Bird banger/screamers

I’m paddling through a local golf course a couple days ago and listening to geese and sandhill cranes when a loud screaming/crackling sound followed by a BANG made me jump a couple inches off my seat. In some places you can’t see the golf course from the river so I didn’t know what happened until a couple hours later on my way back when I see the guy in a golf cart driving around setting off fireworks to scare the geese away. I think they are called screamer/crackler/bangers; they are startling. This golf course uses pop-up coyotes and hawk kites but I’ve never seen them use fireworks before. It must have been a coincidence that the first one went off just as I passed, right? It does make me wonder why anyone would have the right to disturb a neighborhood with obnoxious fireworks just to chase birds away.


I’ve seen dozens of geese clustered on water side lawns. They leave an awful mess . If I had a lake side lawn, I’d get the most goose killing dog I could find.
A local resevoir cuts the grass to a minimum and puts up coyote silhouettes . Seems to marginally work.

A state park ranger at a place I frequented said they sometimes set off fireworks to (try to) scare the geese away.

Geese don’t leave for long, though.

I never heard this being used when I was there. Being a public park might require doing it only at certain times. If the golf course is private, maybe there’s no such limitation.

Birds are a lot smarter than most people think, especially corvids and some parrots. If they ever evolve opposable thumbs, humans might be in trouble.

It always annoyed me dealing with land development, they build a manicured lawn gently sloping to a pond- goose utopia- then get upset that goose are attracted to it. And the first thing out of their mouths- Let’s kill them.


Wow, that would have been disconcerting!

Geese, in particular, are problematic. They are large enough to fend off most predators that we allow around us in developed areas, they love grass and water, so as R51Mike said, we build it and they come, are successful, and then we decide we don’t like them around, because they are just too much, smile. By creating good habitat for them, we even change their migration pattern, making things problematic. They are a big problem around airports too.

In Delaware, there are Canada geese here all year round. Some are now resident and do not migrate any more. Others arrive for the winter, adding to the problem. I have even read that in Montreal Canada, they have wintering Canada geese do to the changed habitat, partly warm water that stays ice free, and lots of grass.

I have not heard of a good solution to the issue. Geese take advantage of available habitat, and we then have an on-going struggle to keep their use of the habitat we created to an acceptable level. Patrolling with trained dogs and falconers flying their birds over the area, seem to be the most effective solutions, but these require on-going action that never can be stopped. Noise making and “scare crow” type devices are less expensive, of course, so often used. New methods are being tried, but I have not tried to follow that over the years.

A google search can be interesting to see the creative ways people try to keep the geese away.

Some locations do have noise ordinances. At the sailing club we were constantly cleaning the docks where the geese would roost. We found they would not fly up onto the dockside when we put up a small fence along the edge of removable PVC, three-quarter inch post and a bright flagging tape attached along the tops of each post. they would not fly up onto the dock because of that. I can see the need to keep them off of and away from airport runways. However, wildlife have the same right to live on this earth as humans. I fish and hunt and believe in wildlife management for their benefit. I also realize wildlife can be a problem around people. However, in the modern world wildlife and urban environments need to coexist as best they can because we are using up much of the available habitat for many species of animals. The inconvenience of goose droppings on the golf course is something I think we can live with. Until we found a simple solution for the docks we would just sweep them off. The grass at the club is often fertilized by the geese. We leave them alone on the grass. They leave when we walk toward them.


Farmers near me sometimes use an automated propane cannon that sounds just like a shotgun firing. iIt can be set with a timer to fire at random time intervals so the geese don’t get wise to the timing. In soft ground areas of spring, geese will tear up the grass turf and make a horrible mess of the fields with bomb crater size holes in the dirt.

A landscape owner friend works in a more urban area where office complexes have ponds that attract geese and their mess. He says there is a chemical that he can put down that does not kill, but makes the geese feel sick so they leave and do not come back.

I’ve seen those fake coyote on boat docks :laughing:

Even the Adirondacks are seeing a growing resident goose population. I don’t know that anything (fake predators, noisemakers, fencing, dogs …) keeps them away very long. I’d say a better long-term strategy is to make the habitat less attractive to them (see link below). Also, a manicured lawn down to the water’s edge sheds polluting, nutrient-rich runoff into the water; we don’t need that either.


Projects I was involved with, they’d grade a shallow bench at the pond edge to grow aquatic plants to dissuade the geese and also as a runoff filter. Since they already need to grade a safety bench it’s not a big deal. Wetlands creation is difficult but also has several benefits. Another multi-benefit technique is to establish wildflower meadows instead of monoculture lawn. But plenty of people think meadows and wetlands are merely unproductive weeds that should be mowed down and filled.


Many of the farm ponds in pastures around our county have geese nesting on them. the one we have is no longer surrounded by farm fields and pasture. I does have some open pasture along about 1/4 of the shore but with trees near the bank. Forest surrounds the rest. Only 2 pair have tried to nest both were unsuccessful. One even lost its mate as well as the nest. I know this because the survivor spent about a week calling and checking out the pond afterward. If I did a goose call it would even fly in from other farm ponds in the area and start calling. They seem reluctant to nest where it is easy for a predator to ambush them .

