Pigeon

Pest Stats
Colour:
Blue Bar, Chequered, Red, Grizzle, Black, White, Grizlle
Legs:
2
Shape:
Bird
Size:
32cm-35cm in length & 25cm-30cm in height
Antennae:
No
Region:

Brief:

Pigeons range from a variety of colours, with a weight of approximately 250g- 350g and measuring 32cm-35cm in length and 25cm-30cm in height. Pigeons generally produce 2 eggs when nesting. It takes 17-19 days for the incubation. Squabs (juvenile pigeons) initially feed on protein rich secretion (pigeon milk) from the lining of the crop for the first week, and then regurgitated pre-digested food. The pigeon becomes independent in 30-70 days, and then commence breeding at 6 months. Pigeons can also lay more eggs before the previous young leave their nest.

Habits

Flock size can vary from 50-400 birds depending on available food and each flock has a distinct territory. Some interchange between neighbouring flocks and they are not necessarily returning to the same group to roost. A pigeon’s home range is approximately 3 sq. kms and can commute long distances to feed. The dominant pigeon ultimately receives the best food, best mate and the best breeding spot.

Habitat

The wild pigeon is found in coastal areas and the feral pigeon is found almost exclusively in areas of human habitation. Pigeons will find shelter in areas such as: schools, derelict buildings, bridges, signs, side alley, warehouse, factories etc.

Threats

The presence of pigeons can result in a range of problems. These can include: attracting ticks, cockroaches and rats; damage to buildings and monuments due to the highly corrosive nature of acid in pigeon droppings; damage to properties by pigeons roosting/breeding in roof spaces, rolled steel joists and inside factory units; debris from roosting flocks building up and causing gutters and drains to block; damage to roofs and other structures, and creating potential fire hazards; extensive damage to air-conditioning units and other roof top machinery; hygiene concerns due to pigeon droppings in/on industrial, commercial, and domestic buildings; providing a vector for the introduction of weeds and disease; increasing the risk of disease and parasite transmission between feral, domestic and seabird populations; escalating costs through public liability insurance from slipping on dropping build up.

Prevention

Research has shown that simply using lethal methods of pigeon control (culling) is not effective in the long term. Destruction of nesting sites and installing proofing / deterrents are generally considered the best options. Products such as netting (bird net, wire or mesh) are used to exclude pigeons from an area. Pigeon spikes, wire coils, post and wire and electric systems can be used to prevent pigeons from landing or roosting on building ledges and surfaces. Other methods include; scare devices such as a combination of audio or visual deterrents, or the application of gel products that pigeons find sticky and uncomfortable to stand on. It will also be in the best interest for neighbouring properties to proof their property otherwise pigeons will quickly take up residence and simply move the problem around without reducing the flock size. What birds are using a particular part of a building for will determine how motivated they will be to try and regain that area after proofing, and therefore what proofing systems can be used. The level of pressure needs to be determined before a deterrent or proofing method is selected: Light Pressure – using an area as an occasional look out spot, Medium Pressure - day perch locations, Heavy Pressure - nest sites and night perch areas.

Others

Photos and information are provided by GlobeAustralia.

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