With their distinctive honks and propensity to graze on roadside grass, Canada geese are among the most ubiquitous of our wild neighbors.

And we’re the ones who invited them in: Once driven to the brink of extinction, the species was brought back by well-meaning people who released Canada geese throughout the United States. Suburban environments provide a food-rich home for geese, but communities often resort to lethal roundups when their presence (and their droppings) become a nuisance. However, there are humane alternatives to killing.

Other species of geese still suffer within the foie gras industry. The product—which is a duck or goose’s fatty liver—is produced by force-feeding the birds, often through pipes or tubes shoved down their throats.

mother goose protecting her goslings
Bebedi
/
iStock.com
Use common sense to avoid agitating geese.

Like all parents, geese are protective of their offspring. An adult goose who hisses or seems defensive is likely just defending her young. Any human in the area should back away slowly to avoid scaring her even further.

Did you know?

Many populations of Canada geese don’t migrate, instead living year-round in a single location. That’s because flocks released into the U.S. didn’t have parents to teach them how to migrate.

Bird in birdbath, enjoying a humane backyard
ebettini
ebettini

No matter how big or small your outdoor space, you can create a haven for local wildlife. By pledging to provide basic needs like water, food and shelter for wildlife, you can make a difference in your own backyard.