Sunday, April 18, 2010

Save the Geese, before they are gone

Did you know that the management at Amador Lakes plans to remove and likely exterminate our geese This Tuesday, April 20, 2010!

Why were we not informed of this major change?
Can we come up with no better solution?

One of the reasons I moved here, and stay here is because of these geese. I love the wildlife here. The ducks, geese and turkeys have become pets to all of us.
I can live anywhere, in any house or apartment surrounded by concrete. The ponds, fountains and wildlife here at Amador Lakes is the reason I stay.

What upsets us the most, is that we were not informed of this. In fact, this information was intentionally withheld from us!!
How could this happen?

When we first heard of this, we immediately went to the main office to speak to one of the representatives who verified that yes, the geese will be removed on Tuesday, and most likely will be euthanized.
This is not a solution.
Anyone who has lived here more than one year can verify the number of geese here this year us much lower than most years. There is no reason that the geese should be removed, and more importantly, euthanized. There are alternative solutions. They must be addressed, and the euthanization of these geese needs to be stopped!

The reasons outlined for the removal of the geese are as follows:
1. Geese are not migrating, due to the safe environment found here
2. They are becoming an inconvenience
3. Some reports of 'attacks'
4. The population is growing "out of control"
5. The feces are a major health concern

None of these are acceptable, and none of them hold any merit.
We can effectively prove that the above information is false, unwarranted information used to 'justify' the inhumane and unacceptable actions to remove the geese from this property.

1. The Canada geese ARE migrating. There was a period of time where there were only three geese that remained on this property, and one had a broken wing. The geese are migrating and will migrate again. It is what they do.
2. The geese are an inconvenience ... to whom? How? Can this be defined and outlined clearly?
3. Canada geese defend their nesting land against those who may threaten it. No serious attacks have occurred, and no animal deserves to die for its natural nesting behavior. Further, if you stand your ground the geese respond and respect you, and will not charge towards you, unless you threaten their young.
4. There are less geese here now than in the previous years.
5. It is true that some microbes live in the feces of all mammals. But the likelihood of becoming ill from exposure is so rare it is not of any concern.

Although some may express an opinion on the above matter, all of the above can be resolved without death or animal cruelty. Steps can be taken in order to minimize the future habitation of geese. To our knowledge, the management has not taken any of these steps.

1. Non-toxic land treatments that will deter geese from landing and nesting here. This acts as a natural repellant that will encourage the geese to settle elsewhere.
2. Do not feed the geese - feeding encourages aggressive behavior in some geese.
3. Predator decoys discourage geese from nesting here, as they feel threatened.
4. Other methods, some of which include special shrubbery near the waters edge, discouraging the use of the pond, goose call machines that use sound to deter geese from visiting, and specially trained dogs to chase away future nesters.

Amador Lakes is a beautiful man-made environment, created with water features and green space to act as a sanctuary for all of its residents. This includes the local wildlife. It would be unfair to assume that geese would not visit this property. It is a perfect environment for wildlife to nest and raise their young before they migrate. To have such a property and then euthanize the geese who seek a safe harbor here would be inhumane and cruel.

So long as the area remains habitable, geese will return each season. Euthanizing the geese who have landed here this year will not solve the overlying issue that management has.
Further, I as well as many of you, the residents of Amador Lakes, actually ENJOY the geese here, and welcome their habitation each year.

Please take action NOW.
We do not have any time to spare.

Send us your love story. Tell us why you love the geese, and why you love living at Amador Lakes.

Tell us how you feel about management keeping this information from us.
Tell them how you feel.
Send your email to: AND

Please CC a copy to us, at
We WILL present a detailed and printed list of all the responses received to the management. We encourage you to have your voice heard.

Amador Lakes needs to know that we do NOT agree with their cruel actions to remove and eliminate the geese who find a home here, just as we did.
This is our home. It was created for All of us.


  1. Hello,

    When I heard about the plan to destroy the geese who I consider my rightful neighbors I immediatly went to the office to find out if it was fact or rumor.

