What’s Wrong with Poisoning Pigeons?

There have been quite a few baffling incidents in which birds “mysteriously” fall from the sky in metropolitan areas. After crookedly plummeting from the sky, the birds would lie on the ground, flap erratically and then cease from further movement. A closer glance at the hectic sight would reveal groups of disoriented birds convulsing as if traumatized prior to an inevitable death. Given the circumstances of these environments, it is not unusual to presume that these birds have been victims of senseless poisoning.

Pigeon poisoning is an ineffective, irrational, and inhumane method of bird removal.

People waste time and money on pest exterminators. Poisoning birds is useless in the long run. A common misconception is that after a few pigeons digest the poison and die, the others will “learn” to stay away. Pigeons are not the exactly the smartest creatures. Quite frankly, the poisoning method serves as no communication to the bird flock. For all they know, the death of their flockmate could have been incidental. As long as the space is desirable—meaning that it provides food, shelter, and a foundation for breeding—the birds will continue to inhabit the area. If a sufficient amount birds from a given flock die from poisoning, more space is created. The extra space is like an open invitation for more birds to inhabit the area, making it just as populated—if not more—as it was before hard-earned money was thrown into the pockets of the pest extermination company.

The poison can also affect involuntary bystanders. Witnesses to this cacophony may suffer from erroneous panic or blatant disgust for the “culprits.” The haphazard use of poisoning can easily attack the nervous system of other animals. Even humans can have adverse side effects, as in the horrific case of the Casey family in 2000.

I am no radical animal rights activist; I am simply a human who is capable of expressing logical compassion towards another organism. Poisoning pigeons is a redundant, sadistic crime. No organism deserves to suffer from a slow, painful death.

Before you resort to poisoning pigeons out of sheer desperation and helplessness, consider safer alternatives. Bird-X, Inc. has established a name for itself in the humane animal control industry since 1964. All Bird-X products are effective deterrents alone, but if stubborn cases require additional attention, a combination of Bird-X products (including Bird Spikes) will work synergistically to create a truly undesirable roosting environment.

Poisoning pigeons in the park

Several years ago, while driving home from the city, my friends and I were looking for some good music to play in the car to “rock out” to and blast from the windows on our way home. This was in the day before mp3s, iPods, satellite radio and CDs. My tape deck had conked out and I was forced to resort to the basic ad-filled radio. As we scanned through the stations (going absolutely nuts mind you because there seemed to be only ballads by Fleetwood Mac on at 12:30 at night), we hit upon a station playing a really hilarious song. We only caught the end of it, but the last stanza went like this:

“…with each drop of strychnine / We feed to a pigeon. / It just takes a smidgen! / To poison a pigeon in the park…”

We quickly called up the station, a popular classic rock station here in Chicago, and after a few tries, finally got through. The show was syndicated but we didn’t care. We had to know the song. The producer said he would play it in its entirety after the show ended, which he did – at 2:00 am. The song was called “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” and is about a couple of people who go out every spring Sunday afternoon and poison pigeons in the park (and sometimes a squirrel).

As I look back on those times with my friends and all the fun we had – the one thing that keeps popping in my mind is that song (and the frantic search for it. Though, the funny thing about that song is that – several years later – I now work for a company that manufactures products the use humane methods for getting rid of pigeons in parks (and other places).

And while the song may ring true for many an angry park goer, that happens to be the WORST way to get rid of pigeons. The only tried and true way to get rid of pigeons for good is through behavior modification. The pigeons won’t leave an area unless they think it is unsavory. Meaning that it isn’t safe, secure or there’s no food.

One great way to get rid of pesky pigeons, especially if you have a serious pest bird problem or pigeon problem is to use a sound device. Anyone can blast a radio, but as we all know, pigeons adapt to their enviroments pretty fast. When walking the streets of Chicago, I see pigeons walking down the middle of busy streets and on the “L” (elevated) train tracks and fly away at the last minute only to return a moment or two later. You should really try a sound device such as a BroadBand PRO or a BirdXPeller PRO. These products use natural bird sounds – in this case pigeon alert and alarm calls – to scare away the birds. Other sounds found on these devices are that of predators of pigeons (hawks, eagles, owls, etc) that will make the area undesirable because it means that their is potential danger nearby.

One could also try using a spray solution like our BirdShield product. This is mixed with water and sprayed on vegetation, trees, buildings, can be added to ponds and most of all, it is non-harmful and non-toxic. It just tastes really, really bitter. Once sprayed on the pigeons’ food source and they’ll stop eating it and go look for food elsewhere.

Or you can start with a visual scare device like a Prowler Owl or a Terror Eyes scare balloon. These products look like the predators that scare off little pigeons and with one look at these “terrifying” objects, the pigeons scram.

As one can imagine, one doesn’t necessarily have to poison pigeons to get them to leave the park. In fact, poisoning them doesn’t tell the other pigeons that the area is unsavory – so all you’re really doing is replacing the foul birds with more foul (fowl?) birds. Take it from us, we know what we’re talking about. We’ve been moving birds from corporate, residential, municipal, and practically every other area you can think of for over 45 years. Visit us at www.bird-x.com and find out how you can solve your pigeon or other bird pest problem today!