Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Celebrating a Holiday Weekend -- They're BACK!

The holiday weekend began with a bang this past Saturday night.
That is when going to Harlem Meer, I suddenly discovered two new geese!
It seemed a bit strange at first that the two geese resting on the south embankment showed no reaction to my dogs.
Is Bozo chilling out?  He seems so mellow tonight!
Indeed, neither goose even looked at Tina or Chance.
But, then I noticed what surely had to be Bozo and Bonnie in the middle of the lake (their usual location in the evening).    I realized then, the two geese I was looking at were either new or returnees to the Meer.
But then, upon seeing me (and my dogs) Bozo, as usual, began to swim in my direction.
Oh, oh.....That's not going to be good for the new geese here!
And no, it surely wasn't good for the new arrivals.
As soon as he hit the embankment, Bozo immediately went after the new gander!
Wings flapping, loud honks and running take-offs.
Both geese hit the water with a good deal of commotion and flapping feathers!
Then, feeling victorious on having chased his new nemisis away, Bozo returned to the embankment, madly flapping his wings in wild celebration.
"There!  That' ill show 'em!"
But, Bozo didn't realize that the new gander was a bit stubborn and willful, too.
Rather than retreating, the new gander simply swam in a circle and then returned to his mate still standing on the embankment.   He too, flapped his wings when victoriously approaching his admiring lady love:
 "See?  I ain't gonna let us be chased from here!"
Bozo was preparing to charge again!
But, this time I got in between him and the new arrivals with a stern message:
"Now, Bozo, we cannot have that!  This is a BIG lake.  You need to be willing to SHARE it with your brethren!"  
The message seemed to work -- at least for the time being.
Bozo settled down and I gave him some reward for this good behavior.
There was another minor scuffle or two, but eventually all three geese kept peacefully to their respective sides and ultimately Bozo left to return to Bonnie still sitting abandoned, in the middle of the lake.
I am convinced now that Bonnie must ask herself daily, "How did I ever get stuck with this bozo of a gander?  He's always carousing and going off on jaunts every night!  
Poor Bonnie. She is the goose counterpart to, "football widow."
Fast forward to last night:
Memorial Day -- the ending of the holiday weekend.
Even at 8 PM, Central Park was still bustling with thousands of picnickers and families.
There was the celebratory and holiday spirit bristling through the still and very warm air.
I wasn't sure of what I would find when arriving back to Harlem Meer.
Had Bozo succeeded in sending the two new geese packing?
Were the few remaining waterfowl on the lake freaked out by all the human activity of the past couple of days, including endless fishing?
How were Brad and Angelina doing?
I was a little more than concerned about all these things, but as so often happens in these observations and endeavors, one can be in for some dramatic surprises:
It was in fact, ONE BIG PARTY when getting to Harlem Meer last night-- a party that INCLUDED a whole bunch of new waterfowl!
Imagine the shock when counting ten geese and at least a dozen new ducks at Harlem Meer!
There was even a mama mallard with four tiny ducklings swimming around in the middle of all the new avian commotion!
I could not believe my eyes!
Wow, where did all you guys come from?
Seven of the geese were either up on or very near the east embankment of the lake. 
One of them had to be Bozo.
Bozo was so busy trying to throw his weight and status around with the new geese, he did not even look at my two dogs.  Indeed, it must have been exhausting chasing this goose and that one.  But, because the new geese outnumbered him, they simply returned and seemed to have the last laugh at poor Bozo's expense.
"Ha, ha.  What's with this ol' gander anyway?  Man, you'd think he'd get tired by now!  But, that's OK.  We can indulge him!"
Turning from the silly goose games, I tossed some treats to the new mallard family.
But, perhaps I need not have worried so over mama duck who I have since named, "Jillian" after the aggressive, highly charged fitness instructor on, "The Biggest Loser."
Jillian it seems, is one very tough and 'fit" duck.
Any goose who dared try and steal Mama's and baby's treats was quickly and fiercely admonished and sent packing with feathers between legs. 
For a small bird who is barely 1/4 of the size of a Canada goose, Jillian packs quite the wallop.  As said many times, mallards can be surprisingly tough birds.  Its amazing to see a Canada goose flee from a tiny mallard -- especially one with babies.  But, that is exactly what happened.
Meanwhile, Brad and Angelina (the two domestic, flightless ducks) came also to the embankment, announcing their arrival with loud chattering and formidable body posture. 
Brad wasn't so interested in intimidating geese, as he was throwing his weight around with the other ducks.
Endlessly chattering away, both Brad and Angelina stalked and chased a bunch of hapless drakes from the embankment.
"Quick, begone with you!  Worthless mallards!   Move your butts to the other side of the lake!"
Oh well.  Brad has been that way since the beginning of spring. If the other ducks don't "get it" by now at Harlem Meer, they never will.   Brad and Angelina may rule with flightless wings, but those wings are, in fact, made of iron!
Meanwhile, it seems that even the fishes caught a break last night.
Oh sure, there were fisherman.  But, at least the ones I saw were using the shorter lines.
They were easy enough for the birds and presumably even the fish to swim away from and avoid.
So yes, it was quite the party last night at Harlem Meer.
But, I ain't talking about the people parties or holiday picnics.
I am talking about the geese and mallards who blessfully made it back to Central Park to celebrate the holiday weekend.
They're Back!
And hopefully, they all stay -- at least until the bloody, USDA goose roundups and gassings around the city this June are no more.
Ah, that they would never again occur in New York City!
But, is that wishing for a never-ending, holiday party?
Indeed it is!
Boy, I bet all the birds at Harlem Meer slept good last night.  ;)  -- PCA

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Geese Who Appreciate Culture

