INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — They can weigh up to about 20 pounds, many fear them, and they’re hard to escape. We’re talking about Canada geese. After a goose attack at a Fishers Walmart this week, DNR wants to make sure you know what to do if you come face to face with a goose.
Canada geese can be aggressive and territorial, especially during the months of March through June, because it’s nesting season.
“They’re working to protect their eggs and protect their young in a very urban environment,” Urban Wildlife Biologist Megan Dillon said.
Indianapolis resident Carolyn Bankhead knows all too well about geese and just how aggressive they can be.
“If we tried to come in, the father goose was over by the apartment manager’s office and he would fly and dive bomb us to come into the door,” Bankhead said.
“Geese were laying eggs outside of the bottom apartment’s doorway, where the balcony is,” Bankhead said.
She was afraid to go outside. She also had to carry around a broken broom just in case they would attack.
“They can bite. The bite isn’t too bad, it’s really the scratching that can inflict the most harm, and they seem to know that,” said Urban Wildlife Biologist Megan Dillon.
Dillon says geese love to nest near ponds, but you can find them in some unusual spots too.
“In the middle of a parking lot or the entrance of a building, in those situations, it’s usually the mulch and landscaping that’s really attracting them to that space,” Dillon said.
Dillon says it’s best to avoid them completely during the nesting season. Also, don’t harm them because they’re federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
“It essentially says migratory birds cannot be injured, harmed, taken. Their eggs and nest cannot be disturbed without a proper permit,” Dillon said.
Bankhead has since moved to a new place, but she’s made friends with some familiar faces.
“All they do is wave at us, and we wave back and keep it moving,” Bankhead said.
Her best advice for dealing with Canada geese is to leave them alone.
“Don’t mess with them. Don’t get near them or get close to them. If they assume you want their eggs, just keep it moving,” Bankhead said.
If you’re having issues with Canada geese in your neighborhood or business, you can file for a permit to remove them and their eggs. Click here for more information.