October 18, 2018

Goose-Scaring Drone Improves Water Quality in Canada

Did you know that a goose poops an average of 15 times an hour, producing as much as a pound and a half of poop every day?  When a flock gathers waterfront, that much poop can easily contaminate the water with dangerous E.coli bacteria, prompting beach or reservoir closures.

Flood watersMembers of the Ottawa city council know this problem well. They’ve tried decoys and dogs and other ways to scare geese away from public waterfronts, but they’ve never had much success. Until now.

This year the city tried a drone. A 26-inch-wide, remote controlled flying drone called the Goosebuster built by Aerial Perspectives. And it worked.

The drone has speakers and a loud siren, but those aren’t usually necessary. The geese are frightened enough by an unidentified flying object.

The drone has cut the number of geese visiting Petrie Island daily from between 140 and 150 to 12 or 15, Ottawa City Councillor Bob Monette told ABC news. Last year, E. coli contamination prompted 12 beach closures. This year there were none.

To reduce your risk of illness while swimming at public beaches, follow these tips. Check with your local health department before swimming at a public beach. Shower before and after you swim. Don’t submerge your head or swallow water. If children are with you, give them a potty break once an hour and check diapers every 30 minutes. Change the diapers away from the swimming area and wash hands before returning to the water.


  1. I would think that a drone would tend to scare the… uh…. poop… out of the geese even more. Anyway, I’m glad there was a solution found, that doesn’t seriously harm or kill the geese. They are just trying to survive, and it would be a shame to kill them just because they poop too much.

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