Feds Send 700 Geese From NYC To Poultry Plant To Cut Down On Bird Strikes At Airports

Instead of having the birds fly into airplane engine death traps, federal officials rounded up approximately 700 Canadian geese from New York’s Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge yesterday, to send them upstate to a poultry plant to be euthanized. The move comes after bird strikes with passenger jets have forced many an emergency landing at JFK and LaGuardia Airports.

LaGuardia and JFK saw increases in bird strikes of 28% and 53% respectively between 2009 and 2011. Just in the last few months we’ve reported on strikes out of Westchster Counnty Airport and JFK that resulted in emergency landings. A bird strike was reportedly involved in the flight that Captain “Sully” Sullenberger landed on the Hudson River in January 2009 after taking off from LaGuardia.

The New York Post says the action yesterday ends a fight between the US Department of Agriculture and the National Parks Service over removing the birds.

“We could not afford to sit back and wait for a catastrophe to occur before cutting through bureaucratic red tape between federal agencies,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who pushed the feds for the removal.

“We are finally taking action to help reduce bird strikes and save lives,” she said.

The birds are in their molting season, and thus couldn’t fly. They were rounded up by kayak and on land and herded into crates heading to the poultry plant, where they will likely be gassed. The USDA says the effort should rid the region of the birds.

The goose meat won’t go to waste, says the USDA — it will be given to food pantries.

Just a reminder — if you should witness a bird strike from a plane, don’t whip out your iPad to film it.

NY geese gathered for gassing: 700 Geese rounded up to avoid bird strikes at JFK, La Guardia [New York Post]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Coffee says:

    How unfortunate. Good thing Canadian geese are kinda dicks.

  2. hokiehor14 says:

    I think they are actually Canada Geese, but im glad they are being “taken care of”

  3. Starrion says:

    Obviously it was done by the feds.

    If this had been up to the locals there would have been 700 geese with cement shoes on the bottom of the river.

  4. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    I don’t understand, it’s called Wildlife ***REFUGE**** and yet animals there are subject to being killed? Why not open up hunting there too.

    Incidentally, I think humans could learn a lot from watching Canada Geese. They are the best parents, for one thing. Every human parent-to-be should watch a video of Canada Geese pairs watching over their babies and protecting them at a team from both sides, and yet allowing the babies to wander at their leisure and explore their world. No overprotection or hysteria, just common sense.

    • 2 Replies says:

      “No overprotection or hysteria”
      You have obviously never been around a Canadian goose with goslings. O_O
      They pretty much exemplify over-protection.
      I’ve seen a Canadian mother goose chase down an innocuous floating plastic bag to “protect” the goslings.

    • Jaynor says:

      How do they end up flattened outside my office building’s lake then?

    • KathyD says:

      Most of those Geese no longer migrate, but stay in this NYC/Long Island area all year. A relatively new phenomenon and a source of a number of problems.

      • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

        Yeah, like shitting on the grass wherever they go, and yes, not migrating when their feathers grow back after moulting–yeah, seen that before. That’s why up here during moulting season, literally thousands of these shitting geese get rounded up and taken somewhere far away from the lake (where their shit causes a lot of bacteria issues.) Alas, they’re also protected in the sense when they and their goslings are crossing the road, you can’t turn them into roadkill.

    • cspschofield says:

      In a wildlife refuge, if no predators are thinning the population of a species and it is outgrowing its territory or otherwise damaging the area, it falls to us humans to kill the excess.

    • eturowski says:

      If there’s one species that doesn’t need protected in a wildlife refuge, surely it is Canada geese. In addition to being extremely prolific, they have plenty of manmade landscaped ponds at their disposal, and they are federally protected against levels of hunting that would otherwise keep their population at a manageable level.

      Their poop is disgusting and disease-laden (hello, Campylobacter!), but they are pretty tasty when they are in season. :)

    • nodaybuttoday says:

      I thought the same thing, I thought animals at wildlife refuges were protected. Although I absolutely hate geese (and bird in general outside of penguins, how can you hate penguins?), I find it odd that they would just kill the geese instead of coming up with a better plan like moving them?

  5. Kris Overstreet says:

    Blame Canada.

  6. yankinwaoz says:

    Capt’ Sully approves.

  7. BMR777 says:

    It seems like an expensive waste of foie gras if you ask me. ;)

  8. Golfer Bob says:

    I understand that some states require the meat of certain slaughtered nuisance aninmals to be donated to food pantries, but I just can’t get past the idea of these geese living in polluted waters near an airport. I wonder what precautions are being taken to ensure these geese are fit for human consumption?

    • eturowski says:

      Probably the same ones that keep people from eating venison from the deer that drink from those same water sources (i.e., none).

    • Chuft-Captain says:

      Oh, I dunno…I guess their goose could always be cooked…properly.

  9. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    Grrrr. Pet peeve – they are not *Canadian* Geese, they are *Canada* Geese. They don’t claim citizenship.