    The man I spoke with did not have a lot of answers and refered me to talk to the management and the Fish and Wildlife Services, both of which were not in the office today. I verified with him that Tuesday was the day this plan was to happen and that I was not overreacting to the time urgency and then asked if there was some way to get the management to contact me about this. He said no. I told him that I could not wait until monday (this was sunday morning) as that would be half of the time I had available and that I felt I was forced to make others aware of this problem. He still offered no solution.
    The reasons he gave me for the removal of the geese seemed very solid at the time and almost set me off course. He said that due to the lack of natural predators the geese population has grown out of control and due to their proximity to people and the feeding by people the geese are no longer afraid of people and there have been reports of geese attacking people and keeping people out of their apts. He said that the Fish and Wildlife Services had conducted tests and determined that the geese were not migrating and they were not afraid of humans. For these reasons they would go through and pick out 'agressive geese' for removal. Please note here this is in contradiction with what my wife was told earlier this morning by a different Amador Lakes representitive, who stated that many geese would be removed. He also spoke of the excrement of the geese being a major problem to health and indoor sanitation due to being dragged in by children. Please also note this does not go along with the idea of removing a few select geese as this will not significantly change the amount of excrement.

    After hearing these reasons I felt defeated but still looked around online for someone who could help me save the geese. Almost immediatly I came across multiple non-lethal methods of removing 'problem' geese. I wrote these into a letter to the other residents of Amador Lakes in the hopes that I could get enough people to at least commit to finding a humane way to remove the geese. What I found was many people with very logical and very passionate arguements for why geese should be allowed to stay despite all the reasons given to remove them.
    Many of these reasons I heard first hand and hope that those who spoke them will repeat them on this discussion as their words will mean more coming from them. Others have emailed me their thoughts and as I get their permission I plan to add these to this discussion as I feel they are not only moving but express concerns I had not originally realized.

    I plan to continue to spread awareness of this planned tragedy with the hopes of urging others to stand up and voice their opinions here and to those that make the decisions.

    I ask you not to sit idly by and watch our home destroyed for lack of effort to find a better way.

    Thank you, Ross Bringhurst

  2. From Joe Love


    We feel that the Geese at Amador Lakes are not a problem.We treat them with respect, do not feed them, and stay outof their way during nesting season. We also believe based on our conversations with other residents that mostresidents enjoy the myriad wildlife on the property, including the geese, andthat this often factors into the decision to live here. We can understand that they at times become aggressive and can charge people,though we have never witnessed this to occur unprovoked. If it is generally felt that they must be eradicated from the property, we feel thatthis should be done with the best understanding of long term solution. It has come to our attention that euthanization of the geese will not solve the problem.Instead, creating a less appealing environment for them by the addition of simple decoysand distractions appears to be a much more effective choice.

    Excellent information on the matter can be found at

    We hope that the decision makers on this matter have will evaluate alternatives to the ineffective killing that we understand is proposed.
    Thank you for your time,
    -Joseph & Love

  3. From CE
    April 18, 2010
    To the management of the Amador Lakes Apts., Dublin, CA:

    This is to express my grave concern of the news that you plan to have the wildlife at Amador Lakes Apartments, in Dublin, CA, killed on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, by Fish and Wildlife Services. I am very disappointed that you would professionally think this is an answer to whatever problem this is supposed to solve.

    My daughter has lived at your complex for many years, and I have visited with her often, taking walks and enjoying the wildlife there. I feel the wildlife make the complex what it is and without them, your complex wont be the same, wont bring the same price, and many will want to move out, sickened by what has been done. In addition, you do know, the wildlife will come back in just a matter of time--or are you also going to get rid of the pools, waterfalls, trees, the grass, the flowers, etc??

    On top of all this, I am very disappointed that you dont bother to let the residents know of this upcoming procedure--they will just come out and find the wildlife being caught and killed in front of them? Where is your professional responsibilty to the people who live there? Many of your residents moved in there because of the wildlife--so will you lower the rent when some of their environment is changed or removed?

