Migratory vs. Non-migratory Canada Geese

Geese walking on water? No, they are walking on the frozen pond.Resident Canada geese are non-migrating geese; you will see them on your property year-round. The geese that stay in Cleveland, Akron and Toledo areas were never taught the migration patterns, nor will they teach following generations. Over the past 10 years, their populations increase about 1-5% per year, particularly in urban areas where there are few predators, prohibitions on hunting, and a dependable year-round supply of food and water.

 

Why do they stay?

During the first half of the 20th century, migratory geese were often captured for use as live decoys, and stayed in our area year-round. By the early 1960’s, the excessive hunting brought the population of Canada geese to near extinction. To counter this near extinction, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and many State wildlife agencies began a program of re-population of wild Canada geese. They did this by taking the eggs from the nests of the surviving resident Canada geese and artificially incubated these eggs while the geese laid another clutch (double clutch). These captive geese were also bred in captivity. As a consequence, their descendants do not have the biological need to migrate, they were not taught the migration patterns. Our resident Canada geese in Ohio are the descendants of these captive migratory geese.

Also, the climate is temperate in our area and the water bodies do not freeze for long periods of time, the resident Canada geese have no need to fly south to find open water and grass in the winter. Even when it is 10 degrees Fahrenheit, as long as the geese can find open water, they stay warm. The water is 32 degrees and the geese have down on their bellies and chest, which insulates them from the cold water.

Since we have ideal conditions, and the resident geese are trained to stay in our area, the problem will only increase. If geese are becoming a nuisance on your property during the winter months, please let us know. We are happy to set up a custom program to manage your Canada geese population.

Canada Geese Fall Migration in Ohio

Canada geese migration patterns

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Canada Geese are known for their seasonal migrations. Each fall hundreds of thousands of Canada geese pass through Ohio in their famous v-formations, honking up a storm. When you look at a large flock of Canada geese, they all look pretty much alike. However, in North America there are at least 7 different groups of this species, each having a different breeding and wintereing area and they travel different migration routes. Due in part to the interbreeding of various migratory subspecies with the introduced non-migratory Giant subspecies, Canada Geese are frequently a year-around feature at many urban environments as well.

Peak migrations happen in Ohio between October and November. Flocks of geese fly in a v-shaped group and some will travel non-stop for up to 16 hours to cover over 800 miles. Flocks will also make shorter flights depending on wind patterns and where food is available. During migration, geese can travel as fast as 70 miles per hour with a good tail wind at an altitude of up to 9,000 feet. Geese, like most of our migratory birds, will also migrate during the night. Ohio Geese Control understands the patterns of migrating geese and tailors our service around those patterns, creating a custom geese management program for our clients.

Contact us if you have a Canada goose problem, we will set up a free site demonstration to help educate your team and develop a custom program.