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Peregrine Falcons, Answer To Pigeon Problem…?

April 17, 2009

Pigeons are vermin.  Granted, they are cute and appealing…but that does not alter the fact that they are pests, and should not be encouraged. 

But how are the council going to get the message across to Joe Public that by feeding the sky rats they are in effect encouraging the dirty blighters to breed, and in doing so creating problems…not just for the birds, but for the tax-payer. 

Plentiful food means they breed…more pigeons means more mess, which builds up on buildings encouraging flies and other nasties, which in turn spread diseases. 

Then, in an historic city like Lincoln, many old buildings are damaged by the mess that builds up, and costs thousands of pounds of taxpayers money to clean up.  A lot of places now sport spikes on all ledges, or nets over facades to keep these birds at bay.

But what has the council done about it…?  A tiny little sign, high up on a lamp-post asking people not to feed the pigeons…!!!  (Can you see it in the picture…?)  Er…hello-o-o-o…!!  You might as well stand in the middle of a riot and whisper for everyone to calm down…!!! City Square

Now let’s take a stroll uphill…the cathederal has got a pair of resident peregrine falcons…

Now let’s see…pigeon problem uphill…?  Not! 

Maybe our short-sighted council could think about encouraging birds-of-prey in down-hill Lincoln to discourage vermin…rats and pigeons.  After all, food will be plentiful.

As a footnote, I was in Derby some years ago, and there was what looked like an eagle owl on one of the buildings in the town centre.  I have no idea if it was real or mechanised, but there were no pigeons to be seen!

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    April 17, 2009 2:48 pm

    Ermm….leave the pigeons alone…………up there! lol

  2. Sandi permalink
    April 17, 2009 3:08 pm

    But the buggers are a dirty, messy bunch of shit machines…!

  3. Mike permalink
    April 17, 2009 3:16 pm

    I know…..and i don\’t want \’em being frightened into coming down here! 🙂

  4. Bran permalink
    April 17, 2009 3:25 pm

    They may be crap machines and certainly in the countryside a pest but flash fried pigeon breast mmmmmmm now thinking I should take the gun for a walk and knock a few more off!

  5. Sandi permalink
    April 17, 2009 7:45 pm

    But, Bran, surely you would prefer wood pigeon to feral pigeon…I mean…feral pigeon…?! Eeewww…!

  6. Sandi permalink
    April 17, 2009 8:52 pm

    Now I have added the picture…can you spot the sign…? Or sky-rats come to that…lol!!! (I\’ve actually circled it in yellow and added an arrow…if you can see them…! Clue..? On the left of the picture, just under the projecting roof of Wilkinsons.)

  7. Natalia permalink
    April 17, 2009 9:05 pm

    Having read your blog Sandi, Lets get rid of all the fast food outlets in towns and Cities. The food debris left lying around in the morning after a night out is enough to fuel a population, and I don\’t just mean pigeons. Will be away for a week now so I\’ll try and catch up with you when I return………As for Falcons, I\’ve had one flying overhead for sometime now, I wonder what it\’s been hunting?? xxx

  8. Sandi permalink
    April 17, 2009 10:18 pm

    I agree with you, Natalia…the amount of discarded food, on a Friday and Saturday night…usually only feet from a bin(!!)…is disgusting! blogged about this some time ago.Falcons hunt pigeons…and rodents, I should think. The pigeons are taken in flight, and don\’t know what hit \’em…as the Peregrine will strik at well over a hundred miles an hour (probably like a human being hit by an express train!!!) They are incredible birds!Going somewhere nice, I hope? Have a nice time….XXX

  9. Kenneth permalink
    April 17, 2009 10:18 pm

    Ahhhh…yes. The Peregrine a most beautiful assassin. The bird of Jove, stooped from his aëry tour,Two birds of gayest plume before him drove.Milton. Interesting post Sandi.

  10. Sandi permalink
    April 18, 2009 1:00 am

    A very apt description, Kenneth…I like it…a most beautiful assassin…!

  11. Sandi permalink
    April 18, 2009 1:24 am

    Have just read a bit more about Peregrines and their diet…mainly birds on the wing, their favourite being feral pigeons…but anthing from tiny goldcrests up to…(gulp!)…grey herons…!! They have been known to take mammals, but birds are it\’s main diet. Little of the kill is wasted…usually all that is left are the intestines and breastbone, and the feathered wings…Lovely! L 16"-20" WS 32"-44" Watch out sky-rats…!!!

  12. Sandi permalink
    April 18, 2009 4:52 pm

    So you can appreciate just how big a problem pigeons in town centres really are, here\’s a page I found about feral pigeons and the implications to buildings, and health and safety of the public and workers….eeewww…!!