When arriving to Turtle Pond last night just before dusk, the first thing that struck was the large number of people still picnicking.   Meanwhile, just a few feet away, a guy was casting out a long fishing line on to the water.
Though for the moment, peaceful, the scene impressed me as a potential disaster waiting to happen.
But, hell, who am I to make predictions?  I have no degrees in fortune-telling.
The other thing that struck was that there were no ducks or geese on the water.
I turned to walk towards the little pier to look for mama and papa goose, when suddenly noticing the mother mallard with her six little ducklings swimming in the direction of the fisherman.
Oh no!
I headed back in the direction of the fisherman.  I was hoping he'd have the wherewithal  to pull his huge line out of the water with the approaching duck family, but, of course he did not.
"Excuse me," I said.  "Can you not see there is a mama mallard and ducklings right near your fishing line?  You need to pull the line out of the water until she passes."
"I don't gotta to do anything!" the man shouted back angrily. "I got a right to be here!"
"You don't have the right to harass wildlife!" I shouted back just as angrily. "There are rules you have to follow!"
The man muttered some obscenities.
I then raised my camera to shoot a photograph, saying, "If something happens to that mama or her ducklings I will have you on film and report you to authorities."
The fisherman then pulled the line out of the water.
At that moment, some big macho-type guy approached me, pointing to my two small dogs.
"You're not supposed to have dogs here!"
"That's not true," I said.  "Dogs aren't allowed on the Great Lawn, but they can be here." 
Ignoring what I had just said, the guy then turned to another woman with a small dog and yelled at her.
Meanwhile, wondering if the park had suddenly made some new rule barring dogs from the grassy area near the pond, I left the location to check out the signs posted near the entrance.  (I had said what needed to be said anyway and didn't care to stick around.)
Signs posted at the entrance to the Turtle Pond area said nothing about dogs.
A part of me wanted to return to the macho guy with the attitude about dogs, but it wasn't worth it.  Hopefully, other dog owners took time to read the signs.
Feeling annoyed with the way the evening was starting out, I suddenly noticed two geese grazing in the small grassy area that is fenced off from the public.
Not sure if it was mama and papa or two of the goslings returned, I walked in the direction of the geese.
Though at least 25 to 30 feet away, the two geese looked up, saw me and immediately started to enthusiastically approach the fencing in my direction!
The larger goose was limping.
It was obviously Papa and Mama! 
Feeling my spirits immediately lift, I quickened the pace to reach the two geese who were already waiting for me by the fence.
"Hi Mama!  Hi Papa!  How are you guys doing tonight?"
Papa goose gave a shot, low, greeting honk to me, but then a short warning hiss to my dogs.
Not to stress the geese anymore than they are already being stressed by dogs these days, I secured Tina and Chance to a nearby fence and returned to the geese.
I reached into my bag and pulled out some sunflower seeds and cooked rice in my hand.
Both, Mama and Papa began eating from my hand.
At that moment, a young couple stopped to observe the unusual scene, the young man taking a few photographs.
"Don't they bite when eating from your hand like that?" the young woman inquired curiously.
"No, no!" I laughed.  "They don't have teeth to bite!  Besides, geese are among the most gentle and peaceful animals on the planet.  I know these two."
"How do you know these two geese?" the woman asked, seeming to want to learn more about Canada geese.
I explained to her the history of Mama and Papa -- how they raised babies at Turtle Pond last year, how they returned with their grown goslings this year and how their new eggs were recently destroyed.  I also told her how geese mate for life, how the ganders protect their mates and families and how the geese are being harassed in Central Park.
"That is sad about the harassment," the woman replied.  "They seem like such sweet animals.  How do you know which goose is the female and which the gander?  They look alike."
"Oh, that is easy.  Notice when they walk.  Papa walks with a pronounced limp.  That is how I am always able to recognize him.   But, aside from that, ganders are usually a little bigger than the girls and they are almost always in a protective posture and stance -- you know, neck and head held high to look out for any dangers."
"That is so fascinating!" the woman proclaimed.
At that moment, another couple, perhaps in their 40's walked by and the woman  shouted out, "Don't they bite?"
"No, these geese are extremely gentle. It just tickles." I replied, smiling.
"Well, I remember that they bite!"
I wanted to answer that maybe the geese just bite ignorant or hostile people, but thought better of it.  It doesn't serve any purpose to try and argue with those who obviously aren't interested in learning anything, but rather just stop to agitate.
The couple walked on, the woman obviously preferring to live in her prejudices and misinformation about geese.  I am not sure why she said anything to me at all.
Meanwhile, I was a bit nervous with the park police driving around in little jeeps.
"I hope I don't get arrested for this," I quipped to the young couple still standing and watching.  "Technically, people aren't supposed to feed wildlife. Will you guys bail me out if they haul me away?"
"Sure!" they laughed.  "But, you don't have to worry.  We're sure the cops have better things to worry about!"
"Hm, I wouldn't be so sure."
With that, we bade goodnight and I then left Mama and Papa goose to go to the pier.
"You take good care of your lady," I said to papa goose as I retrieved my two dogs to leave.  "See you guys, later."
A few minutes later, I was at the little pier that overlooks Turtle Pond where I met several of the birder people I know.
Tina, my older Corgi mix dog immediately trotted up to the older gentleman who takes special delight in her.
"Hey, Tina, how you doing tonight?" He said, while enthusiastically petting my dog's head.
"Probably looking for treats once again.  You know, I only feed my dogs once a month," I joked.   "How you guys doing tonight?"
"Well, we're a bit disappointed not to be seeing the mallards of late," the woman birder answered somewhat dejectedly. "We can't imagine where they are."
"Good question," I replied.  "I guess they are either being chased out by the harassment or perhaps just don't want to be around the fishing."
I then told the woman about my experience with the fisherman just a short while before.
"Does the mama still have six ducklings?" the woman asked.  "We haven't seen her and the babies in a couple of days."
"I didn't get a good look on how many ducklings.  Perhaps five or six. I just didn't want them to get caught up in fishing line."
"I hear you," the woman replied.  "The fishermen are here all the time now. We don't know who to complain to.  Fishing has never been allowed at Turtle Pond and we don't know why it is now.  They are going to end up catching turtles."
Noticing, at that moment,  the fisherman leaving Turtle Pond, I answered, "Well, perhaps the idea should be just to make the fishermen feel unwelcomed -- just like they make the geese unwelcomed.   Unfortunately, there are no longer the 'No Fishing' signs to point to, but they still have to follow the rules.  They can't harass the wildlife, cast back the fishing lines and they have to release the fish back to the water."
"Why do you think they are coming here anyway, when they can fish at Harlem Meer and practically all over the city?' the woman asked.
"I was told the fisherman are complaining that they don't catch enough fish at the Meer and the ones they do catch are very tiny, young fish."
The fishermen finally gone and the sun just having set, we then noticed Mama and Papa goose back in the water and swimming confidently towards the little pier.
"Oh look!  There's Mama and Papa!" I exclaimed excitedly. "And they are coming here!"
At that point, a second gentleman told us about the new family of geese at 59th Street.
"Yep, there are five goslings there.  Amazing that they allowed 'em to hatch.  So far, they are all hangin' in there!"
"Sad that they didn't allow it here," the woman replied. "I am pretty sure they oiled the eggs of the mama goose here.  One egg was broken, but the others weren't.  The parents then abandon the nest.  Something was wrong."
The second gentleman tossed some small chicken bits to the turtles.  Mama and Papa goose ignored the chicken, but the turtles excitedly grabbed at it.
After a few moments, the two geese left to go to their small rock where they rest at night.
Music was suddenly and melodically flowing through the air from the nearby Delacourt Theatre. 
"Oh look!, Mama and Papa are settling down to listen to their free concert!" I laughed. 
"Imagine that?" the woman smiled.  "Geese who appreciate culture!"
"They are so romantic, aren't they?" I agreed.
And with that, I figured it was time to leave. 
Gently tugging Tina away from the man who was still petting her, I bade the birder people a fond good night and they the same to me.
At least for the moment, all was peaceful again.
And Mama and Papa had a nice concert to listen to and appreciate.  -- PCA

