CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - As geese start laying their eggs this mating season, some make their nests in backyards and at urban parks which lead to potentially dangerous situations.
A.J. Hendershott, a regional supervisor with the Missouri Department of Conservation, has been bitten by a goose and says both males and females are very defensive around their nest area.
"If you approach it they're going to hiss," Hendershott said. "They're going to expand their wings, try to look big and fearsome and they may actually get into harassment mode where they're trying to chase you. Those are warning signs to just back off and give the goose space."
Haley Urhahn has a 20-month-old daughter named Lydia and says she loves all kinds of animals and wildlife and that they choose to admire them from a distance.
"I definitely want to keep that love going and just make sure she knows how to treat the animals though and keep them safe and herself safe," Urhahn said.
But if a family of geese has not started laying their eggs in a spot they shouldn't Hendershot says the best ways to discourage them is by making your presence known early on.
"You need to start the harassment process immediately so that they don't consider that to be the best place to hang out," Hendershot said. "Nobody wants to put their baby's nursery so to speak in a really bad place."
Methods Hendershot suggests for scaring geese off your property include putting up a post with reflective tape, using fireworks to make loud noises and letting a dog chase them so they fly away.
Urhahn says she would consider taking a proactive approach to stop geese settle down in her neighborhood.
"I probably would take my dog out to literally rustle up some feathers," Urhahn said. "You know do a little barking and try to get that goose to lay eggs in maybe a little more safer spot away from interaction with humans."
The department of conservation also says you should not feed geese because it can lead to more aggressive behavior and is unhealthy for their diets.
"You've started or continued an unhealthy relationship with those animals where they can harass because they're not getting their food," Hendershott said. "It also puts them in a spot where they're more susceptible to diseases, they're not getting the nutrition they need."