Illinois Department of Natural Resources
September 2020
September 30, 2020

Urban Waterfowl Q&A

By Kathy Andrews Wright

Film Date:

July 16, 2020


Ben Williams from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Craig Pullins from Illinois Wildlife Services

Produced by:

Laura Kammin

Kathy Andrews Wright

Edited by:

Sarah Marjanovic

Questions received in advance of the conversation are listed below, with the time noted should you desire to fast-forward to a topic of interest.

0:36 Ben Williams overview of position with Illinois Department of Natural Resources

2:23 Craig Pullins overview of position with Illinois Wildlife Services

4:26 Regarding the number Canada geese around lakes in subdivision and the mess they make: What can I do to get rid of them?


  • 5:43   Harassment (such as clap hands, lasers, pyrotechnics, dogs [requires permit])
  • 6:50   Exclusion (such as fencing, barriers)
  • 8:07   Habitat Modification (such as cease feeding, construct steep banks, add rip rap, turn off fountains in winter, plant native shoreline vegetation)
  • 9:45   Non-lethal Chemical Repellants
  • 11:17 Legal Hunting
  • 12:04 Egg and Nest Destruction Program (IDNR permit required)
  • 13:20 Charity Hunt (IDNR permit required and Illinois Wildlife Services handles removal)

18:01 How long should a person wait to be sure a hen mallard has abandoned her backyard nest? Should a person try to rescue the eggs? 

23:59 My daughter and I like feeding the ducks and geese at our local park, but I saw a Facebook post about “Angel Wing” which said that feeding bread to ducks and geese isn’t a good idea. What can we feed them that is healthy for them?

27:30 There is a duck nest in our backyard, but we aren’t anywhere near water. What should do we do when the ducklings hatch?

31:10 Wrap up comments from Craig Pullins

32:27 Wrap up comments from Ben Williams

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Kathy Andrews Wright is retired from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources where she was editor of Outdoor Illinois magazine. She is currently the editor of Outdoor Illinois Wildlife Journal and Illinois Audubon magazine.