DEC: Feel free to destroy goose eggs, just register first

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Geese frolick in the water near Southold.

The number of Canada geese inhabiting New York State has grown so much in recent years the DEC is now encouraging property owners to puncture holes in goose eggs or cover them in corn oil in an effort to control the population.

Egg addling is a technique used to prevent the embryo in the egg from developing and hatching without tipping off the adult geese early enough in summer for them to leave the nest to lay new eggs.

The DEC recently issued a permit that allows residents to disturb the nests and eggs of Canada geese before June 30, without obtaining state or federal permits, so long as they register online.

Property owners are also encouraged to chase away Canada geese as soon as they arrive in the spring and persistently do so until they permanently leave the area, which they are less likely to do once they begin to nest from mid-March to mid-May.

Representatives from the local and state branches of the Audubon Society said the DEC’s plan shows a new level of leniency, but is altogether unsurprising.

There are more than than 200,000 estimated resident geese in New York, a number Jillian Liner, the director of bird conservation at Audubon New York, said is more than double the 85,000 population the state would like.

Here are some facts about egg addling, courtesy of the DEC:

• You must register each year prior to taking nests and eggs. You must register between January 1 and June 30 of the year in which the nests and eggs will be destroyed. You must also register employees or agents who may conduct the work on you behalf. You must be at least 18 years of age to register. Nests and eggs may be taken only between March 1 and June 30.

• A minor can addle eggs if under the supervision of an adult or landowner.

• Eggs can also be shaken to destroy the embryo.

To read more about what local and state Audubon Society representatives have to say about resident Canada geese, see Thursday’s News-Review newspaper.