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January 27, 2012 / Brooklyn news / Park Slope / Meadows of Shame

City’s new goose buster to start ‘managing’ waterfowl

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A shadowy goose buster will begin a high-paid city gig next week — 18 months after the bird expert’s former employer slaughtered hundreds of waterfowl in Prospect Park.

A wildlife biologist poached from the United States Department of Agriculture is scheduled to begin “managing” waterfowl near airports in early February for the city’s Department of Sanitation.

Job duties for the four-year post, which pays $175,000 annually, include counting geese and other birds, installing “anti-perching devices” and using high-tech sound frequency tools to scare the feathered creatures away, according to a spokesman for the Department of Sanitation.

The agency did not respond to direct questions about whether the biologist’s duties include killing geese — like when the new hire’s previous employer rounded up more than 200 waterfowl and gassed them in the name of aviation safety back in 2010.

Park devotees now fear the city’s new worker is a sign their feathered friends are doomed, especially considering that staffers with the same title working with the wildlife biologist’s previous employer have trapped, tracked and killed birds with guns to keep waterfowl populations down near airports in other cities.

“I just hope the city does the right thing and makes use of other methods,” said wildlife advocate Mary Beth Artz, who last year organized a rally to save the geese in Prospect Park.

Other goose boosters contend that the city’s bird control methods just “harass geese,” causing flocks to separate during migration — potentially increasing local populations of birds that would otherwise return to nests outside the city.

“It is the perfect example of overkill,” said park watchdog Anne-Katrin Titze.

A spokesman for the city was mum about the biologist’s name and title at the federal agency. But he last year explained a “panel of technical experts” — aviation officials among them — stressed the need for the new job position in the wake of the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson” landing, which occurred after waterfowl collided with an airplane.

Prospect Park’s feathered residents should be safe at least until molting season this summer, when authorities have the legal right to kill them.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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Reader Feedback

annie from prospect park southwest says:
just what the city needs added to its already miserable reputation and record on animal issues
Jan. 27, 2012, 10:17 am
PP says:
not PC, but i've been very happy with the anti-geese measures because there's so much less geese poop!
Jan. 27, 2012, 12:41 pm
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
I hope we'll see GOOSE on the school lunch menu soon. If we're gonna kill 'em, might as well eat 'em.
Jan. 27, 2012, 12:48 pm
Mitchel Cohen from Bensonhurst says:
Let's just examine one phrase here --

"'managing' waterfowl near airports" --

Prospect Park is outside the the government's radius from airports. It has been so from day one, and even though the government expanded it arbitrarily last year, it STILL remains further away from airports than the regulations stipulate for killing or culling or gassing or massacring geese.

So what's Bloomberg's ever-shifting basis now for killing the geese in Prospect Park?

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens/Green Party
Jan. 27, 2012, 12:59 pm
Jennifer from Brooklyn says:
Indeed- the park is at least 9 miles from the airports.
PROSPECT PARK SHOULD BE OFF THE LIST.

As for the other areas around the city-people in those areas should speak up and organize.

This can't continue.
Jan. 27, 2012, 2:05 pm
David from GooseWatch NYC says:
Will any of this stop future round ups which are conducted by a federal agency in city parks funded by taxpayer dollars without any scientific basis or public input? Doubtful. http://www.goosewatchnyc.com
Jan. 27, 2012, 2:17 pm
Liz from Park Slope says:
The geese do not need more whiny hopeless sounding men like david to protect them
Jan. 27, 2012, 2:58 pm
Mitchel Cohen from Bensonhurst says:
Liz wrote:
"The geese do not need more whiny hopeless sounding men like david to protect them."

Left to themselves, you're right Liz. The geese do not need "help" from any of us. But given Bloomberg's and the USDA's round-up and gassing of Prospect Park's geese (as well as those in other parks), they do indeed need humans to intervene against the politicians and pseudo-scientists intent on massacring them, again.

David does not seem "whiny" or "hopeless" to me. He sounds not only deeply concerned, but like someone willing to take action to stop the killings.

Mitchel
Jan. 27, 2012, 3:11 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Goose Managment 101

Take a large stock pot 3/4 full of lightly salted water.

Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer

Place cleaned, plucked goose in water, making sure that it is covered.

Simmer until tender.
Jan. 27, 2012, 3:42 pm
MK from from the block says:

Thank you David and Mitchel for your rational sense.

