Pigeons, Poisons and Wildwoods

Wildwoods received what we believe to be a poisoned pigeon (this post is a downer; read at your own risk).  From the staff at Wildwoods:

We got this beautiful racing pigeon, with tremors and other neurological signs suggesting to us that he’d likely been poisoned with Avitrol, a poison often used against pigeons. Our vet was rushing over with a drug to help mute his symptoms until the poison wore off. However, before she could get here, he regurgitated the contents of his crop and choked to death on it. Read more about this terrible poison here.

We believe that poisoning an animal, any animal, is never an acceptable solution to a perceived “pest” problem. And once you add poison to one strand of the web of life, it will go places you didn’t foresee or intend. Pigeons are not the only birds who will eat the poisoned bait. And who might eat the poisoned pigeon?

This beautiful, sleek racer will never race again. And somewhere out there, other pigeons, mourning doves, hawks and falcons may also be dying as well from the poisoned bait and poisoned birds.

Not only does poison stink, but lethal methods of attempted pigeon population control don’t work. Pigeons can out-reproduce the efforts of the people killing them.

One humane pigeon control method pioneered in Europe involves establishing feeding and nesting stations for urban pigeons, and then, 1-2 times/week, visiting the nesting stations and taking away eggs. It works well, nobody dies, and karma is happy.

Another solution is OvoControl, promoted by the HSUS. Pigeons who eat this drug at feeding stations will lay infertile eggs, so flock size drops. Nobody dies, yet fewer pigeons; another win/win.

Pigeons are beautiful, intelligent, athletic birds with many amazing abilities. Pigeons have been treasured by humans for millennia.


zizzer t

about 11 years ago

Sounds like you have a solution to the problem. Good work.


about 11 years ago

We actually love the pigeon family living in our yard.

Thank you for continuing to care for our bird and animal friends.


about 11 years ago

We've noticed that our neighbors at our new place use BB guns as their method of pigeon removal... I've never seen him hit one but it still unsettles me quite a bit.

The Big E

about 11 years ago

I don't know--there's a house up the block from us that for whatever reason is a regular pigeon hotel.  They have little spikes above their porch, a fake owl, etc., which apparently does not impress their little private pigeon army one bit.  If I had to live with them cooing all day a few feet overhead, I imagine a BB gun would start to sound like a pretty good idea.

[email protected]

about 11 years ago

Well, BB Guns are a shortcut, I suppose, in the same way that a visit to the emergency room might be preferable to preventive care.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but the cure appears quicker, I guess.

I would refer folks to the above resources for alternative strategies.

Barrett Chase

about 11 years ago

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
As someone currently dealing with a pigeon infestation, it would have never occurred to me that I needed prevention before the infestation happened. Does anyone have solid advice as to how to make these birds leave my house alone, or at least stop tearing their way inside the attic?

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