April 3rd, 2007



I have had a running battle with pigeons over the past few years. When I first moved into the house, there wasn't a pigeon in sight. About 3 years ago they showed up at my feeder en masse. I don't know where they came from. They just appeared. I decided to wage war against them, so on weekends I would set up a blind in the guest bedroom where I would shoot them with a pellet gun. I only managed to take out a dozen or so. I would toss the carcasses over the fence where they were eaten by coyotes and hawks. I moved the bird feeder about 10 feet away to a new location, and for some reason that seemed to solve the problem. Slowly, however, some of the pigeons have managed to find it again. I have started waging war again.

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So there are probably some of you that think this is cruel. I really take no pleasure in killing another critter, but I also don't want to be hypocritical in saying that we shouldn't kill a critter that is a nuisance. Some will say that man is the greatest nuisance. You won't get an argument from me, but laws prohibit us from going around killing the pigeons of society. One must also ask how they would react if they found mice or rats in their living space. Since we're furry we should embrace our rodent brothers, right? If gophers tear up our landscaping we should make friends with them and offer up our yards as gopher sanctuaries. Raccoons in the attic? Cool! Let's hold a convention! Bears in our garbage cans? OK. That would be cool. (J/K!) Could I try less lethal means? Sure. Give me an example that would only target pigeons and not quail or doves. Rubber owls? Yeah. Right. The city has put up many of them under freeway overpasses. The pigeons roost right next to them. Stop feeding the other birds. Yeah. I could do that. The only problem with that is that there was a period of time when I DID stop feeding. Someone else in the neighborhood must still be feeding because the roof of a neighbor was always full of them. And so I will just continue my war of attrition, hoping that the neighborhood flock will either move off or shrink to nothing. I have noticed fewer and fewer over time. I'm not sure if we'll ever get back to our pigeon-free days, but I can hope.
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