Nuisance geese around the Canadian capital of Ottawa may have soon no longer have the skies all to themselves. According to AFP, local officials have signed off on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to drive off the animals.
“It’s been really effective,” said city councillor Bob Monette.
The models the city uses are 26-inch-wide hexacopters equipped with speakers that play recorded audio of geese predators. These small geese fighters have been deployed mainly over the city’s beaches, where the birds congregate. Geese droppings can do a lot worse than dirty up the water and sand, with bird dung also promote the spread of E. coli and other diseases. Officials have tried other methods of scaring off the birds before, including using dogs, decoys, loud noises, and even a noxious chemical that was designed to deter the birds. Whatever the method, the geese always came back. Since using the drone, what had been a population of hundreds of geese dwindled to a couple dozen stragglers. To ensure Ottawa’s beaches remain geese-free, the city pays the paltry sum of only $30,000 a year.
This is due mostly to the fact that the program only has one employee, former IT specialist Steve Wambolt.
“I got myself a contract and now we’re out here six days a week, six hours a day chasing geese and seagulls.” Wambolt said.
Wambolt had initially approached Ottawa city officials with other uses for his drone, but later adapted the vehicle with speakers and lights to chase geese. The city is considering renewing his contract for next year.
A video of Wambolt at work is included below: