Pesky pets

One of the first species do­mes­ti­cated by man, the pi­geon is now an in­va­sive species and a pest in many parts of the world

Down to Earth - - WILDLIFE -

THEY ARE not the clean­est neigh­bour un­less you pre­fer a house that looks like some­one is throw­ing raw eggs at it on a regular ba­sis.Al­most ev­ery day,we have to scrub away crusty pi­geon poop,” lamented Dur­ban res­i­dent, Wal­ter. He be­lieves the South African city has been over­run by pi­geons. “They get easy ac­cess in open plumb­ing ducts and find good nest­ing area on pipes and para­pets in­side the duct. They make nests and lay eggs there. The ducts are full of bird drop­pings,” says his neigh­bour,Chan­dran.

Dur­ban is not the only South African city with a pi­geon prob­lem.A doc­u­ment of the coun­try’s ur­ban af­fairs min­istry notes,“The ap­pear­ance of many of our finest build­ings is marred by the birds.They ren­der food­stuffs ined­i­ble; in­tro­duce in­sects, mites and dis­eases harm­ful to man and cause breaches of the Public Health Act. Pi­geon drop­pings dam­age ma­sonry,block drains and cause struc­tural dam­age.” The pi­geons in ques­tion are

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