Pigeons are not always welcome, but they are often permanent guests on our balconies, windowsills or roofs. Pigeon droppings can also contaminate houses, making it especially important to know what can keep the birds from making residence at your home. This is especially good to keep in mind before and during the breeding season in March – which is when the animals want to make themselves comfortable and find a more permanent nesting site. Wildlife expert Christian Erdmann gives us some top tips on how to keep the birds away in an animal-friendly way.
"Take care of pigeon friendly defences now in February, this will help you and the animals."
Christian Erdmann, Managing Director of the Wildlife Station Hamburg
Keeping pigeons away from the home
You can use both optical and acoustic systems that are effective and easy to install to deterrent the birds.
- Wind turbines not only scare pigeons away because of their movement, but they also produce a noise that irritates the birds, making them refrain from approaching.
- Colourful ribbons or a homemade mobile made of CD'S and aluminium foil also have an affect.
- Plastic ravens have also proved effective. Since ravens are a natural enemy of the pigeon, the dummies are usually very effective. However, only if you reposition the artificial bird from time to time.
- So-called bird slides are effective for protecting the roofs of houses and are harmless to the animals. These prefabricated acrylic panels are smooth and are avoided by the birds.
- If the pigeons have already started building their nests, you should remove the twigs and sticks that have already been laid down before you start protecting the place.
NO to nail boards, anti-roosting spikes and nets!
Although there are some commercial defense mechanisms available advertised to keep pigeons at bay, such as nail boards, anti-roosting spikes and nets, our experts advise against these cruel devices, "Do not use tools that can harm the animals. Pigeons, but also other birds, can suffer life-threatening injuries from the sharp nails or become so entangled in the nets that they starve to death." says Cristian Erdmann.
Municipalities are also in demand
In many cities, so-called 'pigeon houses' have been used very successfully for years. "They are animal welfare-friendly and highly effective in the long term," confirms Christian Erdmann. The pigeon houses provide the pigeons with safe nesting sites and feed appropriate to the species. "As a result, the droppings are no longer so moist and do not pollute nearly as badly." The pigeon houses are also particularly animal-friendly because sick birds receive veterinary care here and their dens are cleaned regularly. "The pigeon population of a city can also be significantly reduced within a few months in a gentle way by using several pigeon houses. This is because part of the clutch is replaced by dummies such as lime eggs. Compared to other methods of birth control, this system has proven very successful," says the expert.
About the Wildlife Sanctuary Hamburg
FOUR PAWS supports the Wildlife Sanctuary Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein with at least 100,000 euros annually. Every year, more than 1,800 domestic wild animals in distress are handed over here, reared, given medical care and released back into the wild. More information about the wildlife station can be found (in German only) here.