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Open and Extraordinary Lives of Canada Geese

Birders are interesting people.
One typically sees birders either early in the morning or at dusk when the many species of birds of our parks are the most active.
Birders are easy to recognize by their binoculars and usually very professional cameras with long, powerful zoom lenses.  Sometimes they even carry tripods.
Sometimes I ask myself if I am a "birder?"
I may have started off that way. 
Taking my dogs to the park because I love to spot wildlife and enjoy taking photos.
That is how, in fact, I became interested in Canada geese:
There used to be many Canada geese in Central Park -- particularly in the winters when at least a couple of hundred of them would huddle with the mallards in the Central Park Reservoir through the bitter months of December through February.
I marveled at the birds' stoic resistance to the winds, storms and whatever other challenges nature could throw at them.
And I also marveled at how quickly the geese and ducks could recognize people (even from a good distance) and come comically slip-sliding on the ice to catch seeds or other treat.
But, as soon as the ice melted and we got the first glimpses of early spring, the geese and most of the mallards suddenly left the Reservoir to migrate to places far north to breed and start life anew.   Usually, these migrations occurred in mid February -- way before the actual onset of spring.
When first discovering the suddenly and nearly empty Reservoir in those February days, I initially felt great sense of loss and missing. 
Would I ever see my "friends" again -- the geese and mallards I had so come to know and  worry about over the winter?  The birds, who over the cold, bitter months had come to know and greet me like I was their long lost mother? 
How foolish and egotistical was I to ever think these birds would forego their normal migration patterns because of any "attachment" to humans or the treats we sometimes bring.   
Those who claim that Canada geese "stay" in those areas they are fed by humans don't know what they are talking about.  The geese may recognize and appreciate those humans who are generous to them for a time.
But, when nature and their biological clock says, "go," they go. 
I could not, therefore, be sure I would ever see my "geesies" again once they took off for Canada or the Arctic.  I could only wish for them safe journeys home and for myself, that I would see them again the following year.
This past winter however, there were not many geese and mallards at the Reservoir. (Perhaps about 50 on a clear day.)
But, I could not be sure if the lower numbers were due to decimation and predations on the species (especially the geese, obviously) or that we simply had a colder and more brutal winter than the previous few years.
This past winter, the Reservoir was almost entirely frozen over, except for the tiny area of open water where there is a continual water sprout.   That is the area where the small group of wintering geese and mallards were forced to crowd around and huddle.   Perhaps the available open water was simply insufficient to support two hundred birds. 
But, if I am always a little sad to see the wintering geese and mallards migrate back north in February, there are always the returning "resident" birds who migrate back to New York City after spending their winters in the south.
Usually, they start to arrive back in in late February or early March.
But, as noted previously, we have not had huge flocks of geese and mallards returning to Central Park this year.
I cannot attribute that to "brutal weather."
Rather, I attribute the lower numbers to human predation campaigns against the geese throughout the country, as well as the "harassment" against them in Central Park.
If there has been any relief however this spring, it is to experience (at least), the safe return of  Mama, Papa and their five grown goslings from last year to Turtle Pond (i.e. "the family.").   It has been total joy to realize too, that the birds remember and appreciate me from last year.
Apparently to the geese, a friendship established with a human remains that way for life.
Unfortunately, the goslings have apparently since been chased out of Turtle Pond by the harassment program  and the new nest and eggs that Mama and Papa created were destroyed in late April.
As someone closely observing and loving these birds, these latter events have been heartbreaking.
Still, the question remains:
Do all these things make me a "birder?"
Probably not.  I don't after all, own a professional camera or even a pair of binoculars.
Moreover, I could not tell a woodpecker from an infinite number of other, rare birds.
But, I do know Canada geese.
I know the geese because of their tremendous and open willingness (unlike most other bird species) to invite us humans into their extraordinary, mysterious and fascinating lives.
We don't need binoculars to find the geese, nor do we need expensive, professional cameras to photograph them.
On the contrary, when recognizing and trusting humans, the "geesies" will walk right up and  pose for us.
We don't even need a zoom lens.  --- PCA

