These Canada geese were at the wrong place at the wrong time.
In an effort to prevent accidents like the 2009 Miracle on the Hudson — where a brave pilot made an emergency landing in the Hudson River after his plane was struck by Canada geese — these birds have been continuously removed from the areas around local airports.
On Monday, officials from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) were spotted rounding up more than 50 Canada geese in Brookville Park in Rosedale, to be taken upstate to a slaughterhouse before they could damage any planes at JFK Airport.
Jeffery Kramer, a volunteer with GooseWatch NYC, an organization founded in 2011 that has since been advocating for the humane treatment of the geese collected around LaGuardia and JKF airports, arrived at Brookville Park at around 5 a.m. Monday morning to see USDA officials in kayaks scouring the water for geese.
“The kayaks were in the water and they were rounding up the geese. We monitor the parks and they took over 50 geese,” Kramer said. “They then stuff them in these turkey crates and send them upstate to slaughter. There has never been an option of non-lethal ways to prevent air strikes. The same thing happened in this park in 2009 with 43 geese, and they have done this at other parks. Eventually it will lead to the extermination of the whole geese population in NYC.”
According to Kramer, the USDA collects the geese in the summer when the birds are molting, leaving them without the ability to fly.
“We’re not saying that there isn’t a population problem with geese, but there are other things that could be done. There are other alternatives they could use,” Kramer said. “We’re going to continue this until there is a program where they really make an effort at non-lethal alternatives. This method isn’t effective because there are bird strikes every day.”
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said that these geese were corralled and brought to a state licensed processor.
“In 2009 in light of bird strike risks to aviation, a steering committee was created and a management plan was developed to increase aviation safety. An element of that management plan is to reduce strike risks related to abundant resident Canada goose populations within a seven mile radius of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey airports,” said a representative from the USDA APHIS. “Canada geese are among the top five of the 66 bird species or groups most hazardous to aircraft. When geese strike aircraft, more than 70 percent cause an effect on the flight or substantial damage. Brookville Park falls within the management area. On Monday June 27 fifty geese where calmly corralled and placed in crates by USDA Wildlife Services personnel for removal from Brookville Park in Queens. The geese where brought to a state licensed processor where they were processed for human consumption and donated to area food banks.”