Nevada Fish & Wildlife Office
Pacific Southwest Region

Waterfowl In Your Backyard


Lesser Canada Goose BroodUrban development has created an artificial environment in the desert that is attracting waterfowl. Landscaping with grass, shrubs, trees, pools, and ponds have provided water, food, shelter, and nesting habitat for ducks and geese

When ducks and geese end up in your pool they can cause problems. They can clog pool filters, litter your lawns with their feathers and feces, and eat your grass and garden seeds. They can also attract unwanted predators such as skunks and coyotes.

Since ducks and geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, destroying the nest or eggs, killing, or possessing these birds without a permit is prohibited. If waterfowl nest on your property, you must leave the nest alone until the chicks are old enough to leave the area.


Baby DucksNesting begins around March and can extend through July. Incubation time is approximately 30 days. Once the eggs hatch and the chicks are dry, the mother will want to lead them to water. This could be your pool! Chicks are very mobile but are unable to fly until they are 50 to 60 days old.


Some helpful hints:

Keep your pool covered when not in use.
Erect flapping flags (the plastic triangular kind you see at car lots) or shiny, metallic streamers.
Use floating scare devices in your pool or pond like plastic, life-like alligators (these must be able to move with water current to be effective).
Periodically broadcast loud noises or horns.
Spray with water.
Use trained herding dogs to chase waterfowl in large areas, such as golf courses. Only dogs that are trained to flush out birds and not kill or injure waterfowl should be used for this purpose.
If you see waterfowl building a nest on your property, destroy the nest before they lay eggs otherwise they are protected.
Do not feed waterfowl. Feeding will attract more birds as well as encouraging them to stay in the area.
If a duck or goose becomes trapped in your pool, prop a long flat board, plank or blanket from the side of the pool into the water so it is able to walk out. You can also use a pool cleaning net to gently scoop the bird out of the pool.
Local Animal Control Agents are not allowed to remove nesting birds. There is no federally-permitted wild bird rescue or nuisance bird removal program in Nevada so we hope the helpful hints will help you avoid problems with waterfowl on your property.
For more information on the use of dogs and other methods for waterfowl control, contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Service at 702-432-9425 or 775-289-2791
Last updated: April 16, 2014