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Canada geese are a grazing animal. "During most of the spring and summer, they're looking for green grass," Johnson noted. "That's what you have with Kentucky bluegrass that's always growing nice and green."

They also like their grass short, so they can feed with an unobstructed view. Lawns and golf courses provide a perfect feeding situation. "It's just like ice cream to those birds," Johnson said.

Few North Dakotans will ever have problems with geese in their lawns. But those who do have genuine concerns. While the grass the geese eat may or may not be noticeable, the droppings they leave behind are. Imagine if every dog in the neighborhood used your yard as a bathroom and you get a sense of the potential problem.

Most homeowners and golf course managers have a higher tolerance for geese than for dogs. These are wild birds, symbols of nature, and they like having them around. But there is a breaking point, and that's usually when the phone on Johnson's desk rings.

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