The Great Goose Roundup

To say Aurora Shores had a love-hate relationship with its Canadian geese population would be something of an understatement. From its inception, the community was touted as a nature lover’s paradise where the amenities of the city and the beauty of the countryside met. A series of advertisements from the 1980s even enlisted the lowly goose as a means of drawing potential homeowners. By the 1990s, however, things had taken a turn and the residents retaliated against the honking harbingers of aggravation.

Semiannual goose roundups were inaugurated to curb the population of geese that naturally flock to the area, and the tradition continues today. In the spring, volunteers fueled with a hatred for flying fowl chase off nesting adults and violently shake the eggs, causing their contents to scramble. In the summer, “the young birds are too young to fly . . . and the adults are molting, which renders them incapable of flight,” said John Vieland, president of Aurora Shores when he was interviewed by the Plain Dealer. Vieland went on to explain, “The goal . . . is to get rid of as many of these dang geese and their dang geese dung as possible. And it is some job . . . These things, they defecate every three to four minutes. It’s everywhere.” (Plain Dealer)

While Canadian geese are protected under state wildlife laws as well as the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, this does not prevent the use of “non-lethal scare and hazing tactics,” according to the Ohio Division of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife.