Student Research Projects

The range of frequencies that elicit an alert response in Branta Canadensis

Student Trevor Maloney, '17
Stephanie Reidell, '17
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Biology
Course Biology 385: Animal Behavior


Canada geese (Branta canadensis) are found in both rural and urban areas due to their relatively recent population boom (Aguilera et al. 1991). There are many problems that can arise from urban geese populations, which has shifted recent research to studying potential methods to disperse geese, including the use of acoustic stimulus. Although it is well documented that geese, and all birds, have very advanced hearing and can respond to a variety of sound stimulus, there has been little research relating to the most effective frequency range for dispersal of B. canadensis. Following an extensive observation period, we hypothesized that there are specific frequencies, within a narrow range, that will stimulate a response from Canada geese. Following our experimentation at Virginia Wesleyan College using acoustic stimuli at various frequencies ranging from 500Hz to 10,000Hz, we found that urban Canada geese do respond to frequencies from 500Hz to 2000Hz. Further research and development could lead to more effective techniques for geese dispersal by using different acoustic stimuli that match the frequency in which they are most adapted to respond. The use of an extremely effective acoustic stimulus as a method of goose repellant could potentially be a permanent alternative to other, more invasive, techniques prescribed to today.