How Do You Keep Pigeons Away?
Birds and in particular pigeons can be very damaging to buildings and their occupants.
Feral pigeon colonies in urban areas can quickly lead to health and safety hazards. Their fouling is very corrosive and unsightly. It harbours and sustains infestations of flying and biting insects and mites and poses a serious health risk. Bird fouling is also very slippery when wet, posing a potential hazard on footpaths.
In order to keep pigeons away from an area, particularly large areas not suitable for proofing, one must tackle a few issues and look to ‘manage’ the problem as opposed to trying to just ‘eradicate’ it.
Depending on the size of the colony, the initial aim should be to reduce the numbers to a level at which they can be managed. This can be done through culling the pigeons to reduce numbers but bear in mind this isn’t a complete solution - if they have established nesting and roosting points, it can be extremely difficult to prevent a rapid explosion in numbers.
After the initial culling, an intensive falconry programme can be used to interrupt and even break rooting/nesting patterns. This is done by convincing the target species that a real threat exists in the area from a predatory bird, such as a Hawk or Falcon. This threat then persuades the pigeons to move away from their existing roosting/nesting sites elsewhere.
A few factors should be considered when surveying a nuisance colony such as: is the site used for nesting or roosting, or does the area contain a suitable source of food.
Sites purely used for evening roosting are the easiest to tackle due to pigeons being able to find sites easily elsewhere whereas sites used for feeding are the hardest to tackle due to the birds being reliant on a single food source and therefore very hard to drive off.