back to article Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats

Nikola Tesla obsessively fed them, the Queen keeps hundreds at Sandringham, and Charles Darwin was enthralled by what they could teach us about natural selection. But for most of us, they're little more than rats with wings. And now one has only gone and shat on a three-month-old's face. We're talking, of course, about pigeons …

  1. TRT Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Type your comment here.

    1. ukgnome Silver badge

      How did you get a silver badge without understanding bootnotes?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Oh, I do. I just didn't think it was particularly standout as articles go. Didn't even crack a smile or make me say "Huh?" An article bereft of WTFs. Didn't involve anyone famous either. Birds crapping on people is common as muck, really.

        Now if it was an article from a local newspaper about, say, sci-fi stalwart and taken-too-soon Elisabeth Sladen vomiting on Tory MP Edwina Currie, then I could appreciate the inclusion in El Reg a little more.

        Each to their own, I suppose.

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Oh, and it did just make me think of that bit in Blackadder (which the copyright-Stasi seem to have prevented me finding a link to) when he says "Some sort of hat might be in order then. Farewell!"

    2. TRT Silver badge
      1. The Nazz Silver badge

        And in homage to our left-ponders the inimitable genius Shel :

        High Flying Eagle : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKmQA1OZ84o

    3. Snake
      Happy

      OK, I will

      although not on the IT angle.

      1) Stop thinking of them as "pigeons", as if their existence needs to be justified in strictly human terms, and you'll find yourself better for it. Their technical description is "Rock dove", and if you tell yourself that name rather than 'pigeon' when you see them, you'll actually smile at yourself. :)

      2) I don't see anything unusual about birds pooping on people. Happened to one of my teachers 40 years ago whilst I was standing right next to him during an outdoor break. Lifted his arm - poop! Right on the elbow. Direct hit! I think they have bomb sights as built-in features :p

      1. beerandbiscuits

        Re: OK, I will

        It is highly unlikely that they are rock doves. There are only two areas that still have pure rock doves - the Outer Hebrides and some remote parts of western Ireland. In neither case are they likely to get close to humans.

        The shitters here are most likely feral pigeons; bastard cross breeds of rock doves, stock doves, wood pigeons and the other various doves/pigeons that inhabit these islands. The only one that's not worth eating is the feral pigeon.

        1. Snake
          Headmaster

          Re: OK, I will

          "The shitters here are most likely feral pigeons; bastard cross breeds of rock doves, stock doves, wood pigeons and the other various doves/pigeons that inhabit these islands. The only one that's not worth eating is the feral pigeon."

          Rock doves, "feral" pigeons and "domestic" pigeons are all the same base species (Columba livia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_pigeon ) , the various notations are simply subspecies ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subspecies ) which simply denote locales. Therefore, most "feral pigeons" are actually rock doves that simply are denoted by their urban lifestyle (as the photo of them in India on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_pigeon , shows ).

  2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Sparrowhawks, ma'am.

    1. cosymart
      Pirate

      Top UK Preditor

      See this for action killer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra6I6svXQPg

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Top UK Preditor

        That opening sequence is extremely good.

      2. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: Top UK Preditor

        My daughter went to nurse in Michigan. Collecting her one evening I was given a long account of the 'removal' of oner of the chickens the nurses kept by a Chicken Hawk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickenhawk_(bird)) The bird had the good grace to settle down and eat in front of the class.

    2. The First Dave

      Peregrine Falcons

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Falcons do work. Many cities seem to be trying them with varied results based on nesting availability and the number of Falcons the use.

        In one small town I lived in, once a year, the local cops supervised a pigeon hunt in the downtown area (no buildings over 3 stories.. I said it was a small town). Seemed to work for them until the snowflakes got upset about dead birds falling out of the sky and sound of shotguns.

      2. Montreal Sean

        We have Peregrine falcons in Montreal, they help keep the pigeons in check.

        I do wonder what will happen to the ones who live above and below the deck of the old Champlain Bridge which is scheduled for demolition in a few years...

