City of Avondale wants residents to stop feeding geese

AVONDALE, AZ - The Valley is used to winter visitors, but some of those guests are sticking around all year long and causing problems.

Sure, seeing geese crossing the road might make you think of the old chicken jokes, but the City of Avondale isn't laughing.

"When they're here long term, they do become a nuisance. They do become more work for us," said Barbara Chappell of the City of Avondale.

"Canada geese", frequent visitors of the Crystal Gardens Wetlands Treatment Facility, normally go back north during the summer.

"Unfortunately there's an unlimited food source year round because we have a lot of residents who like to feed them," said Chappell. "And that interferes with the migratory pattern."

That interference creates problems with the traffic. It might look cute when a bike lane becomes a bird lane, but it's not cute when a goose ends up losing its life.

"When they move around within the wetlands, they have to cross the roadways," said Chappell. "And when they do, unfortunately, they sometimes get hit by cars."

John Gordon lives in the neighborhood and says he actually likes the geese. "We came from upstate New York. We're used to the wildlife around the house because we were living upstate in the country."

But he agrees that the geese's dependence on being fed by residents has to stop. "They shouldn't be here this time of year, they should be migrating back north," Gordon said.

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