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City winning bird feces fight

Original post made on May 21, 2010

The city has experimented with remote control boats and fake alligator heads to deter Canada geese and American coots at Shoreline Park, and it appears that some of the efforts have been successful in cutting the coot population in half.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 21, 2010, 12:38 PM

Comments (19)

Posted by Gail Cheeseman
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Re: City winning bird feces fight
Burrowing owls gain ground as nuisance birds lose freshwater ponds by Daniel DeBolt

Thanks very much for the excellent article about the Mtn View Council meeting expressing a strong commitment to Burrowing Owl conservation at Shoreline as well as coming up with good ideas for controlling the geese and coots. We think that Mayor Bryant, Vice-Mayor Siegel, all the Mtn View City Council members, and their staff have come up with a creative solution to increase the Burrowing Owl population of Shoreline Park, which we agree is very important. Gail & Doug Cheeseman

Posted by kathy
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Our public schools could have really used that $300,000. The school my grandson goes to has run out of paper for their students in one class. Teacher said no more money. Schools sounds more important then a golf course. Maybe I am wrong.

Posted by MV citizen
a resident of Castro City
on May 22, 2010 at 5:58 pm

kathy: California pays money per student than any place on Earth, yet, ranks 48th in achievement. Our students rank lower in achievement than most third world countries. Throwing more money at our schools is like tossing money into a bottomless pit. I graduated from high school in 1970 and had to help a few of my fellow students read their diploma! I was a victim of SMSG mathematics (School Mathematics Study Group) and did not really learn simple arithmetic until I took high school chemistry (the same year I was studying Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry).
If it was up to me, we should cut our educational budget 25% until we are at least up to the 50th percentile in our own country.
Meanwhile, geese and coots are probably a part of our ecosystem and we should be careful about eradication until we understand the consequences (but what do I know, I readily admit that I do not know the difference between burrowing owls, geese or coots).
My only defense of golf courses is that they (somewhat) preserve open space.

Posted by Mel Mon
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I wish they would do this in Los Gatos at Vasona. The geese feces there is ridiculous and the flocks are getting dangerously big. These geese are not afraid to go after small children who are walking by with their parents. It's quite unhealthy and unsightly to see all this poop all over the grass where people picnic.

Posted by Austin Cook
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2010 at 7:50 am

that sounds horrible what they are doing to the goose eggs, shame on the city for this mass killing, I always enjoy seeing the goose goslings this time of the year, I refuse to visit the park now and will boycott it. There was no mention of all the other species that will be impacted with the removal of the ponds, have they done an EIR to study this impact?

Posted by Laura De Leon
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2010 at 7:52 am

I hope they do save the burrowing owls, I have not seen one at Shoreline in the past few years, I use to see them all the time, does anyone know if there are any owls left?

Posted by Kyle Anderson
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2010 at 9:50 am

Well done, City of Mountain View. It was so nice to read some positive news about saving burrowing owls for a change as opposed to the destruction of their habitat and decrease in their numbers. Hopefully other cities will follow your lead and start saving burrowing owls.

Posted by Kristina P
a resident of Shoreline West
on May 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm

The comment about "money per student" is off-topic and erroneous. Look for yourself to see that many states spend far more than we do. Web Link

Migrating birds carry influenza virus and can be a public health risk. Control measures on Canada Geese are therefore warranted. Perhaps goose-population control could be done more economically, saving money for the schools. Many cheaper control measures - such as hunting - are politically non-viable in California. The city council probably had to discuss extensively to find a compromise.

The owls themselves are a population control measure on rodents, so I am happy to see the city working to preserve them.

Posted by Robert
a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 23, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Let's see-- $300,000 to get rid of 3000 coots and 150 geese. That's close to $100 per bird. How can the city possibly spend that much on such a low-tech undertaking? And for how long will the number of birds stay this low without additional expenditures? How many other bird-brain projects are lurking in the city budget during this time of budget deficits?

Posted by Jamie Byrne
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Hopefully we will see an increase in burowing owls with this great partnership now

Posted by MV Mom
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 23, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Oh goodness, $100 per bird? This bleeding heart liberal thinks allowing some geese hunting would have been a lot cheaper.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Waverly Park
on May 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm

As much as I want the schools to have more money, the reality is the way our public education system is set up in California, city governments have zero control over or responsibility for the public schools. So whenever you berate the City Council for spending money somewhere that would be better spent on schools, remember that it's not their decision, it's just part of the craziness that is education funding in California.

Posted by pico de gallo
a resident of Monta Loma
on May 24, 2010 at 6:14 pm

They should have open season on geese shooting. That would save them all that money. Shoot them all...then no more feces.

Posted by Carl Williamson
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Why don't the schools use Shoreline as an outdoor learning lab, to study endangered species like burrowing owls, the native plants of this area, examining water samples and learning more about nature, its free, interesting and a great educational opportunity for children

Posted by Jonathan R. Armer
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2010 at 7:40 pm

I am working on a Burrowing Owl documentary to raise awareness of the owl's plight. Over the last 6 months I have filmed many of the remaining owls in Santa Clara County. I have a personal connection to the owls and I'm happy for them. I feel that this is a gain for me also. GO OWLS!!!

Posted by Helen
a resident of another community
on May 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Thank you Laura Macias for championing the owl cause!

Posted by joe Shamo
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm

As a golfer I think it's worth every penny. Its hard to putt around their poop let alone step in it!

Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 26, 2010 at 2:33 pm


- "goose goslings" is redundant.

- goose egg addling is PETA-approved for the control of goose populations

- the geese are migratory birds, stopping here on their journeys; they are not native to the area and therefore damage our local ecosystem.

- the ponds that are attracting them are man-made in the first place. filling them in will remove the attractive nuisance that brings the geese and the coots in the first place and will have minimal impact on the environment, except to improve it. and perhaps to support the burrowing owl population. all wins.

To those advocating shooting the geese, the city has tried this. It had minimal impact on the population.

Posted by WS Resident
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 1, 2010 at 2:38 pm

It is funny that no one mentioned to remove the golf course and leave it alone, even though the City is not gaining enough money with it and was considered not long ago to close it anyway.

I still don't agree in killing species to preserve others.

I like the burrowing owls, the coots and the geese. No one single species should be "removed". All count. We humans, sometimes, are like cancers...... and yes, everything has an impact on the local ecosystem. Short or long term.. but has an impact.

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