Avian Adversaries
Oklahoma Today|September/October 2020
Avian Adversaries
Pesky birds take flight when these goose dogs are on the job.

BEFORE TULSA’S GATHERING Place opened in September 2018, Goose the border collie was already on the job. Her mission: herding Canada geese, or more accurately, hazing them. Hazing is a practice in which dogs scare the geese and make them go away— hopefully for good. Typically, that tactic has to be repeated many times. Geese can be pretty stubborn.

“Park planners knew that it was going to be an ideal place for geese to take up residence,” says Randy Runnells, Pond Manager and Goose’s trainer at Gathering Place.

In her Goose Patrol role, Goose discourages the birds from nesting and feasting on the vegetation. Runnells points out that Canada geese can be migratory or resident and those who don’t migrate can get very territorial and even aggressive toward people who stray too close to the gaggle or their nests.

“Luckily, we’ve had none of those problems,” Runnells says of Goose’s success keeping the birds on the fly.


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September/October 2020