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Boston City Council mulls serious quack-down on Canada geese

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Fowl gaggles leave carpets of waste in many parks

Boston City Councilwoman Annissa Essaibi-George has requested an informational hearing on what to do about the city’s apparently booming Canada geese problem. Why? Because they’re treating many Boston parks like restrooms. From Essaibi-George’s request, per the Globe’s Astead W. Herndon:

A single goose can consume up to four pounds of grass per day and produce as much as three pounds of fecal matter every day, causing little league teams to spend time cleaning fields, dog owners to clean goose feces from their pets’ paws, and walkers to walk in the street to avoid fouled sidewalks.

Plus, that poop can carry all sorts of microscopic no-nos, including parasites. And, as many park patrons know firsthand, Canada geese can turn quite aggressive should they feel they or their goslings are threatened.

Add to these nuisances the dual developments that the birds have over time come to prefer urban areas hereabouts and those here live longer than their counterparts in rural velds, and the city has a long-term problem that nature will not solve on its own.

What to do? Boston has options, including sterilizing the eggs and releasing dogs to scare the geese away. Yet, might we suggest that short of killing them will do nothing but exacerbate the fowl affair in Boston’s neighbors, particularly Cambridge just across the Charles River. And, after a while, the geese may simply return from nearby cities’ equally inviting parkland.

Short of a regional effort, then, Boston might be stuck between a flock and a hard place. OK. We’ll stop.