Don't Drink the Grape Kool-Aid: More Solutions for Mamaroneck Geese

Westchester4Geese, a local animal advocacy organization, has prepared a proposal for the Village of Mamaroneck's board of trustees.


The news that the Village of Mamaroneck was planning to slaughter Canadian Geese during molting season has set off a firestorm of outrage from local—and not-so-local—animal advocacy groups as well as individuals who oppose what they say is a cruel solution to a complex problem that may not fully eradicate the goose population.

Westchester4Geese founder Kiley Blackman—whose group has called for the slaughter to be televised on local stations—has submitted a formal proposal to the village for an alternative to the village's contract with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Criticizing the village's plan as unlikely to keep the goose population away indefinitely—perpetuating a habitual slaughter—Blackman calls for the village's adoption of Geesebusters, a three-dimensional replica of a predatory bird designed to condition geese to avoid areas where they see the "bird" flying over head.

Created by Robert Guadagna, the replica circles the area as if it is on the hunt for prey, fooling birds into believing they are being considered for the "bird's" next meal.  

"Our method exploits the bird's natural fear of an aerial predator and this inborn fear will cause the birds to leave permanently," said Geesebusters' website.

Although no specific figure was cited, Blackman's proposal said that Geesebusters would be willing to undercut the U.S.D.A.'s rate; Westchester4Geese has offered a $500 contribution toward the solution.

Additionally, the group supports ancillary methods of non-toxic goose repellents such as Birdgone and grape Kool-Aid, both of which have flavors repugnant to geese. Westchester4Geese also supports the use of goose birth control advocated by nonprofit group In Defense of Animals as well as methods such as egg oiling.

"With this unnecessary slaughter comes the underlying constant issue of brutality to beings who love their families just as humans do; who many many humans actually enjoy watching…whose viewing in fact provides a sense of peace and tranquility," said Blackman in the proposal.

TAX Payer March 12, 2013 at 04:12 PM
Really? I pay a lot of money for my children to enjoy OUR beutiful park. I don't need out of towners lobbying their opinions when they are not the ones dealing with the problem. I DO NOT allow my children to play on those fields for fear of desease. I commend the Mayor and the board for addressing this issue. If slaughtering the geese will make the fields safe for my children to play on...I say...Off with their heads!
Kim March 12, 2013 at 04:50 PM
I used to live in the area, now 6 miles away. Someone from Texas is an outsider, your neighbors in Westchester are not outsiders. There's not some Berlin wall preventing people in Westchester from going to Mamaroneck and patronizing its businesses and bringing revenue to the town. If Mamaroneck wants to close itself off from "outsiders" I don't see businesses turning down my money, who in turn pay real estate taxes. More taxes, I'm sure, than you personally pay. It seems that Mamaroneck has a hard time facing its very real problems of incessant human waste pouring into its waters, and wants to focus on goose droppings. It is easy to clean up the goose droppings and to control their population humanely. It is HARD to clean up sewage. It will cost millions and millions of dollars. Did you ever wonder why the town is leading people on a "wild goose chase" about cleaning up the waterfront? Because they aren't really trying to clean up the waterfront. You say "if slaughtering geese will make the fields safe..." Well, to answer that: it won't. Your tax money will be wasted and your children will still be swimming in sewage.
K. Sipe March 12, 2013 at 05:38 PM
So it is ok to teach your children that when Wildlife does something you don't particularly care for then just murder them? The way they kill these geese is FAR from humane. How would you like to have you and your family rounded up into tiny crates, then either watch as your family is murdered one by one, or spend a very long amount of time trying to breathe as you are being gassed to death. Yes...this sounds very humane. The geese are just trying to exist. They see an inviting patch of land and water so they go there. What is wrong with using kinder alternatives to slaughter to keep their numbers down? I am from the area and I applaud these alternative suggestions! Please go with one!
Gina von Eiff March 12, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Tax Payer who doesn't have the courage to write their name - if you don't want to live with the wildlife go to the city and live with the cockroaches - to each his own. If you think that you will have clean safe fields for your children - outside where you have no control of seagulls, rats, raccoons, cats, broken liquor bottles, discarded hypodermics and condoms, broken seashells, - get real - your children can get sick in a million ways, and do you let them swim in the Harbor with the sewage spills, oiil spills, people peeing, babies in soiled diapers floating around - seriously? These geese come from all neighborhoods and migrate up and down the rivers. If this is a money issue - we're losing - they'll keep coming back - so that means more slaughtering, you're wasting my money and yours and your children are no safer. They can get TB if someone spits on the sidewalk - my gosh, have they ever fallen and been cut - they could be infected. Life is full of danger. We're living in "wildlife" territory - we're taking their habitat and upsetting the ecosystem, just check out how dirty are rivers are with human garbage. Sign your name and stand up for your beliefs, just like we are.
Amy Meyer Hodman March 12, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Really? Well I'M a taxpayer too (lived in Mamaroneck since 2006) so I also pay money for MY child to use our beautiful park. And I do not agree at all with the Mayor's decision to kill the geese. what kind of example does this set for our kids when our elected officials think it is better to just kill off a problem instead of dealing with it in a more reasonable manner?


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