    Perhaps whenever a resident moves in, they should have to sign a release that they are aware of the wildlife and are willing to have they around them.

    My daughter has a mother goose nesting right over her carport, with the daddy coming up all the time to her--and she knows how to co-habitate with these animals--and has never had a problem. Perhaps the residents need a little education on how to live there--just like if they lived in Yosemite! (Signs, education, etc.)

    I am hoping you will do the right thing... CE

  4. From Deedra and Kurt,


    My husband and I moved to Amador Lakes in October 2009. We love living here. We moved from a downtown neighborhood over on the Peninsula side and much prefer listening to geese honking instead of cars honking. Thank you for typing the notice. We hope they do not exterminate the geese and refer to the alternatives.

    We should work with nature, not destroy it.

    Sincerely, Deedra and Kurt

  5. I couldn't have said it better myself CE. I too have a daughter living in that complex and the wildlife along with the beautiful surroundings make for a very pleasant environment. I used to live in Vancouver right near Stanley Park a place renown for its goose population. Just like in Yosemite as in Stanley Park, you learn to deal with the wildlife and appreciate it. The people who move to Amador Lakes are certainly aware of the wildlife it attracts. For that matter I would venture that the majority were drawn to Amador Lakes for that very reason. Yes, there are some disadvantages and some inconveniences with living near the wild, but if you don't want that, don't live in the Amador Lakes Apts. . Thank God that there are places like Amador Lakes where people can still enjoy the beauty of nature all around them. To some who live there the geese have become almost like pets. They recognize them by their markings and follow their activities. Killing the geese is not a solution. If there are too many of them relocate them and find other solutions to decreasing the population as mentioned in previous comments.

    I, like CE, urge you to do the right thing.


  6. From Andrea Love,

    My husband and I have spent the last 4 years we've lived here watching a few beloved goose couples (who mate for life) nest near us, keeping a vigil for the 28+ days til the eggs hatch; then enjoying watching the little ones grow up over the following spring and early summer months. It's a rare joy to get to see so much wildlife right outside our door, and it's something that has-- til now-- set this property apart from everywhere else available in the region. Our visiting family and friends always love being here, enjoying the lush scenery and all the various turkeys, geese, ducks, herons, egrets, hummingbirds, several species of fish, turtles, etc. around the Amador Lakes property. It's been a special oasis in this otherwise dry and harsh grassland region of the Tri-Valley.

    But it seems it will not remain so for long.

    There are several batches of fuzzy goslings on the property now---we just saw a new batch of 5 tiny ones yesterday who had likely just hatched that morning----so cute. But I've been in tears several times this afternoon thinking about them being gassed, or poisoned, along with their parents (and proud aunties and uncles), which, from what I've read, is how they will all be killed simply because a few people don't like stepping in goose droppings, or have had a goose defend its nesting area when they got too close.

    This planned capture and killing is quite simply a huge over-reaction to the birds living here on this property. This planned action is not like preventative mosquito spraying, or gypsy moth control, for crying out loud. Is euthanizing the entire Canada goose population who happily make their homes here really Management's best idea to the problem?

    I want to know how many people have actually complained about the "aggressive" geese? Is it in the hundreds? Or even dozens? No? EVERYONE I've ever talked to here loves the wildlife here, geese included, and knows that part of enjoying them is being a responsible neighbor, too. There are already signs posted about not feeding the geese, and notices in the newsletter about leaving them alone; people need to take responsibility for their behavior when walking around the property--i.e., leave the geese alone, certainly don't feed them, and tell anyone else you see ignoring the rules that they are actually endangering the animals' welfare by encouraging them to interact with people. I'm wondering if some of these same people complaining about "aggressive" geese are not the same ones that walk their kids around the property, enjoying being close to and feeding all the friendly animals?


