The humane way to limit flock growth and stabilize goose populations is to keep eggs from hatching, in a process known as “addling.” It can be done by treating eggs with corn oil or by removing the eggs from the nest, which is humane if done at the earliest stages of development.
It limits the number of geese in places people don’t want more. And it frees adult geese from tending flightless goslings, so they can be encouraged to move elsewhere before summer conflicts are greatest.
It takes a community to addle effectively
Would an addling program benefit your local parks, ball fields and other open spaces? In order to addle, there have to be nests. Some properties have goose issues but no nests. In these cases, detective work during nesting season can uncover nesting sites. Then, volunteers can work with those properties to start addling.
Everybody needs some practical instruction before attempting to addle. Training is needed to identify mated birds, find nests and humanely treat or remove eggs. Take our egg addling course online and see our egg addling manual [PDF] to learn the proper techniques.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) no longer requires special permits to addle in the lower 48 states, but you must register with the service first.
Some states require you to get their permission first. Check on your state's requirements. Many states simply accept USFWS registration, but some have additional requirements.