Friday, May 27, 2011

Through a Child's Eyes

Its been a grim number of weeks since the arrival of spring.
Virtually all the geese and most of the mallards who migrated back to Central Park from wintering locations in the south have since been chased out.
However, the most recent count of geese at Prospect Park (20) seems to indicate a few new arrivals.
I wonder if the goslings from Turtle Pond might be among them?
If so, they will soon be harassed out of Prospect Park.
Though thrilled to see two of the five grown goslings returning to their parents at Turtle Pond in recent weeks, I have not seen the two social geese now in some days.
That, in fact is what precipitated the short conversation with the birder/photographer the other evening at Turtle Pond.  I asked him if he had seen the two other geese?
He told me he wasn't seeing many geese at all, but had observed the Border Collie harassment regularly, even as late as a couple of weeks ago.
It is all very distressing especially considering there are so few geese in Central Park to harass.  (A grand total of 4 geese presently at the north end of CP.)
But, even when the goose numbers blossomed during and following the spring migratory return, they were never high by any stretch of the imagination.
The highest number I counted at Harlem Meer in April was 23 and at Turtle Pond 13.   There were about 7 geese on the boat lake at that time.  There are none now.
Were these the kinds of numbers that should have necessitated harassment and banishment?
Central Park of course denies trying to "banish" the geese from its lawns and watercourses.  Even when admitting to having used the Border Collies in the past, the claim is that they only want to make geese "go from part of the park to the other."
But, that too, is nonsense.
The collies don't direct the terrorized birds on where to go.
Having witnessed "Geese Relief" in action last November at Harlem Meer, the swan who was chased out along with the geese, shovelers and mallards has never returned.  It might have been "Hector" I saw at the Reservoir one time more than a month ago.  But, the swan has since presumably been chased out of there, too.
And that is still one more problem with "goosebuster" programs.  They not only harass the geese, but the other waterfowl that hang with the geese.
It seems to explain why all the lakes and ponds one sees now at Central Park are nearly devoid of geese and ducks.
Still, there are those precious few avian stalwarts managing to hang in there, despite the harassment, the fishing, the off-leash dogs and the ever increasing human traffic.
Last night I returned to Harlem Meer.   I went fairly late in the evening in order to avoid seeing the fishing and the kind of nervous and evasive behavior observed in the waterfowl  during daylight hours now.
To my great sense of relief, all was peaceful and normal -- at least according to what "normal" is these days.
Brad and Angelina (the two flightless, domestic ducks) were swimming in the water and came upon the embankment to boss around the few other ducks there.  Both "alpha" ducks were back to their brazen and confident selves.
Meanwhile, Bozo and Bonnie, the only two geese still stubbornly clinging on at the Meer, were in the middle of the lake peacefully resting.
Upon seeing my two dogs and me, Bozo swam to and came up on the embankment. But, his shyer and less trustful-of-humans mate stayed behind.
There has been a marked change in Bozo over the past week or so.
He no longer hisses as my dogs, (though he watches them very carefully).
However, I saw Bozo hiss at a tiny Chihuahua the other day at the Meer.  The young girl (about ten-years-old) who was holding the Chihuahua seemed to have a wisdom far beyond her years. 
"I guess he's protecting his flock," she said, with a smile.
"Yes, he is," I told her.  "You are very smart to realize that!"
Funny how kids sometimes are so much more intuitive and observant than adults. Perhaps its because they have not yet been jaded and brainwashed by all the nonsense and distraction that is out there.
Their vision is 20/20 and their minds are receptive to what is in front of them.
And so, like the young girl from the other day, my heart warmed when Bozo came up to greet me last night -- minus the hissing to my now familiar dogs.
I tossed Bozo some cracked corn, which he nibbled off the grass. I then retreated to a nearby park bench to sit with my dogs for a while.
It was a lovely scene: 
Bozo sharing the cracked corn with a couple of mallards.   Brad and Angelina throwing their weight around with the other ducks, gently reminding them of who rules the Meer.
But, then the peaceful scene was disrupted by a young man running by with  two large dogs off leash.   One of the dogs ran briskly towards the water's edge.
All of the birds suddenly had to dive and scatter towards the water.
Bozo started to lazily swim back towards the middle of the lake to be by his mate.
I bade all the birds a peaceful good night.
Walking back from the Meer, my spirits, like the child met the other day, felt lifted, whole and rejuvenated.
Still, a part of me wished for a day Brad and Angelina might find a real home where they could spend their final days not having to escape and evade free-roaming dogs, endless "goose harassment," fishing lines and in the winter, blizzards, bitter temperatures and an almost totally frozen lake.
No wonder these two ducks are so tough.  They have never had it easy.
And small wonder too, Bozo is so "tough."
The geese don't have it easy anywhere these days.  -- PCA

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Should Have Believed the Geese

(Photos:  Bozo at Harlem Meer.  The new mama mallard and ducklings at Turtle Pond apparently enduring harassment along with the geese.  Mama and Papa at Turtle Pond.)
For weeks I have been agonizing over what was happening with all the vanishing geese and mallards at Central Park.
Why have they gone?  Where will they go where they will NOT be harassed, shot at or gassed?
When calling Central Park Conservancy to ask if goose harassment was being used,  I was told that although there was a contract with Goosebusters, harassment had not been used at CP so far this year.   I was also told that the geese and ducks fly to the north this time of year due to "low food supplies in the spring."
Apparently, that was all a lie.
Yesterday, I met a birder and photographer at Turtle Pond.  He told me and some other people that he usually goes to the park in the very early morning -- as early as 5:30 AM to photograph birds. 
He also told me that he has seen the goose harassment several times this year, including as late at "two weeks ago."
The birder identified "Geese Relief" as the harassment company (though I was told by CP Conservancy that Geese Relief had been fired after the November incident at Harlem Meer).  The birder added that "one person usually comes around in a white truck and releases a Border Collie to chase and harass the geese in the water."
Although the birder thought the harassment pointless and cruel considering there are so few geese in the park, he also thought it was "necessary to protect people on planes."
I then told him that if such is the actuality, then every bird over 4 LBs who flies needs to be harassed and exterminated.
It is truly amazing how most of the public has been so easily brainwashed -- even those who supposedly love and photograph birds.
One is tempted to say, "First they came for the geese......and then the mallards....and then the egrets....and then the commorants.....and then the eagles."
But, I guess no one would get that.
But, apparently, I did not "get" that I was being lied to continuously, whether it be the issue of fishing at Turtle Pond or harassing the geese.  
It is really not a comforting thought that when one is calling public and park officials and governmental agencies to ask specific questions that such officials would have the audacity to LIE about them. (Although in all fairness, governmental agencies usually just pass the buck [and blame] to other governmental agencies.)
But, of course Prospect Park officials originally lied when asked last July 8th, "What happened to all the geese who were here?"   Park goers were told the geese had "flown to Jamaica Wildlife Refuge," despite the fact the geese were molting or raising young at the time -- i.e. could not fly.
I am upset with myself right now for being so naive and trusting despite all the crap and lies from the past.  
Perhaps I thought Central Park would not stoop to Prospect Park's level.
Perhaps I thought Central Park supporters were more demanding of forthrightness and transparency from the Central Park leadership.
Perhaps I thought NO park would send harassment trucks out to terrorize less than a dozen peaceful geese AND mallards on a lake or pond.
But, I have obviously been wrong on all counts.
And in thus being so naive and wrong, I have in turn, become a liar on this blog by quoting the nonsense I had been told -- Such as, "There are few geese and mallards in the park right now due to the low food supplies."
In looking back over these past couple of months, so much makes sense now that did not make sense before:
1-- The vanishing of virtually 90% of the geese and ducks who were present on CP lakes and ponds following migration returns from the south in early March and April.
2-- The nervous, skittish and "hiding" behavior of most of the remaining ducks and geese -- especially those at Harlem Meer.  -- Even Brad and Angelina are not their normal, confident selves during the daylight hours.  Angelina is typically hiding under the shrubs and plants near the Dana Center during the day time now.  Sometimes the two ducks are not even consistently together now except at night.
3--  MOST of all, the "dog-hating" behavior of Bozo, one of the two remaining geese at Harlem Meer.
Now, I understand why this one brave goose is so scared and so hostile towards dogs.
And yet, Bozo has chosen, along with his courageous mate, Bonnie to take a stand and face the enemy head on.
"We shall not be moved."
So too, have Papa and Mama goose bravely faced the harassment at Turtle Pond, but endured.
This, despite their eggs being destroyed several weeks ago by what surely is, the "goose harassment program" but instead was blamed on "raccoons."
Lie about the realities and then blame the deaths or disappearances  on "nature" or other animals.
(As if raccoons didn't have enough bounties on their own heads to be accused of egg and gosling destruction in our parks.)
There is currently a mama mallard at Turtle Pond with six recently hatched ducklings.
Will they be subject to the harassment, too?
Apparently, so.  They tend to hang out near Mama and Papa goose.
But, Mama and Papa, along with Bozo and Bonnie have chosen to take their stand.  They have probably seen this horror movie a thousand times before.
"We shall not be moved."
But, what will happen to their grown goslings from last year and the other few dozen geese who have been endlessly chased and harassed from Central Park?
USDA will be sending out their killing squads in just a few weeks.
And we still have not been told where they are going. 
In looking back over these past troubling months, my biggest mistake was believing the nonsense I was told instead of the TRUTH I was SEEING.
I should have believed the geese.   -- PCA

