Home / Hundreds of Prospect Park Geese Killed to Keep Jet Lanes Clear

Hundreds of Prospect Park Geese Killed to Keep Jet Lanes Clear

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When Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III landed his crippled US Airways jet on the Hudson river in January 2009 he became a folk hero, and rightly so. But every hero needs a villain.

In this case, the goat was a bird—specifically, a few migrating Canada geese who flew into the engines of the A320 Airbus, taking them out and nearly causing the deaths of 155 flightless hominids.

Now these villains are getting their due. A mass kill recently took the lives of 400 Prospect Park geese—most of whom, according to experts, were probably locals, not geese likely to be soaring to meet their maker where the Boeings and Airbuses roam. But apparently, as in human relationships, it’s hard to tell the geese who are going to stick around from the fly-by-night variety. So all of the Prospect Park geese had to go. Authorities want to get rid of geese within a seven-mile radius of Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, and Prospect Park, unfortunately, is just within the limit. That, incidentally, appears to be an expansion of the five-mile radius announced prior to the Great Goose Kill of 2009.

Bereaved locals—the human kind, that is, including State Senator Eric Adams—held a vigil for the slaughtered birds over the weekend. A Humane Society representative called for a goose control program that would be “more humane, more effective, and more transparent” than rounding up popular animals in the middle of the night and killing them without any warning to the public.

May we suggest siccing this little girl on them? Give her a shot at one goose at a time. That would give the birds half a chance at least.




What we city dwellers tend to forget is that Canada geese are considered pests in many places, plaguing golf courses, riverbanks, and most importantly, farms. The roughly 3.6 million resident geese of the lower 48 states inflict millions of dollars of crop damage a year. These residents are heavier and lay more eggs than their migratory cousins, and they’re pretty stubborn.

Over 10,000 were killed in 2008 under approved plans, a drop in the bucket. So, while it was sad to see so many geese of Prospect Park go, I wouldn’t be surprised if a new population appeared pretty soon.

Now if only the Feds and the City could come up with a way to convert these killed geese into food for the homeless, or at least animal feed, instead of tossing them into a landfill.

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About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.
  • Ms3my

    I can’t believe that the geese were killed this way. I just found out and it’s been almost four weeks since the killings. I can’t believe this. They should not have been gassed so inhumanely. There should have been a different way to go about this. Those geese don’t even reach the height of a plane. They can not fly as far. The ones that were murdered from prospect park were home and couldn’t go anywhere else but across the lake or within the park limit. I hope this never happens again. Something must be done to stop this.

  • Ms3my

    That little girl is sick. I don’t find anything she is saying cute. Her mother should be ashamed of her daughter and teach her differently. You do not go to a park, pick up your live dinner and slaughter it at home. Where the hell do they think they are living?

  • robert cunnare

    why is the usda and geesepeace with the cozy relationsonship they share getting all the funds and continue to do so after decades of failure when it comes to dogs geesebusters a company with a pattened method of removing geese permanently and humanly getting the shaft. i personaly saw this method in action and if you went to geesebusters.com or contact rob guadagna at 6464048434 and saw what the usda dirty little cover up i think you would be a little bit miffed help this man fight to bring a billant idea to hte public at large

  • eli wallach

    Now what I have to say is a very much “out there”, but please just consider for a moment the possibility,,,,The event on the Hudson River (IN MY OPINION) was a FALSE FLAG—Definition: False flag operations are covert operations which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities (in this case, the Geese)…..My immediate “gut feeling” on the day of the event was “How does a fleshy, non-frozen goose have the ability to bring down a plane?…” And what made me suspicious was the fact that planes were flying thru particulate matter that was being released from the volcano eruption in Iceland…the planes COULD NOT fly thru the worst of the volcano dust….but they flew thru the lite areas…here is where it gets a bit “conspiratorial”, and the government loves this word because they use it to make people like me appear as wackos….but in fact, throughout history this government has been involved with more conspiracies then they care to admit…..the geese are being exterminated in large numbers NOT because they pose a threat to airplanes (perhaps the ones near the airports) but because they are a food source. Yes you read me correctly, “A FOOD SOURCE”. It may not seem apparent now but in the next year our two when the condition of our economy worsens people will be looking for a way to feed their families…all I ask is this—hold onto this idea….this is our governments agenda

  • Landfill.

  • So what did they do with the dead geese? I’m thinking a large, city-wide barbecue was in order, but that’s just me.

    When we lived in a northern suburb, the homeowners association lakefront was constantly nested by geese. This made the beach, the dock and the lake pretty foul (pun intended). We had a round up each spring when they molted. (They can’t fly then.) I never saw the point in it, because I’m sure they were smart enough to fly back as soon as the pin feathers strengthened.

  • the real bob

    Jon, there had been a treaty or agreement of some sort between the U.S. and Canada which banned the killing of Canadian Geese (a thorn in the side of home-owners who lived near parks and other areas where they congregated–and messed). Is that past history, or were these recent kills an exception?