April 5, 2010
Easter Egg Hunt
Volunteers give up their Easter Sunday to help humanely reduce Canada goose populations
by Maggie Brasted
Volunteers launched the Canada goose egg addling season in Olney, Maryland, April 4, 2010. This is our sixth season at this site and our tenth season in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Geese take no holidays
The birds are no respecters of holidays or weather. So we were lucky to have the best weather ever for our first visit over this Passover and Easter weekend. In our area, the first weekend in April is the best time to find completed nests; rarely are the eggs too old to humanely addle. (If we did find older eggs, we would just put them back untreated.)
On this visit we found 30 nests. We will likely find between 15 and 20 additional nests this season.
Planned parenthood for geese
Addling to keep flock size stable has checked conflicts in Olney, where 100 Canada geese were rounded up and killed in July 2004 for leaving droppings on lawns and walks. Olney resident and addling volunteer Mary Moneymaker said, “This addling has really made a huge difference in my community. There just aren’t the numbers of geese around our pond in the summer making people angry about the mess.”
Stress now or later
Mary and the other volunteers don’t like to distress the nesting geese. But after watching geese die at their doorsteps, volunteers are willing to distress adult geese in the spring to prevent another deadly round up of adult and their young in the summer.
Maggie Brasted, Director, Urban Wildlife Education and Research, runs an addling program entering its 10th season. She has trained numerous volunteers and facility staffers to addle. She also moderates GooseTracks, an online group, which keeps her in touch with addling programs around the country.
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