"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Lake Forest wants gaggle of geese to get going

Redesign of Village Pond Park in Lake Forest hopes to reduce the over population of geese.  Photo by J.J. Meyer
    A story that ran in Sunday's Orange County Register read: "The overpopulation of waterfowl have created an abundance of goose feces on the grounds, and have ruined the lake’s water quality, city documents state. In an attempt to solve the problems the geese created, the city is spending an estimated $2.25 million to renovate the park using a design that discourages the abundance of geese."
   Seriously? Did the geese really cause the problem? No, of course not. People did by feeding them.

   In fairness, the story did include this : "... even with all these design elements to deter the waterfowl, success may be determined by stopping people from feeding the geese. Our passive design can only do so much,” said Perry Cardoza (president of the architectural firm hired for the redesign). “The main factor is going to be education, if people are still going to insist on feeding the ducks, than it’s going to be a very hard thing to overcome.”

   Apparently, there is a proposed city ordinance that prohibits feeding wildlife at the park. A violation of the wildlife ordinance could be considered either a misdemeanor or an infraction.  The earliest date the ordinance could go into effect was today.  More on that later...

   Teaching Point: 
   Bread, crackers, chips and other processed foods are bad for birds and other wildlife because it offers little nutritional value and may interfere with normal foraging behaviors. 
   Ducks and geese are often the unfortunate recipients of bread handouts at local parks.  They are not biologically adapted to eating processed foods and may have problems digesting it.
   Remember that ducks and geese can be aggressive especially when nesting.

   Most naturalists would agree: It's best enjoy these beautiful birds from a distance.
Happy Birding!

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