Canada Geese can Trouble Hoosiers During Nesting Season, But There are Solutions

Apr 18, 2017

Canada Geese graze in the grass at a pond, just off I-65 in Merrillville.
Credit Sharon Jackson / Lakeshore Public Media

March until June is nesting season for Canada geese, and that can become a problem for Hoosier property owners.  During nesting season these geese are especially aggressive, sometimes attacking and nipping at people to protect their nests.  But you can get a permit in Indiana to destroy their eggs, nests and even kill the adults.

Megan Dillon, an Urban Wildlife Biologist with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and I went out to try to find some Canada Geese in early April. She educated me on their characteristics and what Hoosiers can do legally to solve overabundance problems.

Canada Geese can cause significant damage to landscaping, leaving large amounts of excrement that can render areas unfit for human use, ruining your walk in the park or making your outing at the golf course even more challenging.  Hoosiers need to know how to handle these situations because the ideal habitat for Canada Geese is right here in Indiana.

The survival rate for Canada Geese is really high in urban areas because of the ideal habitat, with the mowed turf grass that provides them the never-ending salad bar.  Also their typical predators like coyotes or raccoons are often removed or deterred in urban areas.  

So even though they can hurt you without a permit, you need to permit in many cases before you can take action against them. Canada Geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal law.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Urban Wildlife Program provides assistance to help establish pond buffers across urban Indiana.  For more information go to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website.