The War on the Pigeons

If you’re a bird lover then please don’t read on! When we bought the house a family of pigeons came along as an extra. They weren’t your fancy pigeons that your average pigeon breeders would keep – they were Portugal’s finest vermin (somewhat akin to London’s finest). Okay okay, they weren’t that bad but having about 3 or 4 nests above our BBQ area, accompanied by the regular showering of pigeon poop, was a bit of a nuisance. So we began a war.

Since 2011 we have tried a number of techniques to get rid of them but nothing has been effective thus far. We decided from Day One that we would not resort to shooting or poisoning them but instead we would ‘encourage’ them to leave and roost elsewhere. Besides, it would probably be against the law to kill the poor things. Right?

The first technique we tried was by training our dogs into pigeon scarers. Each time the pigeons would return to their coop Poppy and Scrappy would charge up to the BBQ area and bark their heads off. This only deterred them slightly as instead the birds waited on the roof of the house until the dogs got bored and wandered off.

The second technique was using bamboo. We have a number of bamboo trees that have run rampant over the years so we cut down a few of those and erected them next to the pigeon nests to spook them. Err… this didn’t work at all and they just added the bamboo leaves to their nests.

The third technique was a sling shot and stones. A friend of ours, Hayden, lent us his slingshot that his father made while growing up in South Africa. Dad has tried to use it a few times but to no avail, it seems that slingshotting requires quite a bit of practice and Dad didn’t want to run the risk of a smashed window in the hope of *maybe* hitting a pigeon. So we put that idea to bed.

The fourth technique was to remove their nests and their eggs. I think we’re on to a winner on this one. Dad kitted me out with a face mask, a black sack and gloves and sent me up into the canopy. I’m trying my best serial killer ‘look’ in the above photo. And there’s the result on the right.

There were also quite a few eggs up in the canopy as well. And before anyone labels me as a pigeon murderer, three of them were cracked and the other two were sat outside the nest on the granite (I guess they were misfires).

In place of the pigeon’s nest we placed a plastic owl. It looks pretty damn scary if you ask me, and I’m not a pigeon! It’s actually giving me flashbacks of the ‘Mothman’ from the paranormal thriller ‘The Mothman Prophecies’. Eek. Touch wood but we haven’t seen the pigeons since and I don’t blame them!

Today’s battle against the pigeons was a victory for us, but the war has only just begun.

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