New UI study reveals what really happens when scaring geese away

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., (WCIA) — When you’re driving in Champaign, you may be familiar with a certain roadblock on North Prospect Avenue. Not an orange traffic cone, but geese. 

Researchers at the U of I are studying their behavior and what really happens when humans try to chase them away in parks and ponds. 

Mike Ward, a professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at U of I, said geese are a lot smarter than we think. 

He said the birds get used to the people around them, that’s how smart they are. They’ve learned that humans aren’t really a threat. 

Ward is part of a team of researchers who started harassing geese near Midway Airport in Chicago. They wanted to learn if chasing them really kept them away or not.

They found that chasing them away doesn’t mean they’ll stay away. 

“When we run at them with clapping, we’re not actually gonna kill them,” Ward said. “It takes them a few days but they realize we’re just a nuisance, we’re not really a big threat. A lot of times we’re in areas with a lot of green grass, that’s what they want, so they come back.” 

They tracked their movement with a GPS device similar to a FitBit. 

“It’s not just getting geese out of your yard, but out of the region,” he said. “You can scare a goose and it will go to your neighbor’s yard or the next park, but if you have good places to feed and a safe spot, they’re going come back, usually within an hour.” 

He added that they know we aren’t to threaten their survival. Now, their next steps are trying to figure out how to move the geese out of the parks and into the countryside where they can also feed. 

Ward said it’s not impossible to keep geese out of your yards. He suggests for short-term solutions, you can either spray your grass with something like pepper spray or keep the grass a little longer. 

If it’s longer, it makes it harder for them to waddle and they would have to use more energy to fly instead.

You May Also Like

Aaron and Spencer say goodbye to the Love Island villa as they are voted off

Aaron and Spencer say goodbye to the Love Island villa as they…

Missing Nicola Bulley's friend shares '11 facts you may not know' about disappearance

Tilly Ann said she had the family’s permission to share some details…

Kansas lawmakers want to tax public EV charging

Stephen Edelstein – Green Car Reports Posted: Feb 5, 2023 / 09:46…

‘I’d Give Anything to Just Hear Her Voice’: Mother Pleads for Information About Missing Daughter

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series this month spotlighting…

Exclusive — Rep. Mary Miller Boycotting Biden’s SOTU Address

Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) is boycotting President Joe Biden’s State of the…

‘I thought Sainsbury’s was a high end supermarket but I now shop there over budget stores’

As the cost of living crisis continues to plague thousands across the…

Huddersfield Town forward Martyn Waghorn believes Terriers can put 'together a run' after QPR draw

The veteran striker bagged his first goal for the Terriers on Saturday…

GOP lawmakers critical of Biden’s handling of Chinese balloon

() — One day after American fighter jets shot down a Chinese…

Officials warn not to touch Chinese spy balloon debris that is expected to wash ashore

by: Kevin Accettulla, Rodney Overton Posted: Feb 5, 2023 / 12:00 PM…

Sandwiches, snacks sold in Virginia recalled for potential listeria contamination | WJHL

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Several types of premade sandwiches and snacks sold…

Marion Therapeutic Riding Association celebrates 40 years of service in the community

The Marion Therapeutic Riding Association on Saturday celebrated 40 years of service,…

At least 195 people dead in Turkey earthquake as buildings collapse and windows shatter

At least 195 people have died in a catastrophic 7.8 magnitude earthquake…