  7. ---- continued ----
    From Andrea Love,

    As for the "messiness" issue of stepping in goose droppings----first of all, again, how a big a deal is this complaint, really? And sheesh, we have professional landscapers here almost everyday of the week, all year long, doing all manner of maintenance of the property, and we are surely paying a HUGE amount for their services each year. I'm sure they could be asked to hose down any heavily-soiled walkways more often, to reduce any unsightliness and reduce tracking of the droppings. Meanwhile, lets keep in mind that there IS NO HEALTH HAZARD to humans from goose droppings! It's a non-issue! Many articles you can find online will assure you of this.

    Most importantly, there are several proven and documented ways to deal with "problem" geese-----this is hardly a unique problem to this property, and likewise there are many good ways that municipalities, golf courses, and the like have dealt with it before, which stop short of having to kill everything with feathers.

    These methods include:
    1) The common use of border collies to chase bids away
    2) Using decoys---swans work really well, and also coyote decoys seem to really scare them off
    3) Others have had success putting out lots of small waving flags/banners to scare geese off of inviting lawn areas
    4) Spread a certain chemical in the grass to render it unpalatable to the geese
    5) And maybe easiest of all --- is to simply run the sprinklers to annoy them away

    My husband suggested that Management could AT LEAST postpone the planned action until *AFTER* the goslings get old enough to fly and leave for the summer with their families. They may not go far, but the "lakes" here at Amador Lakes have been distinctly free of geese for the last couple summers---they do go *somewhere* for a few months. When it comes time for them to return, the deterrents in the form of decoys, or flapping flags, sprinkler use, could be waiting for them, and they'll find somewhere else to settle in for the season.

    I'm just furious and truly disappointed that Amador Lakes Management has not only shown poor judgement by immediately deciding to kill off all the Canada geese here without any exploration into other more humane options first, and furious that they're trying to do it all on the sly without any communication to, let alone discussion with, the residents here. Management knows how many of us live here SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE of the abundant wildlife, and how angry we'd be if we ever found out what they'd done to our beloved animal friends.

    If they really go through with this as planned---after four otherwise happy years here---I will absolutely spread the word to anyone looking for housing in the future that this is not a desirable property any longer.

    - Andrea Love

  8. From Alice,


    Your letter is filled with compassion and knowledge. I too feel we, the people who live at Amador Lakes, should have been notified. My level of trust in the management is seriously challenged. You are correct assuming they did not want us to know; this also tells me they do not care what we think. Makes me feel like a rent-paying widget.

    I heard from several neighbors that the extermination was supposed to have been kept a "big secret." I too spoke to a woman in the Rental Office, she was defensive and wanted to be very clear that the extermination decision rested with the F&W Services. She intimated that the staff of Amador Lakes was having to follow the mandate of extermination set forth by F&W Services. When I asked her who got F&W Services involved, she did not have an answer.

    My greatest fear is of seeing "sleeping geese" all around me, knowing this is the first step of extermination. It has a very uncomfortable feeling; takes me back to 1978 when I saw the pictures of the mass suicide at Jonestown.

    It is unbelievable that dogs, lawn treatments, decoys, etc. were not first tried.

    Neighbors have told me that a group of Physicians own the complex, if so, I wonder what they think?

    Also, does anyone know where the 20+ Turkeys went? My sense is they were exterminated.

    Neighbors have e-mailed the local newspapers, people will be calling F&W Services and Amador Lakes. Not sure if anyone will be calling a local news channel, might be a good idea. Neighbors have had very passionate responses.

    I will be calling the Management Office and asking to speak with the Manager, Monday, 4/19/10.

    Again, thank you for your eloquent letter and neighborly support,


  9. In the interest of Goose Love Stories, below is a page we have on our wedding site

    Where we live is a beautiful place. It is a condo-partment complex which has a small man made lake and some wonderful trees and other foliage. One of the results of this is the attraction of a significant number of waterfowl species. The predominant types of waterfowl here are mallard ducks and canada geese. There are also cormorants, grebes, ring billed ducks, muscovy ducks, buffleheads, a great blue heron, a great egret, hummingbirds, other small song birds, crows, hawks, kites, turtles, and an enormous orange koi.

