Feral Pigeons (Columba livia)
Pigeons colours vary but they are commonly grey with a whitish rump, two black bars on wing feathers and a broad black band on the tail; red feet
Pigeons are monogamous and will lay one to two eggs which hatch within eighteen days. Young are fed “pigeon milk” which is regurgitated food from both males and females. While mating occurs all year round, the peak mating seasons are spring and autumn.
As Pigeons prefer grains for food, people feed pigeons unintentionally by spilling food or leaving it in open rubbish bins. They roost in areas above ground and will easily nest in steeples, as well as voids on outside areas of buildings and other protected areas.
Pigeons are dependent on humans to provide them with food, roosting and nesting sites. They are commonly found around agricultural areas as well as warehouses, feed mills, and grain elevators. They are also found in cities around parks, buildings, bridges, and any other structures.
Pigeons are filthy birds, causing disease and damage. Their droppings are known for triggering human slips and falls, as well as damaging structures and statues. More seriously, pigeons can carry diseases such as Cryptococcus, toxoplasmosis, salmonella, food poisoning, to name but a few. Also, their droppings can harbour the growth of fungus which causes histoplasmosis. Smaller pests may live on these birds, including fleas, lice, mites, ticks, and other pests. Pests may also infest nests such as stored product pests.
Homeowners need to deprive Pigeons of convenient roosting and nesting areas as much as possible. Filling in access to voids, sloping resting areas, and preventing landing by using certain devices will help. Keep all food and standing water out of reach of pigeons. In commercial settings, do not encourage pigeon feeding either deliberate or accidental.
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