City Cast

Are Denver's Geese Safe for Another Season?

Peyton Garcia
Peyton Garcia
Posted on June 20
Two adult geese cross the street, followed by a group of baby geese.

Are Denver’s geese safe for another season? (Lyn Alweis / The Denver Post / Getty Images)

⁉️ Goose WHAT-ing?

You might remember the infamous goose cullings of 2019 and 2020 in which the city killed 1,662 geese one year and 517 geese the next. (The goose meat was then offered to local families facing food insecurity.) Animal activists were up in arms, but the city argued our goose populations were reaching “critical capacity.” Too many geese can lead to goose-human conflicts, like goose aggression during nesting season, overgrazing of landscape and vegetation, and safety hazards for drivers.

🐣 Will there be any culling this year?

According to this January follow-up from Westword, probably not — and there are a couple reasons why:

  1. A particularly rampant outbreak of bird flu earlier this year helped … naturally … keep goose populations in check.
  2. The city is still seeing long-lasting success from those previous culls. So much success, in fact, officials don’t foresee having to do another cull anytime in the near future.

📈 How many geese are too many geese?

It depends. Denver Parks and Rec says, “A sustainable goose population in Denver parks is determined by the population of resident Canada geese in a specific park and how the natural resources of that park positively or negatively respond to the presence of a large or small goose population.”

🥚 Is there another way?

Yes. The city also manages geese populations through “egg oiling.” This method is when you surreptitiously coat a goose’s eggs in corn oil to block oxygen from reaching the embryo, terminating the development. I know what some of you might be thinking (um, yikes!), but the U.S. Humane Society considers egg oiling the most humane way to deal with goose population management. The city also uses hazing techniques (the use of bright lights, loud noises, dogs, and fake coyote decoys) to deter the birds.

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