We need more people who will actually get off their butts rather than criticize those that want to help a situation and do.
Jan. 27, 2012, 3:44 pm
PPW says:
I preferred it when they were culled then shipped off to feed the homeless.
Jan. 27, 2012, 5:23 pm
Jack T from Park Slope says:
Why don't they figure a way to work with these birds? Atlantic Flyway people!

google it, if you don't know what it means.
Jan. 27, 2012, 11:46 pm
Bensonhurst says:
To PPW:
You really believe that the Prospect Park geese were "culled" (nice euphemism, that! That's like saying that Jews were "culled" in Nazi Germany), and fed to people who are homeless? Why would you, who I assume knows how to read behind the lines and investigates stories before propounding on them, think that that's what occurred? (NYC geese contain high levels of heavy metals and other contaminants.)

To Jack T:
Cathryn Swan and a number of others have written detailed refutations of Bloomberg's claim that resident geese have anything whatever to do with airplane crashes, especially when located in Prospect Park which is outside even the official (and greatly enlarged) perimeter around airports. To maintain otherwise at this date, when so much has already been exposed, just shows how easily people who pride themselves on thinking independently just fall repeatedly for the official propaganda.

Mitchel Cohen
Brooklyn Greens/Green party
Jan. 28, 2012, 2:37 pm
Marion A from Manhattan says:
Canada's air safety record is among the tops in the world and they doesn't kill geese 'near airports'. Israel is also among the tops in the world and has reduced their plane/bird strikes by almost 90% - non lethally. There is no rational reason to be killing geese 'near airports'. Whowever thinks killing birds and specifically Canada geese makes air safety one iota safer hasn't done the research on flight hazards and plane/bird strikes. I also question if NYC is so worried about birds and planes why they allow golf coures anywhere near an airport - golf courses are known goose magnets.

On the other hand the aviation industry has done many things to make planes more vulnerable to bird strikes...going from 4 engines to 2, quieter engines the birds can't hear; some planes like Flight 1549 actually had engines that suck birds into them. The industry has to take some responsibility and not rely on killing birds to make up for their deficits.

It's ironic that more people have been killed hunting geese (approximately 100 hunters killed a year in North America) than will ever die in a plane/bird crash.
Jan. 28, 2012, 4:35 pm
Marion A from Manhattan says:
To Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge - put them on the school lunch menu?? Are you going to pay the $100 or so per bird to ensure they aren't too contaminated to eat?

"“Wild Waterfowl - Mergansers are the most heavily contaminated waterfowl species and should not be eaten. EAT NO MORE THAN TWO MEALS PER MONTH OF OTHER WILD WATERFOWL; YOU SHOULD SKIN THEM AND REMOVE ALL THE FAT before cooking, AND DISCARD STUFFING AFTER COOKING. Wood ducks and Canada geese are less contaminated than other wild waterfowl species and diving ducks are more contaminated than dabbler ducks. (Contaminants - PCBs, mirex, chlordane, DDT).

http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/fish/health_advisories/advice_on_eating_game.htm
Jan. 28, 2012, 4:38 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
'Canada's air safety record is among the tops in the world and they doesn't kill geese 'near airports'.

Not like any planes have ever ditched in the river because of a bird ingestion or anything.
Jan. 28, 2012, 11:09 pm
Jack T from Park Slope says:
@ Bensonhurst says:

I am aware that the Prospect Park geese and all geese that are being unfairly targeted are resident geese.

I am referring to the fact that they construct these airports in areas where the birds would normally be flying in and out and that they should take into consideration.

I am not disputing your claims.
Jan. 29, 2012, 7:56 am
Marion A from Manhattan says:
In fact these geese are so disease-laden that it both humans and geese harassing dogs should be kept away from them. Geese in the park should not be approached, and their geese droppings should not be disturbed. Exercise extreme caution around waterways which might be contaminated with their fecal matter.
Jan. 29, 2012, 9:55 am
Marion A from Manhattan says:
Or from Yellow Hook,
That's right, no planes have ever ditched in a river in Canada because of a plane/bird strikes. It is common sense to do rational things at airports to keep the birds away. It is insane to think killing all the resident birds within 7miles of an airport is doing anything to improve air safety. BTW...you could have killed every resident goose in NYC and it wouldn't have prevented Flight 1549 hitting geese because they were MIGRANTS from Labrador. Killing geese is INSANE...bird strikes are not even listed in the top reasons for plane crashes...pilot error and mechanical failure are. If you are paranoid about a goose/plane crash you shouldn't even be flying because bird strikes aren't even on the list:

According to Boeing, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and planecrashinfo.com, the top reasons are:

