Wildlife Management & Pest Control Services
There's no denying that Canada geese are handsome birds, or that their goslings have the aaah factor, but they are now considered a pest in the UK and, as such, may be culled with the appropriate licence. But just what does this bird get up to that so annoys humans and how can they be controlled?
They are noisy, gregarious birds that always live near water and, therefore, can often be found around ornamental ponds, lakes and water features on golf courses and in amenity parks. Whilst they are herbivorous grazers, with grass and aquatic plants being their natural food source, they will eat almost anything, including ice cream, chocolate, chips or anything else that is 'to hand'. Manicured lawns are a particular favourite, perhaps because of the richness of the grass plant.
The practice of hounding humans for food is perhaps their most annoying trait (other than pooing) and their aggressive nature can be quite frightening, especially for young children.
As well as aggressive and obnoxious behaviour, one of the biggest areas of concern surrounds their excrement, which carries a wide variety of bacteria that can cause serious illness, including gastroenteritis.
Dogs too, seem to enjoy a good old roll-around in goose poo. If this happens, the dog should be washed off thoroughly, taking care that you also wash your hands thoroughly.
The droppings will also kill grass, much in the same way that worm casts do.
Whilst the goslings are undeniably 'cute', it is during the flightless period that any culling should take place.
Controlling Canada Geese
During the 19th century birds became increasingly common on private estates, mostly in southern and eastern England from whence they dispersed to establish colonies elsewhere. In its native range, Egyptian goose is a pest of arable crops and if numbers continue to increase it could become a similar nuisance in the UK.
It shares the same habitat preferences as mallard and coot with which it might compete. Egyptian geese hybridise with native species in Africa and hybridisation with Canada geese (non-native) has been recorded in the UK.
There is concern that it may hybridise with native species of goose, and threaten the conservation status of those species.
In the Netherlands the species is aggressive to nests of wading species. They could also potentially cause major damage to amenity grasslands, pastures and crops through grazing and trampling.
Droppings could pose a health and safety risk to humans. Egyptian Goose is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 with respect to England, Wales and Scotland. As such, it is an offence to release or allow the escape of this species into the wild.
Controlling Egyptian Geese
Corvids are all part of the Corvidae family and are considered to be a pest bird species, all are on the general licence and subject to control methods, they are all prone to both injure or destroy songbirds or game bird nests and eggs, most are considered as an agricultural pest as they tend to congregate in very large communal numbers and can cause serious crop damage, or injury to livestock and consume huge amounts of animal foodstuff, they cause major health and safety issues in and around urban surroundings.
Who is affected by Corvids
Farms, Estates and Parkland due to crop damage
Golf clubs where they root for insects and crane fly larvae (leatherjackets)
Sheep and game farms, due to predation
Heritage sites and buildings, nesting and erosion
Landfill and waste sites, due to Environment Agency and local licensing
Airports due to nesting activity, flocking and possible airstrike risks
Corvids are generally not welcome on SSSI sites or areas of conservation where they take eggs from rare song birds or predate on small mammals, lizards and reptiles.
Feral pigeon are extremely resilient and can be found worldwide and throughout the UK, It is commonly found in and around our towns, cities and most urban environments, it can also be found in rural areas around farm buildings. The species are descendants from the domesticated rock dove and the wild breeding population is supplemented by escapees from pigeon lofts and racing pigeons.
Many have the ability to breed all year round therefore population of flocks can reach large numbers rapidly.
Often referred to as a” flying rat” Pigeons have adapted well to the urban environment and prefer to roost under cover or in sheltered areas such as buildings, beneath bridges, dockyard pilings, old disused ships, roofs balconies and canopies, they deposit huge amounts of unsanitary droppings known as guano which carries serious health risks to man.
Often feral pigeons are attracted to an area by a food source. Traditionally pigeons’ food is grain, cereal and seeds; they frequent grain stores and terminals at docks where grain spillage can occur.
In urban areas they will eat all manner of discarded food.
Why control Pigeons?
Pigeon control, treatment and prevention is necessary for many reasons, most are associated to health risk and diseases, however other reasons relate to guano fouling, which carries many diseases, parasitic insects, unsightly mess and can cause acidic erosion to listed buildings, heritage sites.
We are fully trained in pigeon trapping techniques and control using air rifles.
What to do next
If you are suffering with pigeon control problems we offer a free site survey and no obligation quotation to provide advice and recommendations to help you control and manage nuisance birds.