"Feeding pigeons" may invoke visions of Julie Andrews and 'Tuppence a bag' but in the City of Toronto that may well become a thing of the past. In July 2021 a motion was passed to consider a ban of feeding pigeons in the City of Toronto. The reasons given included piegons gathering in large flocks interfering with the enjoyment of public as well as private spaces, significant property damage, attraction of rats and health risks to humans.
Toronto Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam brought forth the motion which is set to explore the feasibility of implementing such a ban with a report back expected next March.
To put things into perspective, the City of Toronto spends a small fortune each year on pigeon control and associated clean-up. Property Management Compnaies spend millions more. Pigeon droppings are more than just unsightly; they do pose health risks and due to their acidic nature they do cause a fair bit of damage to structures such as buildings (especially, historic ones), monuments, and perhaps most importantly bridges and overpasses. Steel structures in particular fall vicitm to corosion from bird droppings.
Toronto has a well fed and well bred pigeon population. For many years, pigeons were a protected species and their population allowed to grow - out of control, by many accounts. There are no specific City by-laws that restrict or prevent individuals from feeding wildlife outside of a City park. As a result, public spaces such as sidewalks, plazas, boulevards, squares, and laneways are overwhelmingly inundated with pigeons who continue to be attracted to these spaces.
So, what can you do to deter pigeons?
First off, as a concerned citizen you really should NOT feed pigeons. In Toronto, or elsewhere. Ban or no ban.
Secondly, as a home or business owner you will probably want to consult with a Pigeon Control and Removal expert, such as Hawkeye.
There is rarely a one time or one-fits-all solution and a multi pronged approach in terms of pigeon control methods is most effective. We use proprietary pigeon traps that work extremely well. We often pair trapping with Falconry - the practice of flying birds of prey in areas heavily infested with pigeons. In contrast to 'fake' bird of prey (see below), real hawks or falcons pose actual danger to pigoens, and they know it. Taking advantage of the natural relationship between bird of prey and prey, we are able to achieve consitent pigeon control without lethal measures.
For high rise buildings, corporate signage, etc., a physical barrier may be in order - we do that, as well. From balcony netting (and cleaning/disinfecting) to installing a range of pigeon deterrants and ledge protection systems. All of these methods are designed to work in the long term by making an area unattractive, unsuitable, or unsafe for pigeon roosting and nesting.
Do 'fake owls' keep pigeons away?
No, they do not. At least, not over any length of time. Pigeons will learn very quickly that there is no real danger and ignore the owl (or other prop).
Do sound devices keep pigeons away?
Again, not over a polonged period of time, no. Pigeons will get used to the sound emitted, learn that there is no danger, and happily resume congregation.
Contact Hawkeye Bird & Animal Control and let us help you get rid of pigeons at your home or business.
Now with 7 Locations ( 6 In Canada and 1 in the U.S), we are ready to serve you better in Acton, Toronto, Oshawa, Bowmanville, two locations in Mississauga and West Palm Beach in Florida.
Contact us today or Email us at [email protected] if you need help with pest bird control and/or pest bird removal.