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Birds--General/Ridding Roof of Pigeons?


Hello--We have a Spanish tile roof that pigeons love since it absorbs heat and slowly releases it, plus it offers cozy spots amid the various gables.  The pigeons are greasy looking creatures, infested with bird mites.  They apparently have pigeon wars--feathers, hunks of flesh, brown goop, and even larger quantities of excrement are dumped on front of our door.  After pigeons pecked their way into our attic, I discovered that I'm quite allergic to bird mites.  The over 6' tall tower of guano and generally distributed filth was also a health problem.  The woman across the street feeds them.  They eat there and come back here to eliminate--large quantities all over our cars, the ground around the house, and also on the roof.  Her roof & area around her house are clean, so she doesn't see the problem and feels sorry for the pigeons. I tried contacting the city.  They won't do anything, but referred me to arbitration.  The neighbor apologized, said she would stop, and continued to feed them, only now she hides it.  I've watched her creep over and sprinkle handfuls from a bag onto a nearby vacant lot.  The pigeons than descend and feed upon it.  I've tried having plastic spikes put along the roof edge, but pigeons kept pecking at the until they fell off.  They don't care about the owl statues, nor do they care about the motion detector alarm.  We bought a home for a live owl, but they say it can take a few years for an owl to find it.  I'm considering having a ramp put up to allow cats access to our high second story roof, but I don't know if that will work.  Any help, information, or referrals you can provide I would greatly appreciate.  Thanks so much!

The first thing to do is to block any access the pigeons have to your attic or other spaces. Bird spikes (metal) on your roof or patio can deter roosting. Fake owls or snakes do not work. Sometimes mylar strips do for a short period of time. Look at for other possible deterrents. However, do not use any poisons as other birds can be affected. Pigeons are not protected by federal law but almost all other birds are, so you want to target pigeons alone.
Cats are not likely to prey on pigeons, so that's probably not a good idea. If the solutions indicated by the website above don't work, then your last option is to take your neighbor to court. The reasons the pigeons are around is that they have a food source - her - so she is the cause of the problem. Not a pleasant solution but it is an option.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all questions about WILD birds - not caged, domestic or poultry. Can answer questions about identification, taxonomy, behavior, courtship, plumage, flight, or anything else. Wild birds only, please.


Taught ornithology (the study of birds) at the university level for 30 years. Have written five books on birds, published 30 scientific articles, write a blog on birds, have the website, lectured to hundreds of groups on birds,and have traveled to 90 countries studying birds.

A variety of ornithological and conservation organizations.

Real Simple Magazine, Enterprise-Record, and several ornithological and ecological journals.

PhD in Zoology with emphasis in ornithology.

Awards and Honors
Professional Achievement Award, Jack Rawlins Chair of Environmental Literach.

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