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      I was going to suggest the Goliath birdeater but it seems it only occasionally eats birds. Wait, can they spare a few pelicans from the park?

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Sparrowhawks"

      Too small. Our local kestrel, however, does a very thorough job on pigeons. No half-eaten carcases, not even the odd bone, just a few feathers scattered on the grass.

    5. Tom 7 Silver badge

      That's just going to start a wave of people complaining about their sparrows being eaten. Peregrine Falcons take the odd rock dove - but a having twice been near the killing zone of a PF i can tell you the noise made by the raptor coming in at over 150mph to take a bird by surprise will take you by surprise - and that's a lot more volume than a pigeon dropping!

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bren gun?

  3. AndrueC Silver badge
    Joke

    It certainly sounds like something worth getting in a flap about. Obviously the previous solutions didn't work but that's what happens when you just wing it.

  4. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    We hit peak pidgeon poo a few years ago when Ashley Young caught one in his mouth.

    Not for the easily disgusted:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoZXEbo96Lg

    ( Paris because she'd have swallowed it )

  5. mark 120

    Manchester has this covered

    Perhaps ship this enterprising chap down there?

    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/hunt-man-feeding-pigeons-piccadilly-15763463

  6. PhilipN Silver badge

    Food

    What are the blighters feeding on? And - side issue - who fed the first inhabitants, thereby engendering a whole colony (unless the household rubbish is not properly disposed of)?

    Eliminating the food supply gets rid of a lot of animals, teenagers included.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Food

      "What are the blighters feeding on"

      Perhaps now is the time to genetically modify them to feed on the homeless? Too cruel?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Food

        Perhaps better to allow the homeless to feed themselves with pigeons, although I have eaten rat and squirrel on a survival course I think I may draw the line at eating feral pigeons as they can carry twice as many life threatening diseases as rats.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Food

          Huh.

          I thought intelligent people posted here? Name one disease you can catch from a feral pigeon.

          1. mowaldo

            Re: Food

            When I first read this comment I read what disease you "can't" catch from a feral pigeon and I thought about STD's. Maybe some people interact with pigeons in unusual ways.

            Rereading the comment I think you can catch psittacosis.

            From Wikipedia

            Psittacosis—also known as parrot fever, and ornithosis—is a zoonotic infectious disease in humans caused by a bacterium called Chlamydophila psittaci and contracted from infected parrots, such as macaws, cockatiels, and budgerigars, and pigeons, sparrows, ducks, hens, gulls and many other species of birds.

            1. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: Food

              You can probably catch salmonella from them as well, because you can catch salmonella from pretty much anything. It's one of the few diseases that humans and reptiles can pass to each other.

              1. Martin 66

                Re: Food

                Salmonella is not a disease - it is a bacteria.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Food

          "I may draw the line at eating feral pigeons as they can carry twice as many life threatening diseases as rats."

          Pigeon pie was a relatively common recipe until fairly recently. If you were likely to die from eating pigeon, it would have become a proscribe food centuries ago. People generally learned about what is good or not good to eat back in the hunter/gatherer days.

          1. katrinab Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: Food

            Lead acetate was used as an artificial sweetener until relatively recently. If you were likely to die from drinking/eating lead, it would have become a proscribed additive centuries ago.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Food

        Too cruel? Cruel? To the pigeons or the homeless? Enquiring minds and all that.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Food

      "who fed the first inhabitants, thereby engendering a whole colony"

      People are encouraged to feed birds during the winter. You don't get to choose which birds eat the food though.

    3. pintofbitter

      Re: Food

      Both pigeons and seagulls are/should be classed as vermin.

  7. Ceilidhman
    Linux

    Robop

    A company called Robop (https://robop.com/) manufacture robotic birds which very effectively scare away seagulls and pidgeons and would be ideal in this situation.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge

    Dangerous stuff

    Yes, pigeon poop can be dangerous, but I think it has to be dried out, and then the dust from the droppings is where the problem starts. I seem to recall the old man talking about this happening to a colleague.

    1. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge
  9. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Nuke 'em from orbit

    It's the only way to be sure.