  10. Rexy does not like the new system says:

    A bird strike was reportedly involved in the flight that Captain “Sully” Sullenberger landed on the Hudson River in January 2009 after taking off from LaGuardia.

    Reportedly? Really? It was f*****g confirmed that a bird strike shut down the engines.

  11. JMH says:

    Oh good. Goose is delicious so it would be a shame if nobody was going to eat them.

  12. Sarek says:

    Don’t send them to California. Foie gras is verboten there now.

    And it’s Canada geese.

    And Yankinwaoz is spot on: Cap’t Sully has remarked on the bird problem (for obvious reasons.)

    • Bonster says:

      You can eat geese there. Goose liver, too. Just not goose liver when the goose has been artificially fattened until the liver swells to three times its size.

      Besides, Foie Gras is gross.

  13. MarkFL says:

    Problem solved. ‘Cuz we know that no other geese will move in to the area.

  14. Will Print T-shirts For Food says:

    Why don’t they just send them to the folks in California who love them so much?

  15. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    “The USDA says the effort should rid the region of the birds.”

    LOL. That’s like Internet Dad deleting spam and thinking he’s solved the problem.

  16. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    My late mother in law took 3 goose eggs from a local pond, and hatched them out. She gave the gooslings to one of her chickens to raise. Those geese would have petrified the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse! They were awful. And they hunted in a pack, and could silently sneak up on you if you weren’t watching, and they liked to pinch with their beaks and flog with their wings. I was terrified of them, and secretly wanted to see what happened if Jehovah’s Witnesses tried to go to her door.

    Good luck getting rid of these monsters!

    • who? says:

      Canada geese are awesome….at a distance. Up close, not so much. A couple of years ago I got attacked by a goose at the park, because I hadn’t noticed that mama goose had parked her nest next to a drinking fountain. The attack brought back suppressed memories of when I was attacked by a goose on grandpa’s farm as a toddler. When I asked Mom about it, she said that yes, I’d been attacked by a goose when I was 2. We ate it for dinner that night. It was delicious.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Geese make fantastic watchdogs. An older ex’s mom kept them around their rural place as such. When someone came up to the gate, they would just go crazy.

  17. cspschofield says:

    FREE Roast Goose dinners for the homeless!

  18. Not Given says:

    Canada Goose

  19. Jane_Gage says:

    And yet if I bludgeoned these fuckers to death with a golf club I would go to jail.

  20. Libertas1 says:

    I’m fuckin starvin. We got any goose back there Earl?

  21. Graymalkin56 says:

    Um, does the porn industry REALLY want to pursue this course? If Internet users learn that they run the risk of being extorted or exposed in public trials, they may just stop downloading porn entirely. Tick off enough voters, and politicians will smell an opportunity to make all porn illegal.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Before the website makeover, I might see a wrong post once every few month –
      now not a day goes by when there isn’t a right post to the wrong article.

  22. Graymalkin56 says:

    Oh, and thanks, Consumerist, for posting my comment about ANOTHER article at this one. Makes real sense. Just delete it and my account, will you?

    • wombats lives in [redacted] says:

      Wait a second… that post wasn’t talking about the slippery slope of making goose porn illegal? Phew, that’s a relief.

  23. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I’m glad they’re going to the food pantry. Those birds are pretty but they are HUGE and can do a lot of damage! I nearly hit one in my car once on the way to work. It just waddled out right in front of me. I’m glad I didn’t; it might have destroyed my headlight on that side and I couldn’t afford to replace it.

  24. mannyvel says:

    They could have used these for foie gras. Sad…

  25. bben says:

    Bird strikes are extremely dangerous for aircraft. And bird control is very expensive at many airports. Canada Geese are BIG birds and more dangerous than most because the tend to fly in groups so multiple hits are more common. One goose will destroy an engine.

    In the late 1960s I got to see first hand what happens when 2 seagulls go through the same engine on an F4. The plane flipped on take off and crashed through the flight line (where planes are parked in rows). 6 F4s totally destroyed, 7 A4s totally destroyed 6 F4s with major damage, 8 A4s with major damage. 2 USMC squadrons wiped out in 30 seconds. We lost more aircraft to birds in the US that month than we did in combat (Vietnam). – Amazingly, no one was killed.

  26. ferozadh says:

    This is obviously an act of terrorism by Canada. I think it’s time to spread some democracy.

  27. RandomHookup says:

    The folks at Chic-fil-A have inquired about opening a new restaurant at the airport.

    • bar_foo says:

      Actually the sale of wild-caught meat (fish excepted) is basically illegal in the US–which is why the geese have to go to charity, not to supermarkets.

  28. MrEvil says:

    Resident Geese are a huge nuisance. Unfortunately because there’s nothing differentiating them from the migratory ones they’re subject to federal authority.

    However, if it were me, I’d just play the game of shoot, shovel, and STFU. Then when questioned by the game warden just play ignorant of what happened to all the geese.

  29. blueman says:

    They’re Canada geese, not Canadian.