Canada geese numbers at peak in Iowa right now

(Des Moines, IA) -- If it seems as if there are a lot of Canada geese in Iowa, you're right. Iowa Department of Natural Resources Waterfowl Biologist Orrin Jones says this is the peak migration time. He says geese are looking for open water, and can find it fairly easily in planned developments, residential neighborhoods, and recreational areas. He says the geese are most active during the day, when people are most active- so he says there's a perception that there's an over-population. Jones says the numbers are actually what they should be, about 75,000 statewide. He says right now the geese are concentrated so it seems as if there are more.

Jones says there are home-grown geese, but also many others migrating from Canada and Missouri. Jones says the idea of a "resident goose" is false, because most of them will fly north and south. He reminds residents not to feed them. He says it's not healthy and foraging for food encourages the birds to migrate.

Canada geese will start nesting in March, the hatchlings arrive in April and early May.

The Iowa DNR just finished a there year study with Iowa State University. Jones they expected local geese actually traveled throughout central Iowa more than they expected, and urban geese took longer trips north to Canada and south to Missouri.

Jones says the Canada geese is a success story, after being virtually wiped out from Iowa between 1907 through the mid-1960s. Iowa has a Canada geese hunting season, from September through mid-January.

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