New Yorkers ready to witness and document geese killing

New York City resident Robert Guadagna took this photo of USDA agents rounding up geese on Randall's Island on June 17, 2009.

Federal agents, if you come back to city parks to kill more geese, they will be ready.

Armed with digital cameras and cell phones, more than 500 New Yorkers are members of GooseWatch NYC, at the ready to photograph if and when the city’s geese will be culled this summer.

GooseWatch NYC was started last year by Brooklynite David Karopkin. Karopkin, 27, said he started the group after nearly 400 Prospect Park geese were killed in in 2010. Agents with the U.S. Department of Agriculture started killing geese in city parks, after two geese brought down Flight 1549, the “Miracle on the Hudson” landing in January 2009.

“I made a decision I wasn’t going to be in my bed when the USDA came back to Prospect Park,” said Karopkin.

Karopkin sends his members a text message, voicemail and e-mail letting them know where the agents are when they are spotted. He instructs members of GooseWatch not to interfere with the roundup.

“The only thing we would like to do is capture footage,” he said. “So when the USDA claims what they are doing is humane, we can show what they’re doing.”

USDA agents removed geese from at least 13 city parks last year, ranging from Flushing Meadows Park in Queens to Inwood Hill Park at the tip of Manhattan.

June and July are the prime months for when the geese can be corralled.

“They come in June and July because that’s when the geese are molting,” said Karopkin. “They have goslings, they are vulnerable.”

The geese can’t fly away during their molting season, so they are basically grounded.

“It’s when their new flight feathers are coming in and they can’t fly,” said Edita Birnkrant, director of Friends of Animals. “Both baby geese and adults are stuffed into crates, transported long distances in high heat and slaughtered.”

In the past two years, the geese were gassed to death. But last year, after complaints, the geese were butchered and pounds of meat were given to food banks in Pennsylvania.

But Karopkin said there has to be a better way to keep planes safe, and birds alive.

“Unless the plan is literally to kill every single birds you’re never going to reduce the air strikes to zero,” he said. “We’re just killing birds and crossing our fingers.”

Robert Guadagna took this close-up shot of geese in crates after the USDA agents who rounded them up at Randall’s Island took an hour-long breakfast, according Karopkin.

A history of geese killing

For the past three summers, the USDA has been killing geese within a seven-mile radius of the city’s three airports, JFK , LaGuardia and Newark.

2009: 1,235 geese were killed in New York City.

2010: USDA agents killed 1,509 Canada geese in parks throughout the city, 368 alone from Prospect Park.

2011: 575 Canada geese removed and killed from New York City

2012: The USDA did not answer when Metro asked if officials are coming back this summer. “Dates
and locations for removal of resident Canada geese have not been
developed, are dependent on numerous variables, and would not be shared
in advance,” USDA spokesman Lee Humberg wrote in an email exchange with
Karopkin, posted on his website.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…

Local

Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…

Local

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…

News

U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…

Music

See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…

NFL

Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.

NFL

Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.

NFL

John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…

NFL

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid

Career

Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…

Sex

We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…

Style

Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.

Style

Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.