  13. Bran permalink
    April 18, 2009 5:17 pm

    Once got clipped by a young peregrine whilst working, up a ladder, on the front of my cottage. The Falcon and the pigeon it took right alongside me rolled over and over down the lane through the part of the village I live in eventually ending up under a removal van from some people moving in to the village. Eventually the Falcon gave up the chase surrounded as he was by people, I wandered down and pulled the Pigeon out from under the van and as it was past saving pulled its neck. Trouble was I pulled just that little bit to hard and the head came off in my hand, just as the newcomer walked out of her cottage, thought she was going to throw up but she looked at me as if I was some sort of monster and ran back inside. Typical Towny she didn\’t understand the country, never spoke to me even though she was a neighbour and moved on fairly soon —- perhaps she thought she might be next!!!!

  14. Sandi permalink
    April 18, 2009 5:32 pm

    ROFL!! But what else can you do…?! If you left the poor thing to suffer, then you\’d be a monster!! I wonder what I am…? I certainly don\’t see myself as a \’towny\’, because I\’d hate to live anywhere too urban…but at the same time I\’m not a country-girl. A country-girl at heart! The only thing that makes living here bearable is all the trees, and proximity to the river and all the wildlife…! Hmmm…

  15. Pamela permalink
    April 18, 2009 5:56 pm

    I`m not sure if it is a falcon or not, but there is a beautifulbird with a HUGE wingspan that swoops through the woodedfield at work every afternoon. Lovely, graceful bird.

  16. Sandi permalink
    April 18, 2009 7:07 pm

    Have you thought of looking it up on a birds website, Pam? You\’ll have to pay more attention to it, now…won\’t you…! I love watching birds, and raptors are the most fascinating, I think.

  17. Bran permalink
    April 18, 2009 8:46 pm

    Stacks of Raptors across my shoot, loads of Buzzards nesting, quite a varied bunch of hawks and quite a few Owls to join the pack —- spend almost as much time watching them as checking out the rabbits!

  18. Curiosity permalink
    April 18, 2009 10:26 pm

    My parents were watching the birds eating the bread they had thrown on their lawn yesterday when suddenly a bird swept down and took a starling. It stayed on the rockery eating it for just over an hour. They said it was fascinating to see the bird in action. Mum saw a Kestral? kill a Magpie last week at the side of a busy road, she said it seemed to be stamping on the Magpie trying to kill it!

  19. Sandi permalink
    April 18, 2009 10:53 pm

    Probably not a kestrel, then, as they are fairly small birds-of-prey…smaller than a magpie. They tend to feed on small mammals, such as mice and shrews, and insects….but they do hnt along roadsides and grass verges.I have no idea what would take out a magpie, in Kent…a buzzard perhaps…? They are winter visitors there. Any ideas, Bran?

  20. LABW permalink
    April 19, 2009 9:13 am

    I should say the bird of prey that took out the starling would be a Sparrow Hawk..Accipiter nisus…the plumage is dark slate grey above,and whitish beneath tinged with rufous and barred with red – brown. The male being about 12" and the female some 3" larger in length and is rather browner-grey above and her white underparts are barred with dark grey. Both birds have a nearly white spot on the back of the neck. Has for the Magpie I would go with the Buzzard..they are residents and are getting quite common. I was watching 2 yesterday floating in the thermals and being buzzed …by a pair of crows.Last year I had a blackbird taken by a Sparrow Hawk…he swooped and took him on top of the hedge and ripped into him and looked at me as if to say what you going to do about that!!! He had quite afew small birds last year by what bits and feathers which where scattered about the garden…you feed them …he feeds of them. LABW LABW x

  21. Sandi permalink
    April 19, 2009 2:38 pm

    When I lived at home, I used to spend many happy hours at my bedroom window with binoculars and camera handy….watching the wildlife and recording the seasons. You\’d often see a kestrel or such-like bird hovering over the fields searching for prey…shame I never actually got any pictures of them. Oh, well…!

  22. Pamela permalink
    April 19, 2009 4:32 pm

    Thanks LABW, that is the bird I have seen swoopinground the wooded fields at work, the slate grey/white/reddishcolor, lovely bird.

  23. Curiosity permalink
    April 19, 2009 7:48 pm

    Last summer I was walking the dog in the football park. I turned to see what the sudden loud commotion was behind me and saw the sky turn black with crows and seagulls. A blackbird was fluttering on the ground and there was a pure frenzy to attack it. The dog ran towards them and the blackbird took a low flight to the corner of the field. The birds all dissappeared as quickly as they had suddenly appeared, where they came from and went to I do not know, the trees were empty. There were only a few feathers on the ground when I got to the corner. It was an incredible sight and quite alarming to witness.

  24. Sandi permalink
    April 20, 2009 10:20 am

    Cue strident music…! A touch of Alfred Hitchcock\’s The Birds there, methinks…!!It does seem strange, sometimes, the way birds suddenly appear…I\’ve often wondered how they got all those starlings to fly in formation and form a \’2\’…for one of BBC2s thingies…!!! (T-I-C!! Said with mock innocent eye rolling…just in case you take me seriously…!!! It kinda loses the effect now I\’ve had to say that….sigh….)

  25. Princess permalink
    April 20, 2009 10:32 am

    Yo Sandi! Ooh I love birds, yes, even pigeons!!! Well the weather here is gorgeous!!!! Hope u are experiencing this lovely weather 2, have a Great Day Sandi! Luv PF XXX

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