Feral pigeons are common in the urban environment and although they are generally considered to be no more than a nuisance, they can potentially pose a risk to human health. Pigeons and their droppings can also cause damage to the buildings they reside, perch or nest in or on. Potential health risks and examples of damage include:
- Transmission of diseases such as histoplasmosis, cryptoccosis and psittacosis (ornithosis)
- Attraction of ticks, mites, cockroaches and rats
- Unpleasant odour and noise issues.
- Damage to buildings and monuments due to the highly corrosive nature of pigeon droppings.
- Extensive damage to air conditioning units and other roof top machinery.
Feral Pigeon (Columba Livia)
32cm long Blue-grey in colour (although other colours are common)
2-3 broods per year, with 2 eggs in each clutch
17-19 day incubation period
Young birds spend 35-37 days in the nest
Feeds on seeds, green feed, domestic scraps in and around cities, near roosting sites Nests on ledges
Pest Birds and their associated debris are known to e a source of bacteria and insects, which are harmful to humans.
- Salmonella – typhoid like intestinal infection
- Ornithosis – symptoms range from flue like illness to pneumonia
- Bird fanciers lung – an allergic condition caused by exposure to dust inhaled from bird debris
Although a link has yet to be proven with feral pigeons members of the public are becoming increasingly concerned with those risks surrounding Avian Flu and the build up of any dead birds / debris.