When I come across these…

Then I send in these…

Which results in this…

Noise free, 'cept for the flapping.:wink:


I’m girding myself for the second year of battling my lunkhead municipality over their “noxious weeds” regulation that decrees that all yards must be mowed to less than 6" at all times and anything that doesn’t look like a golf course is categorized as a “nuisance” punishable by $300 a day fines and possible incarceration if defied. I have close to an acre now, half of it an extra lot with a few fruit trees that I would like to convert to a wildflower and tall native grass meadow. The borough brags about how it is a “green community” and an “Arbor Day Tree City USA” – they built an LEED Platinum Zero net energy municipal building a few years ago but they persecute people who choose to high mow or not mow, while meanwhile failing to maintain the trees and vacant land that is borough owned so the green spaces in our hilly borough (ironically, “Forest Hills”) are unsightly tangles of crowded and dying or dead trees, festooned with vines and poison ivy and choked with Japanese knotweed and invasive bamboo. I let my front yard, which was ragged-looking from neglect due to the house being empty for over a year, go to pink and white clover and wildflowers last summer and got immediately cited for it. My neighbor two blocks away keeps honeybees and they, and many other wild bees and butterflies swarmed to it daily. I tore up the citation, and compromised by mowing a 36" perimeter around both halves of the yard so if they came after me again I would point to the clause in the regs that said deliberately cultivated flower beds were exempt from the “nuisance growth” rule. (I use a super quiet battery mower and battery line trimmer.)

Meanwhile, if you read up on the environmental cost of mowed lawns in terms of water wasted, run-off pollution, destruction of wetlands and even carbon release from the machinery used to compulsively chop down the grass, just outlawing municipal bans on rewilding meadow space would have a tremendous benefit to the entire country. Even our state’s agricultural extension service urges towns and cities to remove lawn mowing mandates from their regulations and publishes a list of less than 12 non-native plant species that are officially “noxious”. I had NONE of those in my back and front yards nor the vacant lot. It was also very obvious who had the most environmentally friendly property during the summer (I am surrounded by neighbors who mow to putting green levels plus across the street is the high school sports field complex which is also mowed to oblivion weekly all season): my yard and lot were full of fireflies every night – they can’t display, mate and breed without tall grass at least 12" to 30" tall and they are endangered because of lack of this habitat. And the deer herds in the area eat people’s vegetable and flower gardens in part because the native grasses and wild greenery that they evolved to browse on have been removed in favor of groomed lawns. I have a regular crew of 5 to 7 deer that browse and sleep in the growth in my meadow-fied extra lot, which is also a home for rabbits and hunting ground for hawks, owls and falcons, even at least one eagle last year. What does NOT frequent my meadows are the Canada geese flocks, which prefer to hang out (and poop) on the heavily shorn sports fields across the road.

The idea of short mown monoculture lawns evolved late in human landscaping to replicate the green spaces on large estates in 18th and 19th century England. But England is a cool and rainy land with rich natural soil AND it was livestock, primarily millions of sheep, that kept those lawns clipped, not diesel smoke belching power tools. Shoe-horning short unnatural grass lawns into every climate and geographic zone in North America has become an environmental problem. As has been pointed out, doing so also upsets the patterns of wild animals and puts them in even more conflict with human development.


Thank you…Here in FL, where a shameful majority of natural marsh areas have been drained for “development” - and natural stopovers for migratory birds, waders and yes, geese - are thin on the ground, literally…It seems the height of injustice to create areas that beckon these birds, and then attempt to exclude or discourage them.

Golf courses are a very mixed bag, in terms of environmental impact, to put it kindly.


Resident and migratory Canada geese differ in behavior only; they are both the same species of geese and are both protected by the Migratory Bird Act. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act ostensibly protects Canada geese, making it illegal to harm them, their eggs or their nests. However, that only means people can’t harm birds without a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which frequently gives property owners permission to kill Canada geese in urban and suburban areas. There is a limited hunting season in many designated areas, but again, you need a license.

A number of years ago a wealthy doctor at Congressional Country Club was arrested after being accused of beating a goose to death with a golf club. Witnesses said the goose honked at him causing him to miss a putt.

We have had a nesting pair in our pond for many years, but they seem to have aged out and no longer produce eggs, but they still chase away any other pairs that try to nest there.

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Hire a Border Collie.

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Even pinstriped millionaire outfielders,
enshrined in the Hall of Fame,
have garnered far-flung wrath per their tossed televised gaff,
a gall to ball gull till it’s birdbrained.

But now ya tell me there’s Club to club,
per putz interuptus of pedia-patrician,
for honk if (not) loved, by Jesus, where the unholy seizes,
in goose where eagle wood’ve saved green condition.

Ain’t it a bitch,
and another barks swears.
Goose plop covers the ground,
some falls from the air.
Send in the hounds.
There oughta be hounds.
Then the goose won’t be there.

(Sondheim sighs from his grave. Weird Al giggles from desk)

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There once was a goose on the greens
Who was not scared of noisy machines.
He lured in some others
Who became goosie mothers.
There once WAS a goose on the green!

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Or an Airedale!