    One pair of Canada Geese, we call them Boris and Doris, have been nesting in the same place for several years. That place is on the roof the carport right outside our front door. Doris and Boris started rebuilding their same nest from last year around March 10th and it appears that Doris laid her eggs and began sitting on the 12th.

    Doris laid 7 eggs this year. Somewhere around the 20th or so of March, another goose couple decided they liked Boris and Doris’ nesting spot a lot and tried to usurp the nest. There were several days of turmoil, including a period when two eggs actually got knocked out of the nest! But Doris diligently put them back in and continued her sitting. We were frequently worried for her and found ourselves protective of the area for her. I even chased off the other pair of geese one day with the car.

    Finally, on April 8th, in the evening, I noticed that Doris was getting up and down a great deal, and the timing just said maybe... So I started taking pictures, bringing them to my computer, and zooming in as far as I could, and sure enough, I could see wet yellow fluff under Doris. We will post a gallery of some of the pictures of this special time in a few days, in the mean time, please enjoy the shot of the new kids below.

    There are 7, 6 on the right, and 1 on the left.

    Not that I expect we can tell them apart, but for now, we will call them:

    Kara, Bill, Roslyn, Karl, Lee, Felix, and Cally.

  10. People with children are the problem. The parents who do not teach their offspring to respect animals allow the little monsters to run after the geese screaming and flailing their arms. Even children that are the same height as the geese still weigh more, and how can we not expect the geese to go into survival mode and "be aggressive"? The geese are innocent.

  11. Hello all,

    I am so glad that so many share the same concern as we do. My boyfriend, son and I moved here in August 2009 and were certainly lured here due to the abundance of wildlife. We go on daily walks around the complex and sit out front our apartment just to watch the amazing display of nature. When we first moved here there were only three Canada geese, one with a broken wing and the other with a lump on his head. These were apparently not able to fly off with the other Canada geese and the third stuck around with its mate. That tells you how dedicated to their families they are. A trait that to many is highly looked up to in the human social network.
    My son learns so much from exploring right outside our door. We have watched the Canada geese migrate here to this safe haven, mate, lay eggs, protect their nests, and are now watching the goslings grow. All of this is a part of our world and the cycle of life. What better way for a child (and even adults) to learn about life in a world surrounded by fast paced technology. It is the Discovery Channel right in our front yard. And now these living, breathing, creatures that have feelings are going to be killed for doing what comes instinctively to them just for a few complaints.
    I have also been in contact with management concerning this matter. I was also told that there was no guarantee that the geese that had goslings would not be poisoned. Leaving the babies to fend for themselves. Management has also told me that there was a person who moved out of the complex due to the geese and this was a reason for their extermination. If the extermination process does go through I may be forced to strongly consider putting in my notice as I strongly disagree with the process. I also believe that the extermination process will only be a temporary solution as more Canada geese WILL come back, it is a perfect safe haven for them. If management would strongly consider using a spray on the grass called Migrate (which is basically made from grape flavoring that we use in people food products, totally safe for humans and pets) this will deter future geese and will make the present resident geese leave the premises. What the Migrate solution does is it makes the geese who ingest it have a slightly upset stomach, the geese can see the solution on the grass with their ultra-violet eyesight and they will move on from these premises as they do not want to continue getting upset stomachs. With all the fertilizers and sprays that are used already on the premises this seems like the perfect solution and will only have to be used once the geese land here or at the beginning of each migratory season.
    This isn't the beginning either, I was too late to find out (no residence were informed, we do pay rent right?) that 15 turkeys were not just relocated but euthenized at the end of last month. WHAT have the turkeys done? They are NOT in any way threatening. They strut through the complex dazzling us with their proud display and move on finding grubs and other small bugs.
    I think that everyone should be properly informed as to how to deal with the wildlife if they should happen to come across it (which they most likely will). And strickly enforce the no feeding rule because most of the food that is fed to the wildlife is not good for them and it domesticates the wild animals, so why wouldn't they stay.
    My message to the management is please, please, please reconsider the euthenizing of the geese. There are so many more humaine, non-lethal ways that would be better for everyone and be more of a permanent solution rather than a temporary one. I am more that willing to volenteer my time to help out in any way I can. I will help relocate geese and lead you to the information that I have researched in finding a better solution. Please hear all the voices of so many who truly care deep within our hearts about the lives of these precious creatures. Thank you! Michelle