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Countdown to Nothingness

We are quite literally watching a countdown of disappearing geese and goslings in our city parks.
Of the six "miracle" goslings who recently hatched at Prospect Park, only three now remain:
Some speculate that it is either "nature" or "rain" that is causing the demise of the little ones, but to those familiar both,  with Canada geese and the current "Goosebusters" harassment program at Prospect Park, that is like blaming nature when humans throw their dogs or babies down garbage chutes.
Certainly, it seemed odd, but totally predictable that the two parent geese nested and are raising their goslings in a secluded, wooded area away from the Prospect Park lake and the dog harassment that is occurring there daily.
I say, "odd," because geese don't normally nest or raise young in bushes.  But, it is predictable because, as said many times in this blog, the geese do whatever they have to do in order to survive. -- even if it means nesting and raising young in normally inhospitable areas.
Unfortunately, something seems very wrong in the "dog pond" area where the goose family is currently living -- or more accurately, hiding.  That three of the goslings have already died is counter to the normally high survival rates for Canada geese and their goslings.
Prospect Park has not been hit with devastating tornadoes or rampaging floods.
Nor, are there foxes or coyotes at Prospect Park.
And so, we have to wonder, "What is killing these young goslings?"
I personally believe it is one of three possibilities:
1-- The dousing of oil on the developing eggs that occurred some weeks back may have severely compromised the health of the developing fetuses, rendering them vulnerable to early death.
2--The daily dog harassment by "Goosebusters" on both, the lake and the grass areas of Prospect Park has terrorized the parent geese, causing them to change their behavior and raise their babies in a very high risk area.
3-- Some weeks back, I was told by Central Park Conservancy that "There are low food supplies for waterfowl in city parks during the spring."   I don't necessarily believe this from what I see, however, even if only partially true, then these goslings could in fact,  be starving to death.  
As noted, the parents are raising them in an unusual area.  Its hard to know what natural food is available for the geese in this wooded spot.  Normally, geese don't eat twigs and bushes. Add to that, the parks "No Feeding of Waterfowl" signs all over and it could be that the new family of geese are having a hard time finding nutritional food.
In all of the above and likely possibilities, it is not nature, but rather human harassment, callousness and selective blindness that is causing the demise of the Prospect Park "miracle goslings."
Of course, without actual bodies and necropsies, this is hard to prove.
However, the preponderance of evidence seems to point in these directions.
Canada geese don't normally lose half their clutches in less than two weeks. -- Especially in an area with few or any natural predators.
Still, if is dismaying to watch these tiny babies die in an area of daily "goose harassment," it is downright alarming to witness the vanishing ducks and geese in Central Park and to this day, have NO explanation for it -- That is, aside from "low food supplies."
I asked a DEC official the other day why the waterfowl is disappearing in our parks and got the simple answer, "I don't know."
Should not the people making decisions affecting the wildlife in our parks know exactly why the waterfowl is falling off the radar?
These are, after all, the same people strutting out the "welcome mat" for fishermen to invade every watercourse in Central Park.
And that is exactly what was observed at Harlem Meer today.
The dozen or so geese who were at the Meer a couple of weeks ago have been replaced by at least a dozen fishermen.
Only two geese ("Bozo and Bonnie") remain at the Meer, along with less than a dozen ducks and mallards (including, Brad and Angelina, the two domestic, flightless ducks).
The two geese and almost all the ducks were huddled behind a small, protected, fenced area near the Dana Center today.   It seems they don't like to be in the water when the fishing lines are out.
As one fisherman said to me a few weeks ago, "You see?  They LEAVE!"
And indeed, the geese and ducks are "leaving" our city parks.
None at the Pond on the West Side of Central Park.
None at The Reservoir.
None at the Row Boat Lake.
And only four geese and a handful of mallards at Turtle Pond.
The question is, Where are they all going TO?
Or, perhaps more accurately, Where CAN they go?
I don't have answers to either of these questions.  Or, to exactly why the Prospect Park goslings are dying.
I just know the watercourses are looking empty, eerie and desolate,  devoid of waterfowl.
I am literally witnessing a countdown to nothingness.  -- PCA

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Something About Canada Geese