  10. ukgnome Silver badge

    When we hard brexit we will be issued with pellet guns.

    Vermin control was never so tasty.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      All the usual ooptions

      Shoot them, trap them, scare them, block their perches and nesting areas, release raptors to snack on them, use drones to harass them - all of these have been done with varying degrees of success for similar problems elsewhere. What is called for here is something a bit different... something unique. To that end, please vote on the following or suggest your own solution that may in some way have a connection to the issue (or not).

      1) Microwave blasts to fry the flying beasts while in the air. Not as far-fetched as you might think. Radar will accomplish this if used (in)correctly.

      2) Declare war on the bastards! I know declaring war on things is more of an American thing, but it has worked fairly well for us. Stage a WWII re-enactment themed fumigation the entire area. There must be some vintage aircraft that could be used to drop gas canisters onto the benighted area.

      3) Open the town as a cat sanctuary while running a simultaneous campaign to encourage cat ladies from all over the world to bring their pussies to have a good time. If only one or two decide to do this, the problem of roaming cats will quickly displace that of dive-bombing pigeons. Dogs next, followed by goats, cows and horses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All the usual ooptions

        Shoot them, trap them, scare them, block their perches and nesting areas, release raptors to snack on them

        I believe the Standard Operating Procedure, as specified by one Mr Dick Dastardly is...."Nab him, Jab him, Tab him, Grab him. Stop that pigeon now"

      2. Groaning Ninny

        Re: All the usual ooptions

        Oh dear to part 3 of that. Innuendo intended, I presume?

      3. Insert sadsack pun here

        Re: All the usual ooptions

        "Shoot them, trap them, scare them..."

        ...they're waffly versatile?

      4. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

        Re: All the usual ooptions

        @Helpmann

        Start singing:

        I knew an old lady who swallowed a fly

        I don't know why she swallowed a fly.

        I knew an old lady who swallowed a spider

        That wriggled and wriggled and tickled inside 'er

        She swallowed the spider to catch the fly…

        I knew an old lady who swallowed a bird

        How absurd, to swallow a bird

        She swallowed the bird to catch the spider…

        I knew an old lady who swallowed a cat

        Well fancy that, she swallowed a cat…

        I knew an old lady who swallowed a dog

        What a hog, to swallow a dog…

        I knew an old lady who swallowed a horse

        How very coarse, to swallow a horse…

        I knew an old lady who swallowed a cow

        I don't know how she swallowed a cow…

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: All the usual ooptions

        "2) Declare war on the bastards! "

        War On Pigeons? I'm not sure the acronym is politically correct these days.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gulls

    Being friendly is an option and feed them at a particular place.

    I had issues a year ago with agressive seagulls. They were nesting on my roof and saw anyone in the garden as fair game for an attack. So last year, I started feeding it, at the same time every day. The seagull stopped attacking and waited patiently near the back door for food and saw us as a food provider rather than a threat.

    At one point, it even let its chick in my garden and we were able to be in the garden and not get attacked. Easier summer for all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gulls

      something to improve the outcome of this would have been to continue to feed it so it became so tame that you could have SMASHED ITS HEAD IN WITH A LARGE BROOM! Job done

  12. EnviableOne Bronze badge

    I got an Air rifle

    And some free time.

    PPS some aim to hit a kid in the face

    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I got an Air rifle

      ...aim to hit a kid in the face...

      Not much wrong with trying to hit those obnoxious, filthy pests with an air rifle.

      I don't like kids neither. But what's this got to do with the pigeons?

  13. Alistair Silver badge
    Windows

    About two years ago we had a barn owl move into the local stream/park valley. The park is about a klick away, but he/she/it seems to have a patrol range of about 4 or 5k. There's been a dearth of pidgeons, seagulls and starlings since. Although it seems the crows like to give the owl a hard time.

    Huge bird, and quite handsome.

    1. That Badger

      Barn Owls are not that large and hunt mostly mice, voles and shrews. You may mean you have an Eagle Owl.

