Residents torn over returning birds

HOPE MILLS Water in Hope Mills Lake and the Canadian geese are sights for Dan Ivy's eyes. He has lived in the area for years. He grew up around the lake and loves the big birds.

When the dam broke in 2003 and the lake emptied, it was anybody's guess where the geese went.

"Ah, I guess they went wherever they migrate to and looking for either some body of water they could get to for their food source," Ivy said.

But if you're familiar with geese you know they can leave a mess on dry land. That's not a good thing for the park by the lake and it's even worse for people who live across the lake.

"Well, I like to get outdoors. It's good to see the geese and other wildlife back on the lake," homeowner Mike Mitchell said.

Mitchell has lived in his house on the lake since 2005. He says the previous owner warned him the geese can be messy and sometimes dangerous.

"He told me not to take the fence down because the Canadian geese when they, I guess during mating season sometimes they can be kind of violent towards one another, so he said just probably to keep the geese out your yard would be a good thing," Mitchell said.

Other lakefront homeowners complain the geese leave large droppings in their backyards and peck away at the siding on their houses.

Ivy says that's the price of living so close to Mother Nature.

"Well, they're beautiful to see. And of course this is their turf around water. So you're going to have to put up with them if you got water," Ivy said.

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