4 Tips to Deal with an Aggressive Goose

As geese have adapted to human habitats, they have become a common occurrence in our daily lives and sometimes a nuisance in our quest to enjoy the park. With lack of predators and abundance of food, geese have decided they like the very same areas humans do, which increases the probability of human interaction with geese. Unfortunately, geese do not share well and will foul the area, claiming it as their own living space as we have seen in the Meewasin Valley this spring. They can be very territorial and aggressive during nesting season, which takes place March through May, and when the goslings grow – May through August.

Many of us have at least seen a goose walking around a park, parking lot, grass area, etc. Humans and animals interact on a daily basis. This is something that won’t change and we don’t want it to! We should however, always be armed with the knowledge on how to treat animals. That way, we know exactly what to do when we interact with them so neither party gets harmed.

So what do you do when you come in contact with an aggressive goose?

Here are some tips.

Face the goose and maintain eye contact

Your instinct may be to turn and run away, but this is exactly what you should not do. Instead, if you’re confronted by a goose, maintain eye contact with it and stand your ground. Once you’ve made eye contact, move slowly and try not to make a bunch of noise or quick movements. Continue facing the goose, sidestep and back away. Sidestepping is important, because simply backing up may encourage the goose to follow you.

Keep calm and carry on

Always remember to stay calm! Geese, much like humans and other mammals, can sense fear. When fear is present, it causes the goose to feel the need to defend him or herself. You want to make sure the goose feels calm and no sense of harm from you. Remember, in the goose’s eyes, you’ve invaded their home.

It’s not fight or flight

This is very important. DO NOT turn your back to the goose and run away! This tells the goose that there is danger and they need to defend themselves. Remember, all eyes on the goose!

If the goose attacks

It’s possible that even after taking precaution and utilizing the previous techniques that the goose will still feel threatened. If the goose flies up towards your face, duck and move at a 90-degree angle, still facing the goose. As you continue to move away from the nesting area, the attack should cease.

As the geese population grows, we need to make sure we are continuing to be aware when in natural areas. It’s not just geese that may be a little territorial and confrontational in the spring. This time of year is a busy one, with many birds and other species either mating, nesting or rearing their offspring. If an animal is reacting to your presence, chances are you are too close. As Meewasin always advises, give wildlife their space and never feed the geese.