Nesting geese ruffle feathers at Town Center at Aurora Mall | News
AURORA, Colo. – It’s an unlikely place to nest, but two geese chose a busy shopping mall as the place to raise a family. Little did they know that construction would threaten their new home at Town Center at Aurora Mall.
“I decided something needed to be done now,” says Fay Hamelin, who works at the mall. She says the new residents were being endangered by roofers throwing debris into a dumpster next to the nest.
“They were throwing things off the roof,” Hamelin says. “All that stuff flying. She (the mother goose) had gotten scared and got off the nest. The eggs were covered with black soot.”
Hamelin tried getting management to stop the roofers from throwing material from the roof to the dumpster. When that didn’t work, she called animal control.
Animal control officers forced the roofing company to install a trash chute from the roof to the dumpster.
Shopper Meg Sippel and her kids paused to see the protective parents now that geese are making themselves at home all over the metro area.
“We were coming to the mall do shopping, and I said ‘Oh, there`s the geese, guys.’ So we came and looked,” Sippel says.
“They have an area often with a small water body, which they like. And grass, which they feed on. The presence of all those people will sometimes deter predators,” says Theo Stein, spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Predators like coyotes.
Sometimes coyote decoys are used to help control where geese choose to nest, such as the decoy at Expo Park. It’s a simple solution that works—to an extent.
We spotted just three today.
“It`s nasty. I`m not going to lie the grass and sidewalk are pretty gross sometimes. But it`s part of the deal,” says Aurora resident Gary Barbier, who spent the day playing Frisbee golf at the park.
Barbier knows the consequences of living with wildlife, and he`s okay with that.
“In the spring, once they`re out, it`s a cool thing,” he says. “They`re really cute…You see them grow.”
It`s what Hamelin hopes happens back at the mall.
“Hopefully, through this whole thing the eggs will survive and there will be little geese,” she says. “That would be wonderful.”
Colorado parks and wildlife says it in the middle of a study to determine if Canadian geese populations have grown in the last decade.
Stein says there were significant surges in the 80s and 90s, but he suspects that populations have leveled off.
It’s illegal to kill Canadian geese out of hunting season. The state says the best way to get rid of geese is to humanely scare them away.
Stein says sometimes to reduce numbers the state will slather corn oil on the eggs to keep them from hatching.
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