Why Control Pest Pigeons
are the number one urban pest bird, causing damage where ever they
nest or roost. Pigeons are descendants of domesticated European
homing pigeons or Rock Doves, so they have a varied diet and feel at
ease making their homes in man-made structures.
Generally blue-grey in color,
with iridescent feathers on the head and neck, pigeons often have
markings in black, white or brown on the wings and neck. A short
neck and small head characterize the standard pigeon; their short
legs, hind toes and level front allow for both easy perching on
pipes and ledges or walking on flat surfaces. Pigeons generally nest
in small, flat areas away from the ground such as building ledges,
air conditioning units or window sills.
Pigeons are monogamous birds. "Eight to twelve days after mating,
the female will lay 1 or 2 eggs
which hatch after approximately 18 days. The
male, during this time, is providing nesting material and guards the female
and the nest." When pigeons are born, they feed on pigeon milk which is "a
liquid/solid substance secreted in the crop of both adults that is
regurgitated" into the mouths of the young pigeons. Most young leave the
nest at approximately 4 to 6 weeks of age. During this time another batch of
eggs may have already been laid. Breeding most commonly occurs during the
spring and fall, but reproduction can occur all year long. A flock of
pigeons will normally have an equal amount of males and females. A pigeon's
normal lifespan in nature is about 3 to 4 years.
A pigeon can go, if necessary, a long time without food or even water.
Most birds need a constant water source and that they will visit every day.
Pigeons are skilled in finding water and food sources, and rarely have
trouble finding a source in the city. Individual pigeons can have a home
range of 150 miles, although most will stay close to home, which is
generally considerably less than 25 miles or so.
If their food and water sources
change drastically, however, they will migrate, to another spot, near or
far, with better provisions.
|Damage caused by Pigeon Problems
Pigeon control is important due to the damage and disease problems these
birds often create, check out Health Risk page. The uric acid in pigeon feces is highly corrosive and
can cause extensive damage to metals and other substrates it sits on for
long periods. Debris from flocks of problem pigeons often build up, backing
up gutters and drains which can cause flooding and roof damage.
materials and other debris has caused failures in machinery, especially
rooftop air conditioning units which are a prime nesting spot for pigeons.
Other frequent pigeon problems include slip and fall liability from feces or
debris, plus an unclean, dirty company image is presented when pigeons are
roosting all over a building or store front sign.
The bacteria, fungal agents
and ectoparasites found in pigeon droppings are responsible for a host of
serious diseases, including histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella,
meningitis, toxoplasmosis and more.
Pigeons also carry ectoparasites for example:
fleas, lice, mites, ticks, and other biting pests.
can have significant
clean up costs due to the pigeon problems that they don't resolve.
The pigeons that are located
around airports threaten human safety due to a possible bird-aircraft
collision. The U.S. Air Force considers pigeons as a medium priority
hazard to jet aircrafts.
FLYING RATS ?
In today's world, the common structure-dwelling pigeons have become the
avian equivalents of city
rodents. "Flying Rats,"
as they have been described. Unfortunately, they have been forced
into this role
by man, as much as by their own natural instincts and habits. First and
foremost to the problem of
overpopulation, are the numbers of nooks and crannies that modern man builds
into the exterior of all of his structures,
forming the basic nesting home sites for pigeons and other birds. This means
that almost every house, commercial building, bridge, billboard, gas canopy,
or other large structure harbors a number of these potential nest or
roosting sites. Bad for us, good for the pigeon.
Although pigeons are not very smart, they are
creatures of habit and will try to return to the same places as
before looking for a way back into it's old nest site or favorite roosting
spot, that's call bird pressure.
also become habituated to humans, by being extensively fed by
humans, as in outdoor eating restaurants, parks and schools which only
aggravates the problem. Pigeons, domesticated for hundreds of years, are
easily tamed and handled by humans. It is important to note that NO wild
animals, including wild pigeons, should be fed, at any time, for any
reason, by anyone.
SOME UNUSUAL PIGEON FACTS
Remember to respect the pigeon. This chubby little bird has the uncanny
ability to find it's way home, no matter what, and
no matter from where. To date, science can only theorize as to exactly how
the pigeons do this.
Trying to discover or prevent pigeons
from returning home, researchers have tried to confuse them in every way
possible. By transporting them to a remote location: In the dark, in
randomly rotating cages, with strong or weak magnetic fields, with flashing
lights, and even anesthetized, or any combinations of these, (and others
too) nothing seemed to affect their navigation skills, even in unfamiliar
Pigeons are suspected of using magnetic
structures already known to be in their brains, but there was still no
change in their ability, even when tiny, removable magnets were attached to
their heads, supposedly to confuse these structures.
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