  14. imanidiot Silver badge

    No wonder

    No wonder the place is infested with the flying rats. Plenty of roosting opportunity and probably plenty of food sources around from people littering. Whomever thought it would be a good idea to mount those aircon units outside the flat like that deserves to live there for the rest of their lives. Only way to solve it now is to put proper boxes around them with steeply sloped tops and all access holes sealed up properly. The only other solution is to shoot the f%^kers, but that tends to get the treehugging crowd riled up and is difficult to do safely in a residential area.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No wonder

      The only other solution is to shoot the f%^kers, but that tends to get the treehugging crowd riled up and is difficult to do safely in a residential area.

      I was once a member of an old gentleman's shooting club (in the UK) and a very old member related that when working for a particular company they were doing some manufacturing work that required very tight tolerances. They did it, put it in the storage space and a pigeon splattered it. The acid in the pigeon poop was enough to put their work outside of the accepted standard (we were talking in the micrometer range) and it all had to be redone at extreme cost.

      The management promptly decided to eradicate the pigeons to ensure there was no further occurrence of this problem.

      A bird of prey was hired along with it's handler during the day. However, letting the bird of prey kill and eat the problem is now considered to be inhumane, so the bird of prey was shackled to the handler to prevent it from going and killing them. This simply upset the pigeons a lot, and the handler suggested that it would upset their breeding patterns.

      The management then asked Mr good old fellow to deal with the problem ye olde way. That evening he came in and shot all of the pigeons. He did a body shot with .22, however the pigeon survived this, so he switched to headshotting the pigeons with an air rifle to kill them cleanly and humanly. Some while later he cleaned up the pigeon carcasses and went home and (almost) nobody was any the wiser for how the pigeons had been dealt with.

      As a result, the staff not in the know believed that the bird of prey frightened the pigeons away and were convinced that this had been dealt with in an incredibly humane and progressive manner, far superior to the primitive notion of the old timers of just shooting or poisoning the pigeons, which of course wouldn't have worked. The chap owning the bird of prey used the site as a reference in advertising material for how effective his method could be.

      Next time a pigeon came back, our chap was quietly asked to do a couple of hours overtime.

  15. BebopWeBop Silver badge
    Trollface

    And now one has only gone and shat on a three-month-old's face.

    We're talking, of course, about pigeons.

    And I thought you were talking about politicians or the Ad-tech business.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeebus H Christ, what sort of idiots inhabit the area? Spikes only work when the whole top surface is covered, not just a single row on the edge, and someone who says she was "in floods of tears" because of kakasplat needs shooting more than the flying rats. And line up the ones who don't understand how to cover "sensory equipment" beside her.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      I imagine when she goes on twitter she says "I feel physically sick".

      1. Sean o' bhaile na gleann

        Nah...

        I imagine when she goes on twitter she says "I literally feel physically sick".

        FTFY

  17. Grooke

    Pigeon coops

    I've seen several pigeon coops in France that are designed to control populations. They attract the pigeons in a central location and some of the eggs are then sterilized. It's also used to monitor the health of the pigeons to prevent the spread of disease.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Pigeon coops

      Hey hey hey, dont you go trying to bring your ladi-da European "solutions" into this here Blighty. We do things our own way. No means No. etc etc.

      Bloody Frenchies pushing their disease control and pigeon wrangling. The Pigeons are probably foreigners, anyway, no self respecting British pigeon would go pooing in a kids mouth. It's outright rude. I mean its just not cricket...

  18. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    CMOT Dibbler's new addition - pigeon onna stick.

    1. Woza
      Angel

      Or, for the low, low price of $5*, the pigeon-finding hat. When it turns white, you've found a pigeon.

      * Ok, $3, and that's cutting me own throat.

      Icon: splat - one happy customer.

    2. Casca

      Ketchup is extra?

  19. Jemma Silver badge

    "Standard issue...

    Pigeon proof vest, private"

    "Farewell to the bravest item of clothing I've ever known..."

    /Skipper

    Anyone know how to get blueberries out of feathers?

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: "Standard issue...

