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Pigeons, I love them, neighbors dont! (1 Viewer)

Hi all,

I have created a problem. I love birds, including the highly underrated Rock Dove/pigeon. They are war heros, and grace our urban skies. I love hearing their coos, and watching them orient their "radar" with graceful circles. I'm happy to feed them.

I have been supplementing my feeders & water sources by ground, or actually top-of-fence feeding. Multi strand electrical wires run above the length of the urban, highly pedestrian utilized sidewalk. I wash the droppings off of sidewalk when its above freezing, to minimize avenues for complaints. The birds & squirrels appreciate all the extra feeding space, especially the beautiful pigeons.now....well...over 100 hang out, and I've received an anonymous nasty gram.

I have tapered the fence feeding down for two weeks. Now I am not ground/fence feeding at all. Feeders & water only. I have also ordered holographic spinners for the yard.

I hate to stop feeding especially in the cold winter, but I fear if I don't, some grump may escalate the situation. Avitrol is available after all. Sick. And Denver uses it.

Any suggestions?
Thank you,
Robin
 

Tired

Well-known member
United States
100 is a lot of pigeons, so I can see where the complaints are coming from. You should definitely try to keep them from sitting over the sidewalk. Not least because people don't really appreciate pigeon droppings on them. Hosing the people off makes it worse.

You may want to see if you can get a community project going to care for the pigeons, instead. The poor things are like feral cats and dogs- descendents of abandoned domestic animals. They don't actually do well in cities at all, they're constantly going hungry. It's why their droppings are so destructive to buildings and statues, near-starving pigeons have caustic droppings. They get just enough to eat to avoid starving, and to produce offspring. It's not a good life, even as wild animals go.

There have been a few projects to help the pigeons, that you should look into. The basic idea for them all is to treat the pigeons like the domestic animals they are. Provide a good, open-air loft that they want to live in, and feed them near the loft. The pigeons move in, and they stay in the area around the loft, since they don't need to travel for food. Their eggs can be removed to keep more from hatching, and the pigeon population stays controlled, relatively healthy, and contained. Since they're well-fed, their droppings are no longer caustic, and in fact make excellent fertilizer after being aged. If it's done right (and "right" mostly means a loft designed around the pigeons- one city built a metal monstrosity designed for human convenience, not pigeon comfort, and no pigeons moved in), it works beautifully.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
Pigeons are always perched on utility lines and I seriously doubt many would be interested in forming a community for them.

I do understand where you're coming from as they are living creatures that should be respected but good luck on your endeavors Tired.
 
100 is a lot of pigeons, so I can see where the complaints are coming from. You should definitely try to keep them from sitting over the sidewalk. Not least because people don't really appreciate pigeon droppings on them. Hosing the people off makes it worse.

You may want to see if you can get a community project going to care for the pigeons, instead. The poor things are like feral cats and dogs- descendents of abandoned domestic animals. They don't actually do well in cities at all, they're constantly going hungry. It's why their droppings are so destructive to buildings and statues, near-starving pigeons have caustic droppings. They get just enough to eat to avoid starving, and to produce offspring. It's not a good life, even as wild animals go.

There have been a few projects to help the pigeons, that you should look into. The basic idea for them all is to treat the pigeons like the domestic animals they are. Provide a good, open-air loft that they want to live in, and feed them near the loft. The pigeons move in, and they stay in the area around the loft, since they don't need to travel for food. Their eggs can be removed to keep more from hatching, and the pigeon population stays controlled, relatively healthy, and contained. Since they're well-fed, their droppings are no longer caustic, and in fact make excellent fertilizer after being aged. If it's done right (and "right" mostly means a loft designed around the pigeons- one city built a metal monstrosity designed for human convenience, not pigeon comfort, and no pigeons moved in), it works beautifully.
Thank you for the reply. Lol, hosing off the people. Snicker snicker.
Are most feral pigeons starving? I pray not!!

I had not thought of a Dove cote. An idea worth trying. Thank you.

The fact that now that winter is here and so many more pigeons have gathered on the wires, hoping to feed here, is troubling. Perhaps they ARE food stressed. Oh my. Poor brilliant beings.
 

Tired

Well-known member
United States
Cities are not kind places for animals. If the pigeons in your area have that splattery white poo that people associate with pigeons, they're not getting enough to eat. Pigeons getting enough to eat have more 'composed' poo. Ones in more rural areas tend to do better, since they actually have the ability to find food, but city pigeons are usually scavenging off of human scraps and the like. It's admirable that they actually manage to breed in cities, but they're about as healthy as feral cats or dogs.

How familiar are you with the others in your community? Once everyone is no longer stressed from the whole virus situation, you might be able to recruit some support for a larger project to help control them in a humane way. Providing homes and removing eggs like I mentioned above is the most humane way to deal with feral pigeons. The existing ones get to live out their lives, and the population can be controlled, if not entirely removed. If the city decides they want to still have pigeons, they can have a small population of healthy, well-cared-for ones. Or individual people can have pets. Pigeons make excellent pets, with the right care- better than most other birds. Comes of them being domesticated.

You would definitely want to read up on a dove kote for yourself. How would it affect the pigeons? How would it change the situation for those around you? If you do go for one, invest in some fake eggs, and replace any eggs you see. Make sure to mark the fake eggs with something so you can easily be sure that every egg in a nest is fake.
 
Pigeons are always perched on utility lines and I seriously doubt many would be interested in forming a community for them.

I do understand where you're coming from as they are living creatures that should be respected but good luck on your endeavors Tired.
Hi, thanks for your reply. Yes, the enticing 6 lines of utilities lines really are a draw for the lovely pigeons. They have doubled in number since cold weather set in. I'm heartbroken to not offer them food now! My immediate neighbors don't seem to mind. At least when I ask, "as long as the poop isn't on their vehicles". But dog walkers constantly look up, not admiringly. With the pandemic, more people are out, and there seem to be lots of fuss-budgets here, looking for a place to vent their frustration.
 

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