Mounties charge Sherwood Park teen with destroying Canada goose nest

Wildlife News


RCMP have charged a Sherwood Park teen with destroying a Canada goose nest.

Police were called to a small island in a park area behind Festival Place in Sherwood Park last Friday at 3 p.m. A 16-year-old had approached a goose nest, scared off the bird, removed an egg and destroyed the nest.

"This was just plain and simple destructiveness," said Const. Wally Henry.

The goose was unharmed. The teenage boy was charged with disturbing a nest and removing an egg under the Migratory Birds Act.

While charges under the act are rarely laid, Henry said police often receive reports of people harming the birds.

"Some of the birds are seen as a nuisance to the people, whether it's on a golf course or on a personal property," said Henry. "We routinely receive calls of people harassing the geese or smashing the eggs, wrecking their nests."

It is illegal to harass migratory birds -including geese, albatross, heron, crane and gulls -or interfere with their nests or eggs.

"It's not something we encounter often," Henry said. "Having said that, the list of migratory birds protected under the act is substantial to say the least."

Henry suggested finding other ways to deal with nuisance birds, using deterrent techniques available through the Canadian Wildlife Service. Those techniques include frightening birds away using scarecrows or noisemakers, altering the landscape to make it less attractive for birds looking to nest and putting up a temporary barrier.

The teen is scheduled to appear in Sherwood Park Provincial Court on June 28. If convicted, he could face a fine of up to $300,000.



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