Jul 5th, 2016
Is it a bird? Is it a Plane?
Words: John Dean
An innovative solution has been found to deal with the droppings from Canada Geese, which have been the bane of a local golf course in Berlin, Mayland.
"It was like a minefield out there from the geese, especially the back nine," said local resident and player James Green. "It got on your shoes, clubs, cart. It'd get into your car and you'd smell that odour. Terrible."
The Goosinator has now come to the rescue. It is the creation of a Colorado company, and is a bright-orange foam device that buzzes loudly as it moves, and unsettles the hundreds of Canadian geese that congregate at Timberlin Golf Club.
Men's golf club President Peter DeFazio is the main Goosinator operator. At first he spent several hours each day stalking the geese with the machine. The birds began to scatter almost immediately. Now DeFazio only has to make the occasional maintenance visits to the course to keep geese away.
"It's been a huge change," assistant director of golf Gary Salvio: "We used to set up blowers at least once a day to clear goose poop off the greens. We don't need to do that anymore."
The device is one of the newest weapons in the ongoing battle to rid parks, golf courses and other outdoor spots of Canada geese, a species protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As a result, hunting is highly restricted of these birds, even the ones that overwinter in New England and don't migrate.
Before the introduction of The Goosinator, other geese scaring devices had been tried, including a fake wolf, but the geese soon realized it didn't move. Shiny CDs were hung by the water features, but they too were soon ignored.
But so far, the Goosinator is working perfectly.
"The Goosinator acts like a super predator. It stalks the geese on land and even goes on top of the water, which is the birds' safety zone," local Pro Bayram said.
"This year the cart wheels are clean. So are shoes. Golfers are happy. We're having a tremendous year so far. Play is up."
The battery-powered, 1HP device moves stealthily on the grounds, advancing slowly toward geese like a living predator might.
Geese return to mate and raise families in places they have in the past. So the Goosinator is unleashed in early March, chasing geese away and making sure they stay away.