  12. Wow - Michelle and everyone else has said exactly what was in my heart - and far more eloquently than I could have. However, I have emailed the Management as well and added my voice to the obviously growing group of residents who moved here FOR the wildlife. Surely we must far outnumber the few who aren't willing to cohabitate with the Geese. If you don't like it then yes, move out. There are twice as many people willing to move in for that very reason.

    I too would be willing to volunteer to do whatever it would take to keep them here - or to at least avoid their being euthanized. You want me to go out and scoop up droppings. I'll do it. It's a very small price to pay to live in such a beautiful place.

    I thank whoever put the flyer on my door this morning to let me know about this. It is disturbing that management didn't notify residents of this and I'm sorry I only just heard about it this morning. I have been sick thinking about it since.
    I can't imagine the thought of those beautiful animals being killed for a few 'complaints.' I know Geese will come back to this place, but the loss of any animal for no reason makes no sense to me.

  13. I have lived here at Amador Lakes for 2 and a half years and my children and I enjoy watching the geese and their off springs. Although the excrement gets on the stroller and sometimes my children's shoes... it's nothing that I can't clean off.

    I think it's a shame that management feels exterminating them is the only way to get rid of these geese. It's poor judgment stemming from what I assume is laziness on the management's part. It will not be the same without the geese here.

  14. One person moved out because of the geese. How many will leave because of the actions of the property management?

  15. Seriously.. if people move out because of the geese that leaves space open for people who would appreciate them. No apartment complex can please all people. Amador Lakes needs to recognise this as normal, not as a problem that needs mending.

  16. Sherri, you are profound, I agree completely!
    Wow, Alice

  17. Here is some info from Heather Behiler, Migratory Birds, F&W, regarding Canada Geese care and protection of nests:
    Please follow the links provided below to our programs webpage on Resident Canada Goose. You may need to paste them into your browser window.

    This link is for our Migratory Bird Permits home page:
    on the right hand side of the permits page you will see a series of buttons. Click the "Resident Canada Goose Nest Egg Registration" button or paste the following link into your browser.

    On 4/21 I originally left a message for Marie Strasussberger, Manager of Migratory Birds, she did not return my call and went on vacation 4/25.
    I am disappointed she did not return my call before going on her vacation.
    On 4/27 I called F&W and was reffered to Heather Beihler (after complaining I had not received a call from Marie Straussberger),after much assertion Heather was helpful with the above links. Overall, Canada Goose nests, whether Migratory or Resident's eggs are protected. A Permit is required to disturb (attle)the nests.

    I have heard that eggs were sprayed at Amador Lakes. The female geese continue to sit on a nest that will not hatch. What does this mean? Will the goose at some point become aggressive after sitting on a nest that failed to hatch?

    Will the goose abandon the sprayed nest and continue
    to abandon healthy nests in the future?

    Will the goose sit on a sprayed nest until she "gives up" and then become aggressive due to the loss of her nest?

    All of these questions could have been answered if Kei had followed through with his promise to keep residents informed of geese events.
    Has anoyone seen any information from Kei regarding management of the geese?????????????
    I think not.
    As to the anxious, pacing geese folks have noted, I have only seen this when a life partner was lost, the grieving mate paces, and croons. It is very sad and the feeling is helpless.

    Per Jeniffer Brown, F&W:
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, F&W did not issue a Depredation (Kill Goose) Permit, but the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) may have, they need to be contacted to see if they issued a permit to Amador Lakes.

    Kei had stated he would post goose events on every mailbox, has anyone seen a note from Kei?
    So far we have killed nests and have mysteriously removed/killed geese thought to be "Aggressive" (feels like Auschwitz)
    I am just a 'went paying widget' hating it here more and more every day...................