Put the varmint rifles away folks -- we’re talking about humane ways to get the geese under control.
That may be easier said than done. Some local residents are keenly aware of what it’s like to live near bodies of water that have been infested, or uh, adopted by the roving geese. Complaints about incessant honking, germ-ridden feathers and excrement-fouled waterways, lawns and sidewalks are common. But one doesn’t need to live near a gaggle of geese to be directly affected by them. Anyone on a plane taking off or coming in for a landing at Reagan National or Dulles could suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of a goose or two. (See Miracle on the Hudson.)
So back to the humane way to control the destiny of the honking Canadian imports. It’s a process called “addling,” developed by the Humane Society of the United States. Addling involves “applying oil to goose eggs to prevent embryo development,” according to Fairfax County Biologist Victoria Monroe.
Not really. One has to find the eggs before they can be addled. In addition to learning addling, volunteers will also be schooled on how to locate and identify nesting areas.
So how well-protected is a goose nest? Let’s just say you don’t want to go out there alone.
Go to one of the training sessions to learn more. Hands-on training will be held at the Fairfax County Government Center in Conference Rooms 2/3 on:
- Monday, April 5, from 1:30-3 p.m.
- Sunday April 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information and to register for a training session, contract Fairfax County Wildlife Biologist Victoria Monroe or email Victoria.Monroe@FairfaxCounty.gov.