She said Salthaven has been dealing with the birds for years now and fears they might have been poisoned.
“On average we’re seeing a poisoned pigeon every two to three weeks,” she said, adding those numbers increase in the summer. “It’s not a very humane death. Their temperature skyrockets; it can be a very painful death.”
“By the time we receive them, they’re having violent seizures,” she said. “The only thing we can do to get rid of the poison in their system is basically flush it out.”
Lawrence said she’s heard that some businesses downtown may be using poison in order to detract the birds from congregating on rooftops and other roosting points on buildings. However, she wasn’t able to offer any proof for her claims or pinpoint specific businesses and said she hasn’t spoken to any business owners herself.
The Leader-Post contacted some downtown businesses to see how they control the pigeon population. None of the businesses who responded said they use poison or have had an issue with pigeon overpopulation.
Kevin Lang, building manager for the Ramada Plaza located on Victoria Avenue, said while he has inquired with pest control companies about using poison to stop pigeons from roosting on the hotel’s roof, he’s never used it.
“I’ve been told … it affects the other (types of) birds,” he said. “(If) you put poison out, it can be consumed by anything that lands on our roof, which is not environmentally friendly.”
Lawrence said if pigeons ingest poison, they aren’t the only ones who suffer. Animals who eat pigeons could be affected.
“If a Peregrine falcon was to eat one of those pigeons that had ingested the poison, the falcon is also going to get the poison and perhaps die as well,” she said.
Half of the pigeons they receive, she said, end up dying.
Salthaven’s most recent call to assist a pigeon was Wednesday evening. That one ended up dying. The organization doesn’t usually have pigeons tested to see what specific poison is making them sick, but it’s considering sending that one in for testing.
Lawrence believes the pigeons may be ingesting Avitrol, a bird control product she said is used in cities across Canada.
“It’s very common … to control pigeon populations this way,” she said. “It’s likely (because) it’s cheap and easy.”
In an email, the City of Regina said it doesn’t have a pigeon control program and doesn’t monitor pigeon populations.
On its website, the makers of Avitrol say the product “causes behaviours similar to an epileptic seizure.”
“Birds eating the treated bait will emit distress signals used by their species when they are frightened or injured,” the website says. “This will frighten the flock and cause it to leave the site.”
Instead of poison, Lawrence recommends removing structures where pigeons could roost and screen off air conditioning units where they might drink water from. Bristling wires, which prevent pigeons from landing, can also be purchased from a pest control retailer and installed.
“If they’re up on the roof and you start seeing them build nest, remove all nesting materials,” she said. “The more times that happens they’re going to realize this isn’t a place (they can) nest.”
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 Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.
Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.
Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca
Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent? Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away, Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard