Sonic blasts used to scare geese away in Sioux Falls

December 15, 2021 GMT

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Sioux Falls will use pyrotechnics and sound cannons to scare Canada geese that are migrating into the city as temperatures drop and ponds freeze in rural areas.

City officials say the geese are creating a safety hazard for airplanes near the Sioux Falls Regional Airport. The geese can strike a plane’s windshield or get sucked into its engines.

Sioux Falls Animal Control and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks will begin using pyrotechnics and sound cannons Thursday to scare geese from quarry ponds east of the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds and at Elmwood golf course.

The birds are attracted to the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls, portions of which remain open throughout the winter and to harvested crop fields near the airport.

Animal control officials say the sound cannons are a humane method of scaring geese, instead of using chemicals or poisons. They are pressure-regulated and create a sonic blast with no projectiles. The cannons will go off several times during the day and will not be used at night.