(Photos:  The Family returned to familiar rocks last night at Turtle Pond)
Currently, I am counting six geese on the North side of Central Park.  Two at Harlem Meer and four at Turtle Pond.  Pathetic numbers for a species that is supposedly "overpopulated" in New York City.
Yesterday, just before dusk, I returned with my dogs to Turtle Pond.
A few days ago, I speculated that the new geese hanging out with Mama and Papa at Turtle Pond were two of their one-year-old goslings from last year.
Yesterday, I received evidence that is true.
When first arriving at the pond, I only saw Mama and Papa romantically preening on their familiar rock near the small wooden dock.
As always, when recognizing my dogs and me on the pier, the two lovebirds left the rock and came casually swimming over. First, Daddy and then Mama right behind him.  Daddy, usually gives a short, low register honk when first arriving that is barely audible.  I am guessing that to be a kind of goose greeting, "Hi, how you doing?"  I have heard this gentle, low honk many times before, both from Papa and other geese. 
I stayed a few minutes observing the two geese as they navigated among the many turtles in the water to catch a few seeds.  Other people on the dock snapped photos seemingly pleased that the two geese had swum so close.
Finally leaving the little pier, pleased to know my two favorite geese were OK, I ran into one of the familiar Park Enforcement Patrol people (The guys who drive around in the little jeeps). 
"Hi, how you doing?" I asked.
The man is a pleasant-faced African American perhaps in his late 30's.
"Good, good, how are you?" he smiled.
"I'm fine.  I was looking for the mama mallard and her six little ducklings.  But, didn't see them. Do you know where they are?"
"Oh, once the sun goes down and people leave the lawn, the ducks usually fly over there. They're pretty smart!"
"Oh yes, they're smart.  But, a mama couldn't leave with small ducklings.  Perhaps they are hiding in some of the marshes?"
"That could be.  You'd be surprised where some of these ducks hide and build nests.  A couple of weeks ago, one of them had eggs on a cliff!  I tried to move the eggs to a safer spot, but the ducks attacked!  They were big, too!"
"Are you sure you're not talking about geese?" I asked. "The geese are bigger than ducks and they are very protective of their eggs."
"That could be." he laughed.
"How is it going with the fishing?" I asked.  "Have you seen many of the fisherman here?"
"Usually about the same five or six guys who come here, often at night. I guess they don't have lives.  I have to keep 'em off the dock.  We don't want 'em there."
"Don't have lives? You got that right.  Were you able to chase them off the Belvedere rocks the other day?"
"Oh yeah," the man laughed.
"Whose job is it to fish them out of the water if they fall from the rocks?"
"That would be my job," the man smiled.  "Even though it would be their fault, we can't let bad things happen to people."
"Ah, you can let 'em drown!" I joked.  "I won't tell anyone."
Bidding friendly good nights, I continued to walk around Turtle Pond looking for both the other two geese seen over the past week and the mama mallard and six ducklings observed a couple of days ago.
While not seeing the mama mallard anywhere, I did notice one goose suddenly swimming in the middle of the pond.   Then, with honking from overhead, another goose joined the first one.  But, I could not be sure if those were the two new geese or Mama and Papa simply moving from one part of the pond to the other.
I walked to the small rock area at the east side of the pond -- the same place where Mama, Papa and their then-growing goslings used to rest at night last year.
Sure enough, the two geese came swimming over to the rocks and came ambling upon them.  One of them gave a short, low honk greeting while confidently approaching my dogs and me.
It IS them! I thought with delight. They have to be the goslings from last year!
And sure enough, as I took a small handful of cracked corn in my hand, one of the goslings brazenly came right up to me (and my dogs!) to nibble from my hand.
If these trustful and familiar actions weren't proof enough to convince me that these were the same goslings from last year, I then noticed, Papa and Mama swimming towards the rocks.
As they climbed aboard the rocks, once again, Papa let out a low register, short honk in my direction.  "Good to see you again."
Then, Papa turned to the goslings and let out a much more assertive honk while jutting forth his neck:   HONK!
(That I interpreted to be the assertiveness of parental position and demand for respect.)
Both goslings demurely moved a few feet back from the parents.
After a few minutes all was beautiful and peaceful. -- A beautiful family once again reunited in the old, familiar place where once they used to sleep at night.
Walking home from Turtle Pond I felt unusually peaceful and even "high."
It dawned on me how much I really love these geese.
In fact, it is precisely this goose family that created the basis for everything I feel and have learned about Canada geese over the past year.
From those early days in May last year when I first stumbled upon Mama, Papa and their then, newly hatched,  six tiny yellow goslings and marveled at the protectiveness and devotion of the parents.
I particularly marveled at Papa goose with his pronounced limp (probably from having had to defend Mama or previous goslings in the past) and his constant vigilance over the family.
Every night, while his family slept huddled on the east rocks together, Papa stood on guard a few feet away and barely slept at all.  That is an image that is hard to forget.
On a few occasions, the parents changed positions and Mama took on sentry duty to allow her gander some time to rest.   But, about 90% of the time, it was Papa on the relentless watch duty.
Over the year that followed, many changes occurred.
The goslings grew quickly and within two months were almost full size.  When they grew flight feathers, the parents had to teach them to fly.
But, one of the goslings ("Binky") with drooping "Angels Wings" would never fly.
When the time came for the rest of the family to leave Turtle Pond in late July, they did not just abandon their flightless gosling.  On the contrary, they kept leaving and returning for almost two weeks before finally departing for good.
It was as though they "trained" Binky to be able to survive on his own and kept returning to insure he was OK.
But, the first night, Binky was left entirely on his own (in early August) it was particularly hard and traumatic.
The suddenly alone gosling swam continuously on the pond "calling out" for his lost family. 
Binky's high pitched honks were long, haunting, relentless and pitiful. "H..O..N..K..........H---OOOO--N---K....H....O...NNNN...K
Fortunately, after a few days, Binky adapted to being on his own and took up residence with the mallards at the pond.
A couple of months later, just prior to the pond freezing over, rescue was finally arranged for Binky and Park Rangers were able to capture and send the solitary gosling to a sanctuary.
Meanwhile,  I continued to see the rest of the family at Harlem Meer during the late summer and early fall.  But, eventually they left the Meer with other geese  to migrate to their wintering location.
I did not see the family again until early March of this year when they suddenly returned back to Turtle Pond one day, their nesting and birth location. --  Mama, Papa and all five remaining goslings.
I was so relieved and thrilled to realize that all of them had survived both the winter and the government's relentless and insane campaign against them.
Presently, there are only two of the grown goslings with their parents.  I am guessing the other three have moved on with some other young geese encountered over the early spring this year.  I imagine and am hoping the whole family will reunite (perhaps at Harlem Meer again?) come the late summer when they are finished molting and preparing to migrate.
Of course, one is forever worried over the new " goose cullings" that will occur around the city next month -- especially not knowing where the other three goslings (and their companions) are right now or even if they are still alive.
The adoration and respect for the geese has come at great emotional cost, anxiety and grief.
But, is not a cost I would give up for not experiencing and knowing the warmth, whimsy and sheer joy I have derived from these magnificent birds.
There is something about Canada geese.
Something that seems to generate in humans, either great love or great scorn.
For me, that "something" about the geese is their special devotion, bond, steadfastness and loyalty to each other, their mates, their families and to those few humans lucky enough to be invited into their world.
I am fortunate to be one of those humans given special privilege and invite to their world.
Sometimes I wonder if the geese somehow "know" in their infinite wisdom and mystery that one has been fighting for them?  
It would not be surprising. 
They are truly exceptional and extraordinary animals.  -- PCA 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Where We've Been and Where We Are

