Geese may be found on many ponds in the City of Manassas. While these birds are likely all the same species, Canada geese, there are important distinctions between one goose and the next. Geese naturally migrate so they can spend the summer in the north and winter in warmer southern climates. However, some geese populations broke from these natural cycles and no longer migrate. Many geese have become habitualized to being fed by people, so they congregate on many urban ponds, including within the City of Manassas.
Did you know that geese sometimes can produce as much as 1.5 pounds of poop per bird per day? If there is a large flock, that is a lot of poop and pollution getting into area waters. The nutrients in this poop causes algae blooms and other unsightly water conditions. These are the same nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants that is harming the Chesapeake Bay, which Virginians are spending millions of dollars a year in an attempt to clean up and improve water quality.
While a large quantity of geese in your local stormwater pond may be a nuisance, such issues are often better addressed before the problem becomes too severe.
For example, thousands of people with only the kindest of intentions endanger the health of waterfowl by feeding them. This seemingly benign activity can lead to avian botulism, crowding, and competition, and it also encourages migratory waterfowl to stay in areas that they would otherwise vacate because of limited food sources. People who love to feed ducks and geese might reconsider doing so if they knew that their actions had the potential to kill large numbers of birds. (source: PETA website)