We have all been in places where pigeons walk around like they own the place. These birds seem to have no fear of humans and are only forced to take flight when being chased by small children. It is almost as if the more people present, the larger the pigeon population. This is, in fact, the truth.
We have done a great job of training our pigeon populations to know that people=food. Lunch time crowds gather in public parks and squares, eating their lunches and passing the time tossing bits of food on the
San Marco Piazza
ground to see if nearby birds will respond. And, of course, the birds never fail to swoop down like the homing pigeons they are and put on their little show of strutting about, pecking here and there.
It is certainly amusing to have some control over wild birds. What most people do not understand is that the pigeons imprint this activity in their brains. They associate people with food and because there is a constant food source they seek nearby shelter.
Pigeons are non-migratory animals meaning they do not head south for the winter. They establish a roosting and nesting area and stay forever. They also have flocking characteristics which means that they tend to stay together as one big happy family, growing ever larger with each new generation. That's why London's Trafalgar Square and Venice's Piazza San Marco have a gazillion pigeons, tons of pigeon droppings and serious related health issues.
Bird fanciers look upon flocks of pigeons as a beautiful thing, but burgeoning pigeon populations only create more health issues for residents of congested urban areas. With no natural predators, save for the occasional Peregrine falcon, pigeon population growth will go unchecked. Understanding how to get rid of pigeons humanely is something we must consider.
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