Science can assist with removing pigeons
Many commented and 110 people completed our online poll, with 54 per cent voting the best way to deal with the pigeons was to shoot them.
There are several ways to remove pigeons from cities: by shooting, using a repellent gel on buildings and placing birth control pellets on buildings.
The numbers vary across the year, depending on this cycle. The adults drop the eggs and leave and come back the next breeding season to breed again. The breeding cycles are in May-June and also in November.
The predominant pigeon species here is Columba livia. They are a declared pest species and they carry five diseases, which are transmittable to humans via droppings. These are: Encephalitis, Histoplasmosis, Candidiasis, Salmonellosis and E coli.
These diseases transmit to humans through the droppings being disturbed. The dust goes into the lungs.
There is also damage to buildings because the droppings are quite acidic. About 100 pigeons can produce up to 2000kg of droppings a year.
Stonemason and bricklayer Ron Doyle, of Brian Doyle Stonemasons, Crookwell, said the droppings should not be allowed to build up.
“The rain softens it and it becomes quite acidic and then starts damaging the brickwork,” Mr Doyle said.
New Zealand company Adler removes pest birds from buildings by applying a gel to them.
“The gel works on the sensory (smell) and optical nerves (sight) in pigeons and most other birds. To them it smells offensive and looks like fire,” a company spokesperson said.
The gel contains citronella and other plant based ingredients and is nontoxic to humans, animals and aquatic life.
“It will not cause long-term adverse effects in the environment,” they said.
The company usually operates on behalf of property managers who are interested in protecting their own buildings.
“A typical installation is on ledges, parapets, beams above pedestrian areas and in and around heating, ventilating and air-conditioning units on roofs, where pigeons typically build their nests,” they said.
“It’s a case of scoping each property with the problem and addressing it. A targeted approach is best and most effective.”
Another method called OvoControl involves placing birth control bait in feeders.
Goulburn resident Ron McLaughlin came across this while travelling in America.
“It has been very successful in some neighbourhoods in American cities as well as in Spain,” he said.
OvoControl interferes with the reproduction of birds, specifically with with egg hatch ability, causing the population to decline. This effective and humane technology is especially useful for managing pigeon flocks in larger areas without having to resort to poisons.
Pigeons breed rapidly. Just five mating pairs can produce up to 400 pigeons in only two years. Fortunately, the life-span of urban pigeons is relatively short, limited to about three years.
According to a statement by OvoControl, field studies have shown a reduction of 50 per cent annually, after using it.
Recently, data at a site in San Diego reported an 88% decline over 28 months.
The August 6 Goulburn Mulwaree Council meeting adopted a Draft Pigeon and Pest Bird policy. This policy is on public exhibition for 28 days for submissions.
Have a Pigeon Problem?
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