pigeonWeathered residents of Cherryville are mucking up Main Street, and city leaders are looking to curb the problem.
The solution is in the feed.
City Council members recently discussed giving birth control to pigeons.
“Within a year, the pigeon population is diminished through attrition,” Cherryville City Manager Ben Blackburn said.
There are two groups of pigeons living along Main Street, Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam said.
The birds leave droppings on the sidewalk, cause an odor and destroy property, he said.
The city’s historical museum had significant damage when pigeons came in through a broken window and started to roost, he said.
Beam has worked along Main Street for decades. He remembers one business owner arming himself to take care of the pigeon population years ago.
Beam remembers working late one night and hearing, “Pow, pow, pow.” A fellow businessman tried to eliminate the birds by shooting them, Beam said.
Someone else used poison, but watching birds die on the sidewalks wasn’t something people wanted to see, Beam said.
Blackburn said the city once looked to owls to eliminate the pigeons, but that didn’t work either.
Council members discussed the special bird food during a work session this week.
If the plan is approved at the next council meeting, two bird feeders will be placed on either side of Main Street.
The initial setup will cost about $5,000.
Food would cost about $2,000 each year after.
Within three to five years, the pigeons should be gone from Cherryville, Beam said.
The idea of pigeon elimination came from the city’s Small Town Main Street program.
Through the state initiative, the city has been making improvements to revitalize the downtown area.
Façade grants have been offered. Murals are being restored, and outdoor furniture is being installed.
Some might say pigeons are part of an urban landscape. Beam says they’re a nuisance, and they are residents he wouldn’t mind seeing leave Cherryville.


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