Goose-proof landscaping: no harm, no fowl

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Honk if you love geese! Even if you do, lots of folks would rather not take a gander at a goose — or a whole gaggle of them — in their own yard. Canada geese are drawn to grassy areas (tasty shoots!) near open water (protection!), so some simple landscaping changes can reduce their favorite food and encourage them to move on. The Humane Society of the United States says such habitat modification is a long-term, cost-effective and humane way to reduce conflicts with geese. Here's how to do it:

• Reduce lawn area and the amount of young shoots within lawns.

Replace mowed, fertilized grass with other plantings or materials.

Allow grass to "naturalize." Grass at least 6 inches high has fewer young, tender shoots, and the shoots are more difficult for geese to find.

End or reduce fertilizer use and supplemental watering to reduce young shoots.

Reduce sight lines and access to open water. Geese like open sight lines and begin to feel insecure when they cannot see everything within at least 30 feet.

Add plantings such as long grasses, shrubs or other dense tall plants along shorelines.

Use fences, hedges and a continuous band of emergent aquatic plants like cattails and bulrushes in the water at the shoreline, alone or in combination with other elements.

Mix boulders — 2 feet or larger in diameter and more than 12 inches high — with plants.

Source: The Humane Society of the United States