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Wilson Hill Goose Drive

Region 6 Natural Resource Highlight

family holding geese

The Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) Goose Drive is held every summer. Wildlife staff and volunteers from across New York take to the marsh in canoes and/or walk along the shore to herd Canada Geese into a holding pen.

The purpose of the goose drive is to collect biological data on resident Canada Geese. This is possible because geese molt (lose) all their flight feathers in late June and early July, making them unable to fly. Biologists collect the geese to determine their age and sex, and then band and release them back into the marsh.

Young boy holding a goose

First conducted in 1974, over 30,000 geese have been rounded up at Wilson Hill WMA. At times over 1,100 geese have been rounded up, but more recently the average has been 550 geese. Many of these birds were banded during previous drives and provide valuable data on their lifespans and mortality. Another use of this information is to track the growth and movements of New York's resident goose population.

This very successful event provides a great opportunity for communication between DEC biologists and interested community members to develop a greater understanding of some of DEC's conservation efforts.

For additional information about Wilson Hill WMA, or to volunteer with the Goose Drive, call the Wilson Hill Project Manager at 315-705-5539.


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