referred to as ‘rats with wings’, feral pigeons have become just
as much of a problem in towns and cities as their furry, four-legged
of rock doves, originally cliff dwelling birds, the feral pigeon
has adapted well to living alongside humans and is an integral feature
of town centres across the country.
have been known to carry diseases such as Chiamdiosis, a virus similar
to influenza, and Psittacosis, similar to pneumonia.
are known carriers of disease|
is still unknown how big a health risk pigeons pose to humans, with
many experts believing the chance of infection to be slight.
undisputed and particularly visual pigeon problem however is mess.
Combined pigeon deposits can weigh up to several tons and costs
£15 million a year to clear up.
not only cause buildings to look unsightly, but can cause long term
damage according to Iain Turner, sales marketing manager of a pest
deface buildings and can in the long term destroy them."|
droppings, whilst unpleasant, pose no risk to health. It is dried
droppings that can potentially spread infection.
from the droppings can be inhaled as dust and carried on the wind.
It can cause a flu like illness in healthy people, but poses more
serious problems to those with low immunity.
and rural pest
not only pose problems in residential areas, farmers also suffer
at the hands, or rather beaks of this feathered pest.
pose a problem in residential and rural areas alike|
the course of a single year, a feral pigeon can eat its way through
64 pounds of food. With an estimated 18 million feral pigeons in
Britain, this can pose a serious problem.
farmer’s solution? A man called Geoff Garrod.
Geoff is employed by a local farmer to shoot pigeons, which are
then sold for around 10 pence each. The majority end up as the dish
of the day in European restaurants.
unpopular as the humble pigeon may be, shooting the pest is often
frowned upon by the general public. But
what are the alternatives?
Contraceptives for pigeons and pigeon predators (real and fake) have been tried with limited success. However now Lowestoft Council are driving birds
away from residential areas to specially built feeding and breeding
areas in less sensitive places.
has the pigeon problem been solved? Lowestoft certainly have had
successful results with the designated breeding areas.
the scheme catches on, inner city pigeons across the country may
be packing their bags for birdie suburbia. What will those tourists
in Trafalgar Square do now?