Un­wel­come con­gre­ga­tion

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

PI­GEON poo is threat­en­ing the stonework of an his­toric church.

St-Matthew-in-the-City vicar Dr He­len Ja­cobi hopes to evict the birds which have taken up res­i­dence out­side the church so they don’t be­come per­ma­nent mem­bers of her flock.

The cor­ro­sive drop­pings pi­geons leave be­hind can eat away at metal and stone and also pose a health risk in public places.

Ja­cobi fears the mess will erode the stonework of the church which was built in 1905.

‘‘The pi­geons are flock­ing in great num­bers – hov­er­ing around the build­ing and land­ing,’’ she says.

‘‘We want to re­move them partly be­cause pi­geon poo dam­ages the build­ing’s stonework but it’s also not pleas­ant for any­one walk­ing by.’’

The church was awarded a $4000 grant by Auck­land Coun­cil’s cen­tral joint fund­ing com­mit­tee as a con­tri­bu­tion to­wards the in­stal­la­tion of pi­geon de­ter­rent mea­sures in June.

It is now look­ing to in­stall wiring around the build­ing to stop pi­geons perch­ing.

It has be­come more of a prob­lem in the last year or so, Ja­cobi says.

‘‘We’re not sure why – it’s a bit bizarre re­ally,’’ she says.

Passers-by feeding the birds is part of the prob­lem, she says.

‘‘We’re dis­cour­ag­ing peo­ple from do­ing this.

‘‘There are one or two peo­ple who were reg­u­larly feeding them and we have spo­ken to them and asked them to stop.’’

The church is now work­ing with con­trac­tors to in­ves­ti­gate the lo­gis­tics of in­stalling de­ter­rents.

Con­cerned: St-Matthew-in-theCity vicar He­len Ja­cobi. Photo: John Cowpland/alphapix.co.nz

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