Geese at the Galeries Aylmer: public asked to stand down
Visitors to the Galeries Aylmer may have been surprised to find new residents in the mall parking lot, April 21. A pair of Canada geese have set up their nest steps away from one of the mall’s South facing entrances. A week later, amid cars parking and shoppers going in and out of the mall, the geese can still be found quietly minding their new nest in a concrete planter.
While a mall parking lot is an unconventional nesting site, the proximity of the Galeries to water and protection from sky predators may make the area attractive to the geese. A reduction in natural nesting sites and a growing Canada goose population capable of adapting to human environments can also explain why the geese chose to nest in such a busy urban area.
While residents may wish to have the geese moved to a safer and greener location, Canada geese are protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act and may not be moved without a permit once they have started nesting. For the time being, Galeries Aylmer operators have marked a zone around the nest with yellow caution tape to encourage shoppers to give the geese adequate space.
A recent statement from the Galeries Aylmer Facebook account reads “Please continue to let the future little family live. They have chosen this place by instinct and above all do not need to be disturbed, fed or watered. Continue to respect the perimeter that has been set up for their safety.” A handwritten sign, likely from one of the many Aylmer residents who has expressed concern for the birds’ well-being, also reminds shoppers not to feed the birds.
We can expect to host the goose family for a period of approximately three weeks before they will go to seek water around mid-May. Since geese tend to return to the same nesting site year after year – unless prevented from nesting before they become attached to a site – there is a good chance our new neighbours will be back for another visit next Spring!
Photo: A Canada Goose couple have made a nest outside the Galeries Aylmer. Mall operators ask that the public give them space and stay away from them. (LR) Photo: Greg Newing