Chicago enlists volunteers to find Canada geese eggs for population control

The city of Chicago needs a flock of volunteers - for goose egg patrol.

Park District officials are enlisting people to help locate nests of goose eggs as part of an expanded program aimed at downsizing the population of the aggressive park-fouling birds.

The patrols will search 11 city parks for goose eggs during the birds' nesting season, which begins at the end of the month and lasts through April.

The volunteers will be taught about geese habitats and life cycles, but they will not be allowed to handle the eggs. That task will be reserved for employees of La Grange, Illinois-based Wild Goose Chase, who will shake the eggs to destroy the embryo or coat them with corn oil to suffocate the developing chick.

"I can't stress enough, this is not an Easter egg hunt," said Susan Hagberg, president of Wild Goose Chase. "This is very regulated. If people think they can do this on their own, they can't."

Park officials have tried to control the flocks by planting grasses less attractive to the birds along lagoons, spraying digestive irritants on grass in Grant Park, and using border collies to drive migrating geese away in the fall.

The Humane Society of the United States supports the egg hunting method, said spokeswoman Diane Webber, reports AP.

"It's much more humane than rounding up the geese and gassing them," she said.

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