      @Jemma - "Anyone know how to get blueberries out of feathers?"

      Eat the feathers? The blueberries will be digested, the feathers will pass through largely unchanged. Simple.

  20. Ugotta B. Kiddingme
    Coffee/keyboard

    surely one need look no further than

    the Surrey Comet* to provide a variety of solutions.

    *mundane story, epically silly comment thread

  21. TechDrone
    Black Helicopters

    Pop goes the pigeon

    I know of a couple of lads at a certain council who every so often work night shifts at various sites around the city. Each takes a council owned air rifle and 100 pellets with them.

    One brings back an average of 98 pigeons.

    The brings back an average of 102.

    Even though they put up signs, notify police with names, copies of photo id, serial numbers etc well in advance and are driving vans marked with the council logo, the police have to send an armed response unit whenever somebody sees them and dials 999. Officially the ARU are not allowed to have a go themselves...

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Pop goes the pigeon

      102 birds off 100 pellets. That's some going!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pop goes the pigeon

      "Council owned air rifle"

      I got my first air rifle at about 8 years old. Mine. So much hand wringing over pigeons. If I read this as a child, I would wonder about the intelligence of these people....

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: "Council owned air rifle"

        Aka The Corporation Popgun.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Pop goes the pigeon

      "the police have to send an armed response unit whenever somebody sees them and dials 999. "

      I got chatting with a Rentokill guy at the couriers a few years ago. AT some point, as we were leaving, he decided to show me the rifle he uses for killing certain vermin. As he's waving it around I quickly pointed out that the big warehouse-like building next door with all the high fences topped with barbed wire is the local police firearms training centre. He very quickly realised that showing off his rifle probably wasn't a good idea considering who might be in the cars driving past in full view of him and his rifle.

  22. Garymrrsn
    Joke

    Solution

    "Alexa" Get rid of the pigeons!

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: "Alexa" Get rid of the pigeons!

      "OK. Ordering more pigeons."

  23. Yorick

    Birth control. Feed them, sparsely mind you, mix pigeon birth control into the feed. That’s actually a thing.

    1. David 132 Silver badge

      Bicarbonate of soda (baking powder). Far more effective, and quick.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "Bicarbonate of soda"

        Back in the day calcium carbide used to be readily available.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The smart thing to do would be to feed them hair conditioner ... a blessing from the heavens!

      1. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

        Or skin cream.

  24. Tikimon Silver badge
    Trollface

    Niggling gripe...

    Pigeons coo, they don't caw. That'll be crows wot does that. They be smart birds, calling for reinforcements or to have a larf at something.

  25. W.S.Gosset Bronze badge

    Hawks

    Rent a hawk every so often. Various places round London do that -- they remain pigeon-free for quite a while. No pigeon sh*t, no fuss. And a rather lovely bit of history.

    First time I saw it was in Leadenhall Markets mid-afternoon (empty). Chap with a dirty great gauntlet stood in the middle, looked up and there's a dirty great hawk parked on a high crossbeam down the other end, he lifted the gauntlet and the thing just dropped then whump out come the wings about 5foot off the ground and it shot down the length of the market. Got talking to him, he said it's fairly common, and as he pointed out "you never see a pigeon round here do you?"

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Hawks

      You can have birds of prey and pigeons in proximity.

      In the UK there has been a rapid rise in peregrine falcons nesting on tall city buildings as their population now in full on major recovery mode after crashing with DDT side effects decades ago.

      They like to eat pigeons.

      However, you still find pigeons near their nesting sites even though the birds hunt regularly...

      It's a numbers game - you would need a huge number of falcons to eradicate the pigeons

      They do have a few effects - pigeons are more vigilant (which has knock on effect of making feeding more awkward, but in most messy UK cities waste human food is easily found)

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Hawks

        "It's a numbers game"

        Too many pigeons eaten and the peregrines starve.

        1. Ivan Headache

          Re: Hawks

          Just before Christmas we had a grey-hair holiday in Madeira.