Sometimes, you have to know where you have been in order to know where you are and where you are going.
Because of the community outrage much has been written since last July, of the Prospect Park goose gassings.
But, because this massacre occurred in the wee hours of the morning and because the Prospect Park geese were trucked to Kennedy Airport for the actual gassings, by the time park goers arrived at the park on July 8th last year, all that was left to indicate something odd had occurred were clumps of feathers and discarded plastic ties (used to bound the birds' feet).
As reported previously in this journal, avian savvy bird lovers suspected wrong-doing even based on that little evidence and notified the press.  The rest is history.
And while the Prospect Park goose gassings were then investigated and widely reported, little was actually known or uncovered in terms of actual details. --  Such as how 368 flightless (and usually wary) geese and their goslings were quickly rounded up, corralled, grabbed, bound, crated and stuffed into trucks in less than a couple of hours?
One might suspect the use of drug-laden food to so expediently accomplish such a Herculean  task.  (Usually when a goose is injured, for example, it is almost impossible to capture the animal as numerous news articles have attested to.)
But, of course we had no evidence of tainted methodology and nor was the USDA freely admitting to such deviant actions.
However, out of New Jersey comes an article that a month before the Prospect Park goose gassings, sheds light on exactly how USDA is able to round up large numbers of Canada geese at seemingly breakneck speed.
The use of " metallic magnetic slabs."  These are used to "disorient" the birds who normally navigate by utilizing the magnetic fields of the earth:
The above article is important for many reasons.
Unlike Prospect Park where the live geese were rushed to Kennedy Airport for the killings, the geese in the small New Jersey park were stuffed into trucks and gassed on site.
Their bodies were then stuffed into bags and discovered by an early morning park goer.
Even though the witness (Pat Sayer) reported seeing "at least 100 goose body bags" on the ground, park officials insist the number of geese killed was "only about 30."
But, they would not need 7 USDA trucks to gas "only 30 geese."
Even in the face of evidence and witness testimony, officials apparently still choose to cover-up and misrepresent the truth.
Moreover, when asked why the roundups and gassings took place between 3 and 4 AM (when the park is normally closed) an official answered, "Because we would not want the public to be exposed to the deadly gasses used to exterminate the animals." (Emphasis supplied.)
That is a very telling statement and certainly bears refute to any claims of so-called "euthanasia."
Even Carol Bannerman who is a spokesperson for the USDA admits, "The geese can take anywhere from a few minutes up to 45 minutes to die in the gas chambers."
(For more information on "euthanasia" by gassing, please go to this link: 
The New Jersey article near the top of this entry is very important for all of the reasons cited -- and more: 
It shows us where we have been.
In terms of where we are now, there is some good news.
NBC did an excellent report on the 11PM news last night, covering the current "Goose Watch" at Prospect Park:
Kudos to Edita Birnkrant of Friends of Animals and David Karopkin for being such outstanding representatives of the cause.  And thanks to the reporter, Chris Glorioso for covering it so accurately. 
Especially telling in this video is the reporter remarking that "There are no geese right now on the lake" and equating that to the killings of last year.
In fact, 89% of the goose population in New York City has been wiped out over the past few years.
It is now a battle to save what few remain in our public parks and other city locations.
"To know where we are now, we have to know where we've been."
And what we do today, creates the tomorrows.   -- PCA

Friday, May 20, 2011

June -- The Deadliest Month (Unless.....)

This has been an eventful week.
A "Goosewatch" has been formed for Prospect Park (organized from numerous community members) to monitor and install video surveillance of the park.  This is to insure that if the USDA shows up in the middle of the night next month to round up and gas the geese, the people will immediately know and be able to respond.
The Brooklyn Paper covered the story well:
Also published in local papers (Prospect Park Patch) this week is this very fine blog essay from Johanna Clearfield:
Please take the time to read these important pieces and comment.  Reader response is crucial insofar as determining future coverage of the issue.
We will soon be coming up on June -- without a doubt, the deadliest month of the entire year for the Canada geese seeking safety in our public parks while they molt their feathers and/or attempt to raise young.
Because they cannot fly while molting, this is the time when the geese are vulnerable to roundups and gassings at the hands of the USDA in concert with city government.
Ms. Clearfield cites at the end of her article the things that animal advocates MUST do if we are to have any hope of saving geese from future slaughters.
The city contract with the USDA runs until the end of this June.
It then comes up for possible renewal.
Unless our Mayor and city officials and representatives are flooded with calls and emails to end the goose gassing contract with the USDA, then the geese of New York City are destined to go the way of the passenger pigeon, (i.e. extinction) at least within the five boroughs.
Simply put, between the gassings, harassment and destruction of eggs, even the intelligent, wary and adaptable geese cannot survive.
Already their numbers are pitifully low and almost alarming in our city parks.
Please take the time to immediately join our Facebook pages if you haven't done so already to keep up with latest articles and information:
And please take the time to make the calls (especially to 311) and write the comments and letters.
June -- the deadliest month of the entire year is less than two weeks away;  the hour glass counting down literally on the lives of potentially thousands of innocent and vulnerable geese in New York City.
Please be a voice for those who can neither defend themselves nor even fly during this particularly treacherous and ominous time. 
Indeed, the time is now to stand up and be counted, less there be no geese to count in the future of our great city.  -- PCA

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Humane Harassment" -- Part 2

Yesterday, a poster commented via Facebook on my essay about Goosebusters:
"It is a double-edged sword with these companies - on one hand, they have stepped in to present a humane solution to the killing programs. HOWEVER - and this is a very big however - in order to STAY in business, they have to make the geese the villains. So ultimately, even though they may have started as a benevolent toward geese business, they end up being on the bad guy side in some ways. I have seen some go farther than others in this regard."
This is an intelligent comment that doesn't engender disagreement as much as question.
Is it really true that goose harassment companies have no choice than to vilify geese in order to stay in business?
It seems that an argument could be made for the opposite:  That by demonizing geese and creating fear and loathing in the public of these animals, the harassment companies thus spell their ultimate demise.
This occurs by giving credence and legitimacy to the government's extermination campaigns against geese.  Should all the cullings, expanded hunting, harassment and egg destruction campaigns ultimately be "successful" then the goose harassment companies would eventually be forced out of business as there would be few if any geese to harass.
Parks and golf courses are not going to pay big bucks for companies to come and harass two geese on a ball field.
But, if not demonizing the geese and convincing the public that the animals are evil "invaders" that need to be "gotten rid of," how should harassment companies provide a sometimes worthy service and still stay in business and even prosper?
First, they might consider changing their names and they might take some promotional cues from successful spay/neuter campaigns for cats and dogs.
Would any of us neuter our pets if spay/neuter services were named, "Doggie Be Gone" or "Kittybusters?"
Probably not.
The neutering of millions of pets over the decades did not occur because people were fear driven and convinced that cats and dogs were "aggressive,"  "posed a potential health threat" to us or because they caused car accidents.
Sterilization of pets occurs because people have been educated and convinced (truthfully) that sometimes we can have too much of a good thing and that by having millions of more pets than what there are homes for results in millions of dogs and cats being killed in shelters every year.
The ultimate "price" for not neutering our pets therefore, is death for millions of pets in shelters or streets.  Neutering is the humane alternative to wanton killing.
Likewise, the price for failures to monitor and/or humanely limit population growth for Canada geese in residential areas can and does result in government campaigns to "cull" and kill the animals.
In other words, companies whose primary area of expertise is humane, non-lethal population control of Canada geese could promote themselves that way -- very similar to the ways spay/neuter has been promoted.
For examples:
"We love our wildlife and seek to protect them.  But, sometimes we can have too much of a good thing.  Where conflict sometimes arises between the number of native geese living and populating in an area and what the environment and people are able to support and accept we are here to help!"
"We provide the humane alternative to lethal and cruel goose culling and management programs."
"Why kill birds when we can gently and efficiently shoo them away?"
"Why kill when we can implement programs of birth control?   -- Ovo Control or egg addling.
In suggesting these things, I personally don't support most harassment programs as they exist today for two reasons:
1 -- With few exceptions, I believe most are unnecessary at this time.
2--  The terms "Humane" and "Harassment" do not go together.  They are in fact an oxymoron.  In human situations, people are able to sue for actual harassment. 
Unfortunately, geese are not able to bring lawsuits for being stalked, hounded, chased and terrorized.
Unfortunately too, as they now exist, most goose harassment programs ARE all of the above. It is terrorizing not only geese, but all other birds who happen to be hanging with the geese.
Finally, I am concerned that even if their own workers read the websites of the goose harassment companies, they would view the birds as evil vermin for whom it does not matter how they are tormented and abused.  The goal is to just "get rid of them" no matter how it is done or what it takes.
I observed that personally last November when "Geese Relief" terrorized EVERY flying bird out of Harlem Meer.  The geese, mallards, shovelers and one swan were sent straight up into the air in a total panic.  The woman from Geese Relief was relentless and did not leave until every last flying bird was banished from the park
The only two birds remaining on the mostly frozen lake that night were the flightless, domestic ducks, Brad and Angelina who in sheer terror, actually struggled to fly -- but couldn't. 
It was a brutal and pathetic scene to watch.
That is simply not acceptable by any "humane" stretch of the imagination.
As said yesterday, despite the need to seek humane remedies to the shameful killing programs of "Wildlife (Extermination) Services" the goose "harassment" programs as they are today are not the answer.
Even the very name should tell us that.
There is no such thing as "humane harassment."  -- PCA

