Over the weekend I looked out into the backyard and saw a few pigeons working their way over to the bird feeder. I grabbed the pellet gun, but they flew away. I went outside to sit on the patio and enjoy the nice weather. After a little while I heard cooing from the roof. I grabbed the gun and slowly made my way into the yard where I could see up onto the roof. There were the pigeons walking back and forth on the top of the pitched roof. I raised the gun and took careful aim at one about 50' away. I pulled the trigger and could tell I got off a great shot. There was no flying away or flopping. It fell over immediately and rolled down the roof towards the front of the house. I ran to the front and noticed the bird on a lower roof. Nuts. I needed to get the ladder. As I was about to leave the bird gave a death rattle and rolled off the second roof, landing right at my feet. It landed with a thump and lay there lifeless. A pool of blood began to form under its head. I swear, it looked just like Joe Pesci when he gets whacked in "Goodfellas." I examined the carcass just before I tossed it over the fence to become coyote food. I had lucked out with a clean shot through the neck.
Later that day the remaining pigeons returned to try their luck again. Another one met with the same fate. My shot wasn't as accurate, but the result was the same.
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.