          We allowed ourselves to get suckered into a 'Hotel Holiday Club" presentation in one of the largest hotels in Funchal. (basically for the freebie* that inevitably comes along if you sit all the way through it).

          In the lounge/foyer was a youngish lady wearing a Belstaff type jacket and big gloves.

          On her arm a raptor. The hotel uses it to keep the pigeons and gulls away from the balconies and pools..

          Ironically as were leaving, the lady was on her knees attempting to remove raptor poo from the carpet.

          *We got a bottle of Madeira and a 3 hour dolphin watching cruise on a catamaran. (and no, we didn't join)

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Hawks

          "Too many pigeons eaten and the peregrines starve."

          Yep. Supply and demand pre-dates humanity by a loooooong time.

  26. Milo Tsukroff
    Holmes

    Peregrine Falcon

    Peregrine Falcon. Put a webcam in the nest and people go, "Awwwwww....!" Nothing has to be said about what the bird is living on. Works like a charm here in the former colonies.

  27. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    I'll just leave this here.

  28. cornetman

    We had a major pigeon problem round our area.

    A guy came and put up cages with food, the stupid birds just walk in over and over again.

    The guy comes and takes them away. We haven't really asked what he does with them, but I suspect that they get their necks broken.

    You can't just take them away and release them, the buggers either come back or become someone else's problem.

    Your only practical solution is to kill them really, as quickly and painlessly as possible.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "We haven't really asked what he does with them"

      You haven't bought any pies from him either?

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Trollface

        You've heard of the pied piper right? Or The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents?

        Capture the pigeons in one place, release in another. Come back a week later, "Well looks like you have a bit of a pigeon problem. I can take them off your hands for a few bob..."

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "You haven't bought any pies from him either?"

        I was just wondering, as I read the post above yours, if the guys surname might be Todd, possibly known to his friends as Sweeny.

        1. Sherrie Ludwig

          You haven't bought any pies from him either?"

          I was just wondering, as I read the post above yours, if the guys surname might be Todd, possibly known to his friends as Sweeny.

          In point of fact, that would be a woman, and her name is Mrs. Lovett. Perhaps she employs a relative.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Attaches microsd card to pigeon. *bang* aww poor pigeon done in by el reg commentards. So much for my safe method of sending and receiving data.

  30. Chris G Silver badge

    Go fly a kite

    Here in Spain I have seen big buzzard shaped kites on a length of cord at the end of a 4 or 5 metre fibre glass pole, even the seagulls tend to stay away from them.

    As an alternative; back in the '70s a mate of mine worked for a commercial freezer installer, their warehouse was infested with pigeons whose poo was causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to the freezers stored there.

    The boss paid my mate and I to go there with air rifles three weekends in a row to shoot as many as possible.

    The first weekend we took out over a hundred birds, the second weekend they knew who we were and flew out of sight, we found the answer was to tie a couple of pallets to the forklift, one driving the other on one of the pallets and hiding behind the other then raise the pallet over the eaves, shoot a bird and drop back down, probably got about half the number of the first weekend as it was slower. The third weekend I think the pigeons had sussed out that weekends were unhealthy and there were hardly any when we turned up but still plenty in the week, pigeons are fast learners, shooting them may reduce numbers but the best thing is to remove all food sources and put anti bird goo and spikes everywhere they could possibly settle.

    Nuking from space might work.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Go fly a kite

      "Here in Spain I have seen big buzzard shaped kites on a length of cord at the end of a 4 or 5 metre fibre glass pole, even the seagulls tend to stay away from them."

      Here in the UK too. I've definitely seen them across Lincolnshire.

  31. ShortLegs

    Air rifle.

    The people who complain about such measures do not live in an area blighted by pigeons. Of course, should they ever suffer that problem, after the first bought of hand-wringing and failed "humane" solutions, they tend to 'regretfully' propose using an air rifle.

    The other point is that those handwringers tend to live in houses not flats, cul-de-sacs not estates, and the council responds to their issues in far less time than three years....

    Been there, seen it, done it.

  32. ShortLegs

    Air rifle.

