Pigeons

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Pigeons

Post by Shelley » Fri Feb 03, 2006 2:27 am

Like I said, I have this terrific pigeon problem on my balcony. I've tried the following: rubber snakes, plastic owls, loopy wire on the flat surfaces to prevent roosting, and a scarecrow affair with cd's dangling from it that catch light and swing around when the wind blows. Right now, all the above are actively not working. The pigeons went away for a while (last year after the loopy wire was installed), but now they're back, and I'm just helpless and hopeless. Does anybody have any ideas? Poison is illegal here, and I'm too squeamish to bite off their heads.
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Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Feb 03, 2006 2:49 am

One day having lunch in a London park, I noticed that pigeons actively recoiled from fresh orange pips. They would approach them as if they were peanuts, but once they came within a few inches they would start back, as if someone had just put a bowl of ammonia in front of them. You could try experimenting with blocks of porous substances (such as florist's oasis) impregnated with chemicals containing citrus and other compounds (like menthol, eucalyptus or pine) that smell pleasant to most humans but whose pungency might put off the birds.

Otherwise, perhaps a cat, or electric fence cables suspended above the flat surfaces? Or have Ozzy Osbourne stay over for a couple of weeks?

Failing all the above, I suggest placing one of those cheap boomboxes on your balcony where it would be sheltered from the elements. Then set it to keep repeating a CD that you have burned containing a few of Dubya's most electrifying speeches or press conferences. That should keep away not only the birds but burly burglars, burping burghers, burbling bureaucrats and the other burdensome curses of suburbia.
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Pigeons

Post by Shelley » Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:03 am

Erik, thanks -- I've never heard of it, but it sounds worth a shot. There are lots of oil of citrus cleaning products (Goo Gone, Citrasolve, etc.) here which I can try. Speaking of shots, for a while I had a loaded squirt gun at the ready to catch them when they tried to make themselves comfortable. It didn't last, tho' -- I was a terrible shot. I'm on the 14th floor, so I can't use any methods which involve throwing things at them. I can't risk hitting innocent passers-by on the sidewalk below! My neighbor does have a cat . . .
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Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:16 am

Well, Shelley, I'd be interested to know how it works out. It will make a nice change for me to have not only a solution, but an actual problem requiring one of my solutions.

Have you thought of painting a large-lettered sign on the floor of your balcony that reads 'Beware! 13th floor'? (Which, in Britain, is where you truly would be -- the numbering system there starts with street level/ground floor, not street level/first floor as it does in the States).
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Pigeons

Post by Phil White » Fri Feb 03, 2006 8:22 am

In the office building where I used to work until recently, we were plagued with rooks. Hundreds of the beasts. So much so that customers I was talking to on the phone used to ask whether I was on the set of a Hitchcock movie.

The caretaker managed to get hold of a device that played the call of a hunting hawk at irregular intervals, and we had the problem solved. I still had to explain to my customers "the call of a hunting hawk" when they asked "what the hell was that?" (it was rather loud) but at least I didn't have to pick my way through rook crap to get into the office.
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Pigeons

Post by kagriffy » Fri Feb 03, 2006 7:33 pm

Phil's posting reminded me of a segment on the local news a week or so ago. (Our local news team is pretty much the laughing-stock of the city. Most major headlines go unnoticed by them until the newspaper has reported it--the following day, but if a snowflake is seen anywhere in the county, they will have a "Storm Team" out in full force!) Anyway, apparently the Federal building downtown had been having a pigeon problem. They had purchased some devices that also played the calls of various birds of prey at irregular intervals. The reporter was standing outside this building talking about the devices and the sounds they made (which you could barely hear on the news report), and then gave us graphic close-ups of the bird droppings all over the sidewalk to show that the devices weren't working as well as planned. (That was a very appetizing thing to see on TV while I was trying to eat supper!) So maybe those devices don't work for everyone.
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Pigeons

Post by Shelley » Thu Feb 09, 2006 4:49 pm

Well, I found some orange stuff in a spray bottle and I'm going out there fully armed this weekend and literally spray the C--P out of my balcony! I'll let you know . . .
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Post by Bobinwales » Thu Feb 09, 2006 5:36 pm

I still think the cat is the best idea!