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Goosebusters --"Saving" the Geese Via Debasement and Fear Mongering

We understand that when one is running a company or service, it is important to promote the product as something people might need or desire.
But, sometimes companies step over the line of both, decency and truth.
"You NEED our Botox, $500 face cream, or weight loss system or you will look OLD or FAT!  (God forbid, anyone look their age or be a few pounds overweight. Such is to apparently  invite shunning and rejection from society.)
 "We Provide Humane Goose Removal. Get Rid of These Pests Now!"  (Emphasis supplied).
The latter is an actual come-on when one googles, "Goosebusters."
Those who read this blog  will know I have been extremely conflicted about so-called, "goose harassment."
For example, were I to know that the USDA was coming into Central Park to round up and gas geese, I would immediately run to the park myself and personally try to scare the geese away. "Go, go!  You need to leave right away. Its a matter of life and death!"
I might even unleash my dogs and order them to go and "chase" the geese.  "You need to send our friends to a safe place!"
But, one thing I would not do is publicly slander and denigrate the geese in an effort to convince others that the geese are among the lowest "vermin" on earth who, among other things, pose "health threats" to humans, are "aggressive" when nesting and bring planes down.
But, these are exactly the things that virtually ALL "goose harassment" web-sites and programs do in effort presumably to promote their "services" and drum up business.
They apparently feel need to convince the naive public that outside of a deadly virus plague that could wipe out the human race, geese are the most dangerous and vile creatures on earth.
"Get Rid of These Pests Now!"
Goose Harassment companies are thus poisoning the public consciousness against the very animals they purportedly claim to be "saving."
With "friends" like these, do the geese really need enemies?
I cannot and would not promote any company that, in the interest of self promotion and profit creates fear, paranoia and hostility towards the very animals it or  I am otherwise advocating for.
Moreover, I am perplexed that any humane organization worth its salt would.
Among the goose slander and untruths that one typically finds on goose harassment sites are these:
"Goose feces cause property damage."   This is an outright lie.  Geese are waterfowl that feed off of water plants, insects and grass.  Their droppings mostly consist of recycled grass and thus act as fertilizer.  I personally go to look at all the grass areas where geese frequently fed at Central Park last year. Without exception, ALL the favorite feeding (and droppings) spots for geese last year, are lush, green and plentiful lawns this year.
"Geese compromise overall quality of life."   For who?  Unless one has a particular aversion to wildlife and birds, then how exactly is human life "compromised" by peaceful geese swimming on a lake or grazing on grass?  This statement is ludicrous except for those individuals who are the most extreme among animalphobes (which these websites unfortunately seem to be creating).
"One goose will excrete 1- to 2 lbs of waste a day."  This is another lie.  Typical droppings from one goose are between 4 and 7 ounces a day.
"The geese are aggressive towards humans during nesting."  Any company that substitutes the word "aggressive" instead of the accurate, "protective" to slander animals and instill fear in people, is no friend to any animal.
"The geese have potential to pose serious health threats due to presence of disease causing organisms."   This is a totally loaded statement designed once again, to create fear in people.  However, the reality is that EVERY human and animal on earth has "potential to pose serious health threats to others through presence of disease causing organisms."  Kissing another human or just shaking hands transforms germs, bacteria or potential disease causing viruses from one person to another.  Should we all lock ourselves inside a plastic bubble? The FACT is that geese pose NO serious health threats to humans -- anymore than contact with another human or any animal might.  
Moreover, since most humans don't have direct touching contact with geese, the animals' potential "health threat" to humans is actually zero compared to our everyday contacts with other living things, including and most of all, other humans.
Again I ask:
Why would any advocate for geese (whether individual or organization) support those companies that portend to be "saving" geese, while poisoning the public consciousness against the animals through denigration, slander, outright lies and the deliberate creation of fear?
As said at the top of this entry, we understand that companies usually promote services or products by demonstrating how they can fulfill some societal "need" or desire. (whether real or perceived).
However, too often companies step over the line of what is decent, honest and true, when they either say directly or imply that if we don't avail ourselves of such services or products, (Botox and other cosmetic products for example) we are somehow lesser human beings or (in the case of "Goose Harassment") we will die from some goose related "disease" or incident. 
Destruction of human self-value and esteem (without the product or service) should not be among the advertising goals of any company.  Nor should debasement and fear-mongering be among the promotional pursuits of so-called, "Goose Harassment" companies.
There should be honest ways to promote a service or product without debasing either animals or humans.
Until, these goose harassment companies find a way to clean up their dishonest acts and promote their so-called "services" without slandering the objects of them, then we as animal advocates have no business supporting them in any fashion, despite their supposedly "noble intentions."
The fact is, if we cannot believe everything you say in your ads and promotions, then we cannot believe anything.  -- PCA