing grass to grow along the border of a pond can discourage geese
from taking residence. Some distasteful repellents are also effective
in discouraging the birds. The use of hard-to-see monofilament fishing
line has also been effectively used to deter geese from settling in local
ponds and waterways. Egg addling results in the hatching of fewer eggs, which in turn can reduce
the growth of the Canada goose population.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE RESIDENT CANADA GOOSE