July 25, 2024


Elegant home interior

Bird Control – The Ferral Pigeon

The Feral Pigeon (Columba Livia)

In recent years as people have become more and more urbanized, birds have taken refuge in our buildings and homes, they can and often are a pest to humans. Under normal circumstances birds are protected but under the Wildlife and countryside Act 1981 (amended 1995) states that thirteen species of birds are recognized as public or agricultural pests of economic importance, which may be killed in certain circumstances by owners or occupiers of premises or their authorized agents, however in this article I shall shed some more light on the Feral pigeon.

Reproductive Biology of Pigeon

They lay two eggs and on average have 2-3 broods per year, the incubation period is anywhere between 17-19 days and they can spend between 35-37 days in the nest, depending on food availability and how favorable the conditions are they can produce more offspring.

Nesting and feeding habitats

Feral pigeons prefer to make their nests on ledges, as long as it is flat surface protected from the elements, they make their nests out of twigs and use there droppings as cement to hold the nest together, they will often only build one nest and return to it. Feral pigeons prefer a diet of seeds, green feed and domestic scraps from humans and tend to feed near cities or roosting sites, wherever food is abundant.

Controlling the birds

General proofing: This consists of sealing holes in the building to prevent entry places for birds, proofing can be achieved by using expanding foam, chicken-wire, eaves-filler.

Avistrand: A system of wires and springs attached to the ledges of buildings to provide an insecure landing spot for birds which prevents them from settling, this system is particular suited for pigeons and gulls.

Bird repellent: a non-setting gel applied to ledges, which presents an insecure landing site, preventing birds from settling, this system will work for a period of a year.

Netting: Nylon netting used to net off access to roosting areas such as light wells, pipe runs, ventilation shafts, net sizes for feral pigeons should be about 50mm

Trapping: Specially designed cages can catch birds and they can moved away.

Shooting: The use of specialized air rifles by a fully trained pest control officer trained in the methods of humane shooting of birds.

Why they are a nuisance?

The close association of birds and people and animals is likely to spread diseases such as Salmonella, Ornithosis and Fowl pest.

When birds settle on buildings they leave their droppings down the side of buildings which very unsightly.

In factories their droppings and feathers may contaminate food production and may be a health risk.