Q: How did Dothan get rid of its pigeons? It seems like I haven’t seen a pigeon in years.

A: Dothan still has pigeons but not as many as in years past. Mostly likely a decline in food sources and fewer places to nest led to the decline.

Pigeons were introduced to North America in the early 1600s. Domesticated pigeons escaped from breeders and formed feral flocks. Pigeons often live in cities because the ledges of buildings and other structures mimic the sea cliffs and mountains their ancestors inhabited.

When pigeon flocks grow too large, there are humane methods to control their numbers. The Humane Society of the United States lists three steps to solve a pigeon problem.

Stop feeding the pigeons

According to the HSUS, most conflicts with pigeons can be tied at one point or another to feeding, intentionally or otherwise.

“Pigeons get fed plenty of handouts and garbage, but there are also well-intentioned pigeon lovers who regularly feed the birds,” according to the group’s website. “This does the pigeons more harm than good as the pigeons begin to gather in large numbers, often leading to inhumane and ineffective attempts to reduce their numbers.

“When such troubles arise, the best thing for the birds is to reduce feeding gradually over several weeks. The flock will gradually disperse until the remaining number of birds matches what the area can naturally support.”

“Even when not feeding on purpose, we humans are messy, leaving leftovers and dropped crumbs everywhere,” according to the website. “Pigeons hang around town squares, public parks, and other trafficked areas to help themselves to what we leave behind, especially when convenient roosting and nesting sites are nearby. To discourage pigeons from gathering, food attractants need to be cleaned up regularly.

“In suburban neighborhoods, too, homeowners may mistakenly feed pigeons or they may be providing food for pigeons inadvertently when feeding their backyard birds by tossing seed on the ground, rather than putting it in birdfeeders. To discourage pigeons visiting your yard, change the type, amount, and timing of feeding. If most of the pigeons fail to move elsewhere, you’ll need to stop feeding all birds for a couple weeks. (Don’t worry; the birds won’t starve.) When you resume feeding, only put out seed in birdfeeders and keep the ground below them cleaned up.”

Prevent roosting and nesting

“Pigeons look for flat surfaces for roosting and nesting,” according to the website. “Encourage them to do these things elsewhere by making flat surfaces unavailable to them. With the correct application of the right product, roosting structures can be rendered virtually pigeon-free.”

The group suggests a variety of devices that can be used to change flat nesting spots into inaccessible spaces and prevent pigeons from roosting in areas where they’re not wanted, from installing netting and “bird wires” to attaching wood or metal sheathing at an angle over window ledges and other flat surfaces to keep pigeons from landing.

The group says to never use polybutylene gel, a sticky repellent that can harm all birds and any animal that comes in contact with it.

Limit flock size with pigeon birth control

“As year-round nesters, a pair of pigeons can raise a dozen or more young each year,” according to the website. A bird contraceptive know as OvoControl is available that limits growth of pigeon flocks.

The kibble-type food causes birds who eat it regularly to lay eggs that fail to develop.

“In March 2010, OvoControl received landmark general-use approval by the Environmental Protection Agency,” according to the website. “Combined with exclusion and other humane measures to discourage roosting and nesting, OvoControl effectively reduces hatching rates in pigeons, thereby limiting flock sizes and diminishing problems associated with large numbers of pigeons.”


About Pigeon Patrol:

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products four years in a row.

Contact Info: 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD (www.pigeonpatrol.ca)