Pi­geon scat raises com­plaints

Pi­geons cause prop­erty dam­age, spread dis­ease

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - NEVADA - By Michael Scott David­son Con­tact Michael Scott David­son at sdavid­son@ re­viewjour­nal.com or 702-477-3861. Fol­low @ david­son­lvrj on Twit­ter.

If you feed them, they will roost.

And poop. They will def­i­nitely poop.

Nest­ing pi­geons and the scat they leave be­hind have been a peren­nial and some­what costly prob­lem for Clark County. Com­plaints from res­i­dents are so com­mon that Com­mis­sion Chair­man Steve Siso­lak wants to dis­cuss what can be done dur­ing Tues­day’s com­mis­sion meet­ing.

“We’ve got a pro­lif­er­a­tion of pi­geons in some of th­ese ar­eas,” Siso­lak said. “There’s a lot of prop­erty dam­age as a re­sult of pi­geons roost­ing.”

The bird’s cor­ro­sive poop can dam­age paint, con­crete roof tiles and air con­di­tion­ing equip­ment. Their nest­ing ma­te­rial can clog a drainage sys­tem. There’s also a con­cern about the spread of dis­ease from pi­geon car­casses and waste.

Chris Bram­ley, who over­sees the county gov­ern­ment’s pest con­trol man­age­ment, said most of the county’s fa­cil­i­ties “have some kind of a pi­geon is­sue.” Flocks of 50 to 60 pi­geons can be found liv­ing on some roofs.

But the prob­lem has be­come ex­cep­tion­ally no­tice­able at the West Flamingo Se­nior Cen­ter, su­per­vi­sor Diane Ol­son-Baskin said.

De­spite the county’s ef­forts to dis­suade the birds from roost­ing there — in­clud­ing a sonic re­pel­lent sys­tem — close to 30 pi­geons have made the com­mu­nity cen­ter home, Ol­son-Baskin said. She be­lieves the blame lies in some pa­trons’ de­light in toss­ing piece of bread to the birds ev­ery morn­ing.

“We try to dis­cour­age peo­ple from feed­ing the pi­geons, but they en­joy it so much that all we can do is en­cour­age them to feed them as far as pos­si­ble from the build­ing,” Ol­son-Baskin said.

Such is the stuff that makes up the pas­sion­ate de­bate over pi­geons. While some peo­ple see the birds as pests, oth­ers love them.

When county com­mis­sion­ers con­sid­ered a law ban­ning the feed­ing of feral pi­geons in Jan­uary 2012 they were in­un­dated with opin­ions from both sides. The com­mis­sion never voted on the pro­posed law.

Bram­ley said he has a hard time telling peo­ple they should not feed the birds. He un­der­stands it’s an en­joy­able pas­time for many.

Still, “if peo­ple want to feed pi­geons they should feed them in small amounts,” he said. “Don’t let them learn that you’re tak­ing care of them like they’re your chil­dren.”

Richard Brian Las Ve­gas Re­view-Journal @ve­g­as­pho­to­graph

Pi­geons fly Fri­day out­side the West Flamingo Se­nior Cen­ter at 6255 W. Flamingo Road. The cen­ter has one of the county’s most se­ri­ous pi­geon prob­lems, partly be­cause res­i­dents feed them.

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