Failing that an air-rifle. Pigeons are delicious you know.
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Post by Shelley » Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:22 pm

Y'know Bobinwales, you really said a mouthful there! I've eaten pigeon and agree: it's delicious. This problem would be a blessing if I could be confident that eating MY pigeons wouldn't kill me: -- to say nothing of the eggs they leave every so often. These are hard-bitten, tough New York pigeons though, and I'm just not ready to experiment. I did fry one of the eggs. It was cute -- so small. Truly, though, if I thought for a minute they were safe to eat, I'd do like Mrs. Lovitt(?) in "Sweeney Todd" and make pigeon pies to sell as a sideline.
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Post by Bobinwales » Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:15 pm

A good marinade of Madras curry paste and tomato juice should sort out most things dangerous, but would wreck the flavour of the pigeons! Or you could encourage them to fight, and then eat the loser, because it wouldn’t be so tough as the winner. (You know that bad puns abound on this site)
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Pigeons

Post by Shelley » Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:29 pm

The badder, the better, Bobinwales!
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Post by aelnamer » Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:21 pm

I too had pigeon when living in Lebanon, and it was succulent, not too much meat. Shelley, a friend of mine in Calgary has the same problem. He is not taking any steps to ward them off because he likes their company. He kind of feels sorry for them because of the extreme frigid weather. What size is the owl you are using? Many people use the owl in my neck of the woods and they tell me that the owl has to be a large one in order for it to work. That is larger then the bird you are trying to scare off. Another way, which is a drastic measure, is to put up chicken wire across the opening of your balcony. You will need to place some markers on the wire so that your pigeons know it is there.

Ahmed
10th of February,2006
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Post by Quail » Sat Feb 11, 2006 6:42 pm

Shelley, try this link: Pigeon Anti Roost Strips
http://www.deterApigeon.com Our Pigeon spike Strips prevent pigeons landing on your property.
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Feb 11, 2006 9:13 pm

Shelley, This reminds me of a little problem I had in Colorado Springs several years ago with woodpeckers attacking my house. I first realized that there was a problem when one morning while eating breakfast and gazing out my window at Pikes Peak, I noticed that it was beginning to snow. Only problem was, it was the middle of the August. When I investigated further, I realized that what I was looking at was insulation flying through the air as a woodpecker tossed it out from the hole it had pecked in my neighbor's redwood siding. Realizing that it was only a matter of time before my redwood siding (evidently, discriminating woodpeckers prefer redwood) was next on the woodpecker’s menu, I decided to take action. After, consulting with some purveyors of homespun advice, I tried the aluminum pans – didn’t work, plastic owl – didn’t work, foil strips – didn’t work, . . . I can’t quite recall who it was I finally talked to, but he really seemed to know what he was talking about when he said FOX URINE – just rub some fox urine on the siding of your house and a woodpecker won't come near it. Hmm, fox urine! Sounded like a good idea. However, it’s not that easy a product to locate – not exactly the type of thing you’d find at your corner grocery store. Well, after doing quite a bit of searching around, I actually did locate a purveyor of the said liquid. But, wow, do you have any idea of what an ounce of fox urine goes for? But I guess you’ve got to figure that it just isn’t that easy a thing to harvest (visualize) and the collectors do have to be compensated for the inconvenience. And also just how many ounces would it take to do the trick?

After realizing that I’d probably have to take out a second mortgage to finance the purchase, I decided to forgo the tried-and-true fox solution and see what I could come up with on my own. After all, this was man against bird and I should be able to come out on top if I really persevered – I mean just consider the difference in brain size! Analyzing the situation, I realized that the beast, for whatever reason, was only interested in building its nest on the east side of my house. And while watching this avian jackhammer destroying my beloved redwood one morning, I had a Eureka moment – DEPRIVE THE FEATHERY FIEND OF A FIRM FOOTHOLD and bye-bye birdie. It was all so simple. All I had to do was cover the entire east side of my house with plastic sheeting and problem solved! I don’t know about other folks, but I really get nervous on tall ladders trying to staple large sections of plastic sheeting on the side of a house in a brisk wind – but so I did. Over the next month or so I often noticed people staring at my house as they went by and I even had a few witty non-redwood neighbors jokingly ask me if my house had sprung a leak. But it worked and in my heart I had a warm feeling because I had proven to myself that when the sanctity of my castle was at stake and when push came to shove, I could outmaneuver a birdbrain any day!

Shelley, I don’t know if my experience has much application in your case (woodpeckers need a foothold and pigeons can just stand around), but if perchance you could get your hands on say some cat urine, who knows how a pigeon might react, to say nothing of your neighbors. (<:)
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Post by Phil White » Mon Feb 13, 2006 10:33 am


Originally posted by Ken Greenwald
´... if perchance you could get your hands on say some cat urine, ...
I believe it's marketed under the name Budweiser in the States.
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