Babylon Town is looking to beef up its waterfowl control efforts by hiring people with dogs to help chase away geese.
The town is seeking applicants for a “waterfowl control person” as part of its Department of Environmental Control. The job entails chasing Canada geese away from town parks using a dog. The town has six such workers right now, but would like to have at least 10 to chase geese from nine parks, said Rich Groh, Babylon’s chief environmental analyst. Groh said the Canada geese population starts to surge in the spring and the town is looking to be fully staffed by then.
Experts say that if geese aren't chased away by the beginning of summer, they molt and lose their wing feathers, making them unable to fly until the fall. Using dogs such as border collies, which resemble the goose's natural predator the arctic fox, have shown effective in pushing the geese away from popular eating spots such as parks and athletic fields.
“The minute you let your guard down, they move in,” Groh said.
Aside from the annoyance, too many geese can be a health hazard, Groh said, as their droppings can contribute to high bacteria levels in water.
The town has been ramping up their geese control efforts for about a decade and Groh said he has seen the results, with the geese population at Town Hall park decreasing from about 300 to just a half dozen now. There are still hundreds of geese at parks townwide, Groh said. The town also uses pop guns to scare geese off and has a program where workers coat undeveloped geese eggs with corn oil to stop embryo development.
The waterfowl position requires the person have a border collie, Labrador or golden retriever, Brittany, or similar field/hunting dog. The dog must be obedient, have a current town dog license, up-to-date vaccinations and be spayed or neutered with a good temperament. The town requires that both the dog and owner be in excellent physical condition. The person must use their own vehicle.
The part-time position pays $12 per hour, with a maximum of 40 hours during the summer and 20 hours for the remainder of the year. For more information email email@example.com or call 631-422-7640.
Clarification: The Town of Babylon increased the rate to match the new state minimum wage after initially telling Newsday the pay was $10 an hour.