    The people who complain about such measures do not live in an area blighted by pigeons. Of course, should they ever suffer that problem, after the first bought of hand-wringing and failed "humane" solutions, they tend to 'regretfully' propose using an air rifle.

    The other point is that those handwringers tend to live in houses not flats, cul-de-sacs not estates, and the council responds to their issues in far less time than three years....

    Been there, seen it, done it.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I had this problem a few years ago when I moved in to a new house. there were pigeons everywhere, pooping on everything. Here in the states they don't consider an air rifle a fire arm and pigeons are considered small game birds in most states, so I solved the problem with a hunting license and this.

    https://www.amazon.com/Gamo-611006325554-Whisper-Fusion-Rifle/dp/B01APG0VFC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1549047280&sr=8-3&keywords=gamo%2Bsilent%2Bcat%2Bair%2Brifle&th=1

    My neighbors were not very happy, as they had been feeding the damn things, and called the cops on me. the cops showed up to see what was going on, I showed them my license and my air rifle and the state hunting proclamation that shows them as small game birds, so there was nothing they could charge me with. We had a bit of a laugh over it. One of the officers asked where I got the air rifle. so I am sure he went and did the same thing at his house. I went on to kill dozens of the damn things and my neighbors quit feeding them to prevent me from killing more of them.

    From what I hear, you can eat pigeon and supposedly it is quite tasty. I have not tried it, but I might the next time the pigeons population gets out of control. Additionally, since I got rid of the pigeons, we have had a resurgence of other birds, like greckles, humming birds, sparrows, etc., which I don't mind. they still poop on stuff, but not like pigeons do.

    anonymous coward because I don't want the wrath of PETA or the tree huggers and rock lickers coming down on me, not to mention the anti-gun nuts.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "From what I hear, you can eat pigeon and supposedly it is quite tasty"

      It is but can get quite tough. The squabs are better.

    2. ICPurvis47
      Mushroom

      Pigeon Pie

      When I was a teenager, my sister's BF lived on Portland. We used to go down (from London) to stay during the summer, and some days we used to take a 16 bore shotgun down the disused railway line and pot a few rabbits and pigeons. BF's Dad made a superb rabbit and pigeon pie, but you had to be a bit careful to spit out the lead shot embedded in the meat.

  34. Ivan Headache

    Targeted ads

    Readingthe article on my iPad there’s an advert right in the middle.

    It has a big button

    “GET EARLY BIRD TICKETS”

  35. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921

    Humans are a blight on this planet and will soon destroy all but the Tardigrades

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Humans are a blight on this planet and will soon destroy all but the Tardigrades"

      I doubt it. The woodlice (pill-bugs for left-pondians) and cockroaches are also indestructible.

  36. sgrier23

    Pigeons - Aaaaaarrrghh!!!!

    Pigeons - rats with wings. At least with rats, they can be trained and can be clean, but pigeons are the scum of the earth - along with seagulls.

    You never see a baby pigeon, they must come out of their eggs fully grown and ready to eat anything. I have seen pigeons with missing toes on one foot and maybe one toe on the other, they walk around quite easily. Its as if they don't need toes to walk around with, I have also seen pigeons with only one leg, and it still hops around. There are pigeons who have dive-bombed the pigeon spikes and survived, and the only thing that has happened is that the spike has gotten flattened, so when one does it, the others watch and do it too and soon the pigeon spikes are all flattened and new spikes are needed. I, personally, think these spikes should be poisoned or electrified so kill the buggers.

    Pigeons are the ONLY flying bird that would rather run away from you than fly away.

    As to a solution for pigeons, if you don't want to use poison or electrification is to get the rats, teach them to eat pigeon eggs and adult pigeons. You do this by putting a rat into a large bin filled with pigeons and their eggs, after some time they will only eat pigeon eggs. I know this is a little bit Sky-Fall, but the principal is correct, and it should work. And to get rid of the rats, you get a Scottie (West Highland Terrier) doggie. Its best to get one of these little white fluffy dogs which has an attitude problem, they will rip any rat apart.

