Stazjia’s Commentary

Pity the Poor Pigeon

Posted on: June 28, 2008

Pigeon on the roadI know pigeons are vermin and pests, particularly in towns and cities. They carry disease, they disfigure buildings and pavements (sidewalks) with their droppings as well as cause physical damage to buildings.

If pigeons start nesting in a roof space because you’ve got a loose tile, they can create a hideous mess and it can cost a lot of money to get rid of them and fumigate the loft. My best friend found she had pigeons nesting in her loft. Luckily she discovered this soon after they moved in. Here in the UK we’re advised to get a specialist in to remove them who has the proper equipment and protective clothing and masks because of the risk of disease. Even though it was only one nest and a couple of pigeons, it still cost her £300. He told her that if she hadn’t noticed so quickly, more pigeons would have joined this pair and she’d have soon had a major problem and could have cost £1000 or more to get rid of them and clean up the mess.

As I said, I know all this and I know they have to be controlled but still…. When I go to London, in particular, I see pigeons hopping around on one leg because they are missing the claws on the other leg, they also have other injuries and they just keep going. Everybody hates them, almost nobody willingly feeds them, people rush into their back gardens flapping their arms when they see pigeons on the bird table, local councils poison them or hire people with birds of prey to hunt them or scare them away, property owners net the tops of their buildings to keep the pigeons off.

In spite of this, they are indomitable. I somehow have to admire a creature that survives in the face of such consistent persecution even as I run out flapping my arms to scare a pigeon off the bird table so stopping ‘nice’ birds eating from it.

*Picture from


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