PGC banding geese

Pennsylvania Game Commission biologists were busy last week scoring the Northeast Region of the state looking for resident Canadian geese.

PGC biologist Kevin Wenner, who headed the Northeast Region banding project, said that each year biologists take to local ponds and lakes to roundup geese for banding.
The game commission chooses early summer for the banding process because each year, geese molt during late June and early July.
“It’s easier to corral them during the molting phase,” Wenner said on Thursday. “And once we get them we attach a leg band.”
The point of attaching the leg band is for future monitoring of the birds.
The game commission is then able to tell harvest rates of the birds from fall and winter hunting seasons.
In addition to the banding done in the Northeast Region, the game commission also sends teams out throughout the entire state.
“We typically visit 15 to 20 locations in each geographical area of the state,” Wenner said. “Sometimes we find 15 to 20 birds, and sometimes we’ll get up to 100 to 120 birds.”
PGC biologist Andrew Zellner, who also took part in the yearly banding process, said that in Wyoming County, the team was able to gather 42 resident Canadian geese, while about 47were found at the Lackawanna State Park, just outside of Susquehanna County, with a Lackawanna County total of 90.
In Bradford County, a total of 83 Canadian geese were banded in the process.
And according to Zellner, a total of 444 birds were banded in the entire Northeast Region of the state.
“We were right on target with our quotas for the Northeast Region,” Zellner said. “Some areas had less, but others were above the quota, which evened everything out.”
Wenner agrees with Zellner’s assessment, noting that numbers were satisfactory everywhere they went.
He also said that the numbers at Lackawanna State Park were so high because Canadian geese prefer open areas and groomed grass.
“They like to be able to see their surroundings,” Wenner said.
Wenner said there has been a steady increase in the population of Canadian geese throughout the past few years, but that it has began to level off.
“In some areas people view them as a nuisance,” Wenner said. “So, stabilizing the population is a goal in some areas.”
While Canadian goose banding has been completed for the year, the PGC will conduct banding of several other birds, including ducks in the area in August and September.

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