    I know this is a "non-tech" solution, but from experience old tech or non-tech sometimes works better than these new fangled devices what some boffin comes up with.

    1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Pigeons - Aaaaaarrrghh!!!!

      You never see a baby pigeon, they must come out of their eggs fully grown and ready to eat anything.

      Having had mourning doves nest in one of the wife's planters on a long weekend while we were away, I assume they develop similarly, perhaps it may provide a reason why you never see a baby pigeon. As best I could tell with the doves is that they went from eggs one day to totally fledged and gone inside of two weeks. I tried to get snaps every day and from the last picture of an egg I caught to when they were largely fully developed and nowhere to be seen was 13 days. I can't say for certain which day they hatched but it was clear they had hatched 10 days before they left which gives a 3 day window and I'd wager the exact time depends on things like food availability. In short, about a week to week and a half to bulk up and another 2-3 days for the flight feathers to completely grow in and they are nearly indistinguishable from their parents.

  37. martinusher Silver badge

    Its trying to find legal options that's the problem.

    If you don't have to worry about the law then an air gun works wonders. They really don't like being shot at because even a .177 pellet can kill them. Unfortunately in the UK you're likely to get a flood of birds of the 'black helicopter' sort if anyone sees you (surprisingly where I live in the US isn't that much different). Raptors might work but I don't know if they like the Great Taste Of Pigeon -- also its surprisingly difficult to catch a pigeon on the wing (I've seen a pigeon evade a diving hawk, they're pretty manoeuvrable when they need to be).

    I suspect the problem is that, like rats, they congregate where the food is. If you're neighbours are careless with trash and litter then you can expect all sorts of nuisances, and not just the ones you can readily see.

    Finally, looking on the bright side ..... they could be seagulls. They're like larger and more aggressive (and louder) pigeons.

  38. Corwin_X

    High power air rifle and a cleanup crew for a few weeks

    Falcons work as well but are more expensive.

    Birds do learn when an area becomes too dangerous for them.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg -

    Can't see the point of this article being here. No IT angle at all.

    Are you planning to become the "Daily Mail of the IT world", or have you just hired an ex-Daily Mail hack?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: El Reg -

      "Can't see the point of this article being here. No IT angle at all."

      Are you new here? The Bootnotes section is for all non-IT related stories or maybe those with only a tenuous IT Angle.

      BTW, if you don't post as AC, you can choose this icon --------------->

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what next.....

    You going to start killing dogs and cats too?

    https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/dogs.html

    https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/cats.html

    https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/diseases/direct.html

    https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/birds.html

    Funny that at the bottom of the list is actually birds (the count being 21,16,11 and 4 in that order).

    I couldn't even be bothered to count the diseases humans can give each other.....

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  41. Edward Clarke
    Pirate

    Tom Lehrer has the solution

    https://genius.com/Tom-lehrer-poisoning-pigeons-in-the-park-lyrics

  42. DanceMan

    When my sisters and I escaped from our mother we rented the top floor of an old house in Vancouver. There were pigeons nesting in a triangular alcove of the roof beside a dormer. There was a giant pile of pigeon poop at the opening of this alcove. What animal shits where it rests? One result of this was a surfeit of those flies that fly around in random patterns inside the house.

    Years later I was working on the opera The Cunning Little Vixen (an animal allegory) by Janacek in a Welsh Opera production that at one point featured several housewife chickens in housedresses and aprons leaning on brooms, smoking and cackling. Putting these together my image of pigeons ever since has been of avian rubbies with cigarettes dangling out of their mouths, walking around the sidewalks saying "Got any bread crumbs, bud?"

  43. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    i call them targets

    and out where i live they're fair game night or day. if peta trespasses, they're fair game, too.

  44. FlippingGerman

    "Heartbreaking"

    I don't think it means what she thinks it means.

    It's a pretty easy problem to solve, though. Just give some kids air guns, they'll take care of it.

  45. darklord

    they could try emptying the bins a bit more regularly they're probably doing bi weekly removals as its environmentally friendly.

    Yep more food for vermin.

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