Canada geese taking up permanent residence in Colorado

DENVER -- If you think you've seen more geese than normal in the Denver metro area, you aren't mistaken.

Thousands of birds have appeared in the area over the past couple of weeks and the population is larger than it's ever been.

Quincy Reservoir in Aurora is one of the epicenters for the sudden goose invasion. Thousands of the birds have descended on part of the lake in recent weeks.

"That's the only thing we can hear inside our house. It's deafening. Every morning the kids are like, 'Are the geese taking off?'" said Ann Galloway, a resident who lives close to the reservoir.

Not only are the birds raising a racket, they're also making a mess.

Terry Hardey saw the problems piling up and found a way to turn it into cash.

Close to two dozen clients, everyone from golf courses and businesses to gated communities and homeowners now pay her to scare the birds away with her border collies.

The business started as a seasonal one. Hardey Border Collie Goose Patrol is a year-round operation, and business is booming.

Colorado's Canada Geese population is larger than it's ever been because the birds no longer just migrate through the state.

Tens of thousands of them are making the metro their permanent home, in large part because of the mild climate.

"The resident population is just growing. It's exploding," Hardey said. "When I started, I was told it was doubling every five years."

It's estimated more than 20,000 Canada geese now call Colorado home.

It's a pretty amazing statistic considering the birds were nearly extinct in the United States in the early 1900s when drastic measures were taken to reintroduce them to North America.