Kirkland Lake Council has taken another step in trying to control the town’s pigeon problem.
At their meeting of April 16th Council agreed to proceed with purchasing four traps for residents to borrow with deposit. The cost of a pigeon trap is $65 (holds 10-15 pigeons).
In a report to council staff stated “The pigeon population is increasing in the town . Pigeons mate for life and a pair can breed up to 12 fledglings per year. Staff have increasing been receiving calls and emails from residents asking for help with neighbours who are feeding the pigeons, encouraging the flock to flourish and remain in the area.
Pigeon feces are highly acidic and so corrosive that it can cut a roof’s average life span in half.
Residents’ properties are being damaged.
Orkin Canada gives the following tips for prevention and control:
Eliminate sources of food, including bird feeders intended for other species
Repair and seal any damage to the exterior of buildings where they can build nests
Place fake/statuettes of predatory birds near ledges
Create an unwelcome environment with loud noises and/or water sprays to scare them away
“Staff also met with the Timiskaming Health Unit) to discuss the health concerns related to pigeons. From their standpoint, pigeons are not a health problem. There would need to be several inches of droppings in a very restricted area in order for it to pose a health concern. They insist that feeding restrictions do help, however the enforcement must be focused on the places they reside (i.e. openings in buildings/structures that encourage roosting).
“In late 2018, a By-law was passed prohibiting residents from feeding the pigeons. The Ontario Provincial Police have been working diligently with the Town to target problem areas and has charged individuals under this By-law as a result. Council has requested that further options be researched by staff and brought to Council for consideration.
““(The) Kirkland Lake Fish and Game Association in Kirkland Lake recommended that we purchase traps that could be lent out to residents for trapping. Individuals trapping the birds require a small game hunting license in order to do so
“Should Council not wish to encourage the killing of pigeons, there is the option of trapping and relocating. Research has told us however that pigeons are capable of returning to their home if they are within a 600 km radius. There is concern as to who will be responsible for bringing the pigeons 600 km away and also, whether the municipality we are bringing the pigeons to will be okay with us relocating them there.
“In staff’s opinion, eradication of the pigeons is recommended. There are a few problem areas that should be resolved immediately in order to reduce the effect the pigeons are having on surrounding neighbours and their property.”
During the discussion Councillor Dennis Perrier stated he has heard from some citizens who have said they do not want the pigeons killed. Perrier added if people do decide to go that route, he hopes it will be done in the most humane way possible.
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