Fylde Council is receiving an increasing number of complaints regarding the mess and damage being caused by the large population of feral pigeons in certain parts of the Borough.
Feral pigeons form large flocks that roost on ledges, cills, sloping roofs and under bridges. They prefer to eat grain and seeds but have adapted to become efficient scavengers on rubbish and refuse.
They will also take food from bird tables and eat household scraps. Eating large quantities of white bread and buns can actually harm the birds causing paralysis through Vitamin B and calcium deficiency.
Many people enjoy feeding feral pigeons, but, however well intentioned, this alters the breeding pattern from 2-3 times per year to all year round. Hence the numbers of birds rapidly increase to a level where they become a nuisance and the numbers then have to be artificially controlled.
1. Damage: pigeon droppings are acidic and cause damage to buildings and machinery, and also to lawns and shrubberies. Nest material, droppings and feathers can clog the draings and vets.
2. Public health: pigeons carry many diseases, some of which can be transmitted to humans if droppings contaminated food stores, bakeries or canteens. They also carry a mite which causes skin disease, and feather dust can cause allergic alveolitis or ‘pigeon fancier’s lung’. Feral pigeon flocks can harbour Newcastle disase that can be passed to domestic poultry if their feed is contaminated by droppings.
3. Accidents: droppings on pavements can make them slippery and dangerous. In cities pigeons can startle motorists and may be responsible for some traffic accidents.
4. Large numbers can drive small birds away from feeding areas, and may reduce their populations.
Feral pigeons have few natural predators, so controlling the number of birds can either be done artificially by shooting, trapping and narcotic baiting or by the natural method of reducing the pigeons food supply and their access to nest sites and roosting areas.
Fylde Council would like to control the number of feral pigeons naturally.
You can help by:
- Reducing the availability of food by not feeding the birds
- Ensuring that rubbish is put in bags and bins so the birds cannot scavenge
- Reducing the access to nest sites and roosting areas by pigeon proofing buildings
- Putting all food in feeders for small birds and not loose on a bird table
The measures above will encourage the large flocks to disperse, allow the birds to return to their normal breeding cycle and naturally reduce and control the numbers of feral pigeons.
Fylde Council want to improve the environment for everyone, so: please do not feed the feral pigeons.