1. Pilot error
Specifically: weather-related pilot error (where pilot error was the cause but brought-about by weather related phenomena), mechanical-related pilot-error (where pilot error was the cause but brought about by some type of mechanical failure), math-related pilot error
% of crashes (approx): 50%

2. Mechanical failure
Specifically: maintenance negligence, design flaws, structural failure, fueling errors
% of crashes (approx): 22%

3. Weather
Specifically: wind shears, extreme turbulence, storms, lightning strikes, etc...
% of crashes (approx): 12%

4. Sabotage
Specifically: explosive detonations plane being shot down, and hijackings
% of crashes (approx): 9%

5. Other errors
Specifically: air traffic control error[s], improper loading of aircraft, fuel contamination, and misc. third party negligence
% of crashes (approx): 7%

Flight 1549 was an Airbus A320....do the research on A320s and you will see over 600 people died in A320 crashes throughout the world - none to do with bird strikes - and the FAA gave warnings years earlier they were prone to double engine failure. http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/tech_ops/read.main/246674/

Fatal and significant airbus A320 incidents:
http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/a320.htm
Jan. 29, 2012, 12:36 pm
Marion A from Manhattan says:
In addition, geese have been found to be beneficial to airways. All the facts below have been confirmed in multiple studies in peer reviewed journals:

1. Geese flocks provide pathways for smoother travel and deter other birds that are likely to strike aircraft.

2. Young geese calls scare off known rabies carrying animals such as raccoons, deer, bats, rabbits and coyotes.

3. Naturally molted geese down can be brewed and has proven to be therapeutic for emphysema, rickets and alleviate allergies.

The nonsense about geese and airstrikes is a MYTH perpetrated by idiots like OR and PP.
Jan. 29, 2012, 2:42 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:

Read the myth here Marion:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/16/nyregion/16pilot.html?scp=2&sq=hudson%20miracle%20flight%20delta&st=cse&gwh=D39D6C28D391285D6D62D04266FC9630

Oooooh! It's REAL!
Jan. 29, 2012, 5:35 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Spot the idiot yet Marion A ???
Jan. 29, 2012, 5:36 pm
SkyRoller from WrightHair says:
$175,000 per year counting geese?!!!!????
Lemme see

1, "" Click
2, "" Click
3, "" Click
.....
Jan. 29, 2012, 9:23 pm
Marion A from Manhattan says:
Or - please stop spreading your goose hate here. It's obvious that all you care about is bending over to the government and believing the all the lies you read in the newspaper. Its a FACT that geese have been MURDERED based on LIES and MYTHS. Idiots like you perpetrate these lies.
Jan. 30, 2012, 10 am
Elizabeth from Bay Ridge says:
Agree with you Marion.
It is just getting worse in this city with Mayor Doombird.

Can't wait for him to fly off into the sunset.
Jan. 31, 2012, 3:44 pm
Liz from Park Slope says:
I take back my earlier comment. PMS this time of month. Sorry to all.
Jan. 31, 2012, 4:03 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Marion A, I think you were not paying attention in Philosophy class.

You can not murder a goose, or any other animal.

And - a biiiiig airplane injested geese into its engine.
It was a jet plane.
It had jet engines.
The engine lost it's blades.
The big airplane could not fly.
It was landed without power in a big river.
The big river is called the Hudson River!
The big airplane would sink in the river because airplanes are not boats.
No one died that day because of skill.

But it those geese made the biiiiiig airplane crash land.

The end.
Feb. 1, 2012, 10:01 am
Marion A from Manhattan says:
Or - Of course you believe all the government propaganda sold in the media. If you look at all published reports, including the citations I wrote before, it's obvious that the crash/emergency landing had NOTHING to do with geese and everythign to do with pilot error. The media spun this into a gushing story of Sully the hero, because the truth would have been crushing to the airline industry: pilot error causes accidents. Idiots like you eat whatever the media feeds you without critically thinking about the context, history, and FACTS. Murdering geese is not going to solve the problem. But you don't really care, do you Or? You're like the person who sat by and said nothing while the Nazi's gassed the Jews. Enjoy your 'life.'
Feb. 1, 2012, 11:56 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Too delusional for words Marion!
Feb. 1, 2012, 1:24 pm
Marion A from Manhattan says:
And you're a naive moron, Or. Sweet dreams.
Feb. 1, 2012, 4:26 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Marion:

Shiny side of the tin foil goes on the outside sweety.
Feb. 3, 2012, 12:56 pm

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