Widely varied, grains, seeds, corn human food scraps
Netting, spikes, shock track systems, trapping
Protected ledges and roof-tops
The feral pigeon is generally blue-gray with a white rump; has iridescent feathers on head and neck; two broad black bars across each wing and a broad dark band across the end of the tail. They also can display white, brown or gray plumage.
The feral pigeon is the number one urban pest bird. Large numbers exist in every city across the country. Not a native bird, feral pigeons are descendants of domestic homing pigeons brought over from Europe and released here in the 1600s. They were domesticated from the wild rock doves from the sea cliffs of Europe by the Romans over two thousand years ago. Several traits have allowed them to dominate the urban landscape. Because of their history, pigeons are not afraid of people; they roost and nest readily in man made structures and they have a diverse diet. The standard pigeon has a short neck with a small head. Their short legs with the level front and hind toes allow them to perch on branches as well as walk on flat surfaces.
Feral pigeons are responsible for untold millions of dollars of damage each year in urban areas. The uric acid in their feces is highly corrosive. Also, debris from roosting flocks can build up, backing up gutters and drains thus causing damage to roofs and other structures. Extensive damage to air conditioning units and other roof top machinery is commonplace. There are also other economic costs that can be associated from pigeon’s taking up residence such as slip and fall liability and projection of an unclean, dirty company image. Besides physical damage, the bacteria, fungal agents and ectoparasites found in pigeon droppings sometimes represent a health risk.
There are a wide variety of solutions available for handling a pigeon infestation. The best solution for pigeon problems, is complete exclusion with a 2" mesh net. Many ledge problems can be solved by using products such as shock systems and spikes, When bird pressure is heavy in an area, exclusion work must be accompanied by flock dispersal methods like trapping at the site.
Nesting Nest building is very simple and often consists of a few stiff twigs. The male will pick the site. They prefer small flat areas away from the ground. Look for nests along building ledges, bridge supports, air conditioning units, window sills and the like. In crowded flocks, pigeons will even forgo nest building and lay eggs directly on a protected ledge.
Pigeons are monogamous and a mating pair will typically have three or four broods a year. The female will usually lay two or sometimes three eggs at a time. The eggs are a solid bright white color. The eggs take roughly 18 days to hatch and 35 more days before the fledglings leave the nest.
Cycles Pigeons are not migratory. Their natural instinct is to stay near their birth site. This trait gives the pigeon a very determined personality when it comes to roosting at a particular site, much to the dismay of the inexperienced pest control technician. The daily cycle of a pigeon is to roost at night, feed in the morning and loaf in the afternoon. The seasonal cycle is as follows; courtship in the early winter, nest building in late winter and breeding in the spring. However, in warm climates, breeding will occur year round. Pigeons molt once a year in late summer.