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Washington, D.C. Is Full Of…

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Americans have long suspected that D.C. is full of something. Turns out that something is geese.

ABC reports that: “Large swaths of the National Mall are covered in feces, courtesy of the very large population of Canada Goose that make their home on the picturesque grounds.”

Just a single bird can produce up to three pounds of waste a day. And since they no longer bother flying south in winter, the birds flock on the Mall pretty much year-round, turning the green space into waste space.

“The presence of geese is leading to the degradation of the [Reflecting] pool water due to defecation in and on walkway near the [Reflecting] pool,” the Park Service tells ABC News. That’s an expensive problem. Just a few years ago, NPS spent tens of millions to fix up the pool. It reopened in 2012 after being under construction for two years.

So the National Park Service wants to protect its assets by unleashing the dogs.

It plans to use specially trained border collies to herd the geese into designated areas. That might make clean-up easier and would, hopefully, maintain certain places as goose-free zones.

ABC reports that the National Park Service contract with the dogs’ owner specifically says: “No water fowl or other living creature shall be killed, harmed or injured in any way.” But the birds will be harassed. If this works, maybe the dogs could be redeployed to Capitol Hill as well.


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