Pigeon Proofing in Bracknell
We deliver bird control operations all year long but late summer is when the pigeon population will be at its highest; unlike other birds that have a defined breeding season, pigeons will lay egg's and raise a brood all year long. September see's the population at its highest due to the availability of nesting areas, nest sites are at a premium and those where its dry and free from wind will be in use all the time.
Pigeons aren't really afraid of man and they prefer to nest inside and around our buildings, these birds were once kept as a supply of food for us in dove cotes and they still want to be close to us. Have you ever noticed how calm they are walking around in town centres? You'll often find yourself walking in step just behind a pigeon and even having to adjust your speed to step around the slower moving bird.
Pigeons will eat just about anything that we throw out for them, old bits of pizza, chips, bread and bird seed. Whilst other birds specialise in a type of food and organise their breeding season to the rhythm of that supply, pigeons store this 'junk food' in their crop partially digesting it and breaking it down into a milky substance. This is fed to the chicks and as the birds food supply is limitless with availability all year long, they can breed throughout the year.
Pigeons mate for life which means that they form a strong bond and are fiercely protective of their chicks, in order to be successful they need somewhere close to the food supply, warm in winter, cool in summer and out of the worst of the elements - sounds familiar? That's your house or place of work basically.
Pigeons will nest on buildings where roof's overhang decorative structures, inside lofts through a missing tile or in an unused room where there is a broken window and on flat balconies; these lofty perches replicate their ancestral home as these birds are descended from rock doves and craggy cliff faces are the ideal place to nest.
If they can breed all year then each pair of birds will raise around 16 birds, in turn the young birds are capable of mating at six months meaning there's a potential flock size of 22 birds by the end of the first year, pigeons are extremely successful at rearing their young because these birds stay in the nest until almost fully mature. Where other birds fledge with unformed flight feathers and leave the nest to escape predators, pigeons who have few predators keep their young safe until all the feathers are formed and they can take to the skies.
What this means for us is that when pigeons move onto a building and begin nesting then they will not stop; a rising pigeon population puts each mating pair under pressure to find themselves a good place for a nest, strong defenders they won't scare off easily and a conveyor belt like breeding pattern means that you have a cycle of egg's, chicks, birds, egg's and all this time bird poo, lots and lots of bird poo.
Pigeons eat alot of junk and therefore produce a lot of mess, this will be deposited in and around the nest site eventually becoming several inches thick. This material is extremely hazardous as it contains bacteria which you'd expect from any animal faeces but bird viruses and bloodsucking parasites like bird mites which can and will feed on us with a painful nip.
The mass of faeces also contains some extremely harmful fungus and where the mass dries out this becomes a potential respiratory hazard to those living and working alongside the area. Click here for a link to the Health and Safety Executives' website concerning hazards of working with bird droppings for more information.
We offer a guano cleaning service to remove all this waste material; we work with hazards like bird droppings all the time so its natural for us to remove the waste, contaminated materials that may have been beneath it and even replace wooden decking that formed the base of a balcony. Along with the mass of faeces there will be old nest material and even bird car-cases - these pigeons aren't at all tidy when it comes to roosting and nesting.
You can see what services we offer by following this link to our guano cleaning page.
Why aren't pigeons controlled by Law?
There are laws covering the control of pigeons which don't seem to be enforced by local Councils; probably due to costs. The most common way to deal with a population would be to cull the numbers of birds by trapping and shooting them, we know from studying animals that culling drops the population quickly but unless you deal with the cause then numbers will soon rise again. In the case of pigeons, when you cull them you leave behind a plentiful supply of food and unclaimed nest sites. Studies have shown that you can expect numbers to rise by 20 to 30% within a year of a cull.
My neighbour is feeding the pigeons and this is causing a lot of mess what can I do?
Firstly speak to your neighbour and see if you can reach an agreement as to the level of feeding or switching to a food supply for other types of birds, if they refuse or that fails then speak to your local Environmental Health Department at the Council. You will have more success with the EH if other neighbours complain as well so it might be advisable to ask around and see how other people feel?
Can you shoot pigeons?
Yes you can but only as an act that you can show is a final resort: the Wildlife and Countryside Act General License 35 allows for the destruction of pigeons to preserve public health, we do not advocate killing pigeons as it is counter productive. The best defense is to remove their food supply or prevent them access to a roost or a nesting site, the RSPB has good information on the Wildlife and Countryside Act.