Did you know that a male Canada goose can weigh 14 pounds? That is not like an 80-pound junkyard dog that wants a piece of your leg, but they can be very scary when they fly toward your face. They can make public areas, such as park and picnic areas, unusable by the public when they are nesting or migrating. Our town has a public park built next to a waterway, and we had to call Canada geese control in NJ to help get the geese to choose another spot for their activities.
Is man encroaching on the habitat of wildlife? Yes, most certainly. The park was designed and built before there was much, if any, public concern given to the migratory routes and nesting places of wild birds. The park is a busy place used even in the winter months. We did not want to drive all the birds away, but we needed to do something about the large flocks of well over 100 birds that would land in one area that saw particularly heavy human use. We prepared another area nearby for them, but they are creatures of habit and would not willingly move to the area we made for them.
It took some time, and the incidents between human and bird diminished. Some people were slightly injured by male geese that attacked them. In every case, it was someone pestering the birds by trying to get a picture or trying to feed them. I don’t understand the public mindset where people think wild animals are like pets. No amount of signs helped to keep people from pestering the birds. You could sit and have a picnic with the birds about 50 feet away and not be bothered. The trouble came when kids or adults tried to approach the flock. The goose control people got them to relocate safely. We are happy about that.