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'Breaks my heart': Residents react to removal of Canada goose nest, destruction of eggs

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Residents who live in the Hyde Park Place apartments in north London, Ont. said they are heartbroken after Old Oak Properties removed two geese nests, containing more than half a dozen eggs.

“They used a bang to scare off the geese that were on the nest, and they took away the eggs,” said Nancy Plessis-Belair, a resident in one of the three Old Oak apartments in Hyde Park.

In a statement to CTV News London, Old Oak Properties confirmed that a wildlife removal company was called in last week to “motivate” the adult geese to move away from the nest, by using something called a “bang machine.”

The eggs were destroyed in accordance with the terms of a ‘damage or danger’ permit obtained from Environment and Climate Change Canada, according to Old Oak Properties.

“The property is already overrun with geese, and there are many other nests that were not disturbed. The egg removal from two nests was an attempt to reduce the total number of geese from the area — not to completely eliminate them,” explained Tracy Norman, director of property management at Old Oak Properties.

Plessis-Belair has lived in the apartment for three years, and said the geese return to nest in the same place. She questions why property management was not proactive, ensuring measures that would have prevented the geese from nesting.

“It breaks my heart, I go to sleep at night and I’m just thinking about it, you know. How can someone destroy nature like that? They are so beautiful,” added Plessis-Belair.

Old Oak Property in London, Ont.'s Hyde Park where two geese nests were removed and destroyed in late April 2024. (Reta Ismail/CTV News London)Brendon Samuels, coordinator of Bird Friendly London, said in Canada there is the Migratory Bird Convention Act and there are regulations that apply to any kind of disturbance or harm to migratory birds or their habitat.

It is illegal to disturb a nest of a migratory bird such as Canada geese, especially once there are eggs inside. Samuels said since the property management team obtained the required permit, their actions may have been authorised, but questions the necessity of such measures.

“Proactive strategies are really the key for managing Canada geese and with wildlife in general…looking at where geese have set up in the past, and setting up landscaping and exclusion devices so that the birds are not going to be attracted to come back there,” explained Samuels.

Old Oak Properties said the geese create “a lot of mess” throughout the property, which makes it “difficult and sometimes treacherous for residents to walk the grounds,” and sited problems for dog owners.

Plessis-Belair, along with several other tenants who voiced their concern over the removal of the nest said they enjoyed having them around.

“It’s a joy, we look out for them, I constantly go to check on the mamma,” said Plessis-Belair.

During Plessis-Belair’s interview with CTV News London, the geese returned and began to circle the area under the pergola where one of the nests was removed.

The video was shown to Samuels, and in his opinion he said it “sounds to me like a distress call, that’s what you would hear if you intrude in a breeding birds territory, where it has a nest, and they are reacting to an intruder in their space, and in this case, to the eggs that were destroyed.” 

Western University has a dedicated page about geese, where the community can submit a request for assistance with a goose conflict. 

To learn more about conflicts with Canada geese you can also visit the Bird Friendly London website

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