Fed up with the government’s failure to act against the pigeon menace, New York City Councilman Simcha Felder said yesterday that he would introduce legislation that would ban pigeon feeding in the city and impose fines of up to $1,000.
Felder’s report to the council stated that pigeons pose a serious problem to city infrastructure, or at least their crap does. According to Felder, each pigeon is responsible for an average of 25 pounds of droppings per year (the report did not say whether he consulted an expert, or followed a pigeon around for a year), and the acidic droppings can rust steel and corrode infrastructure. The report notes that other cities have tried a variety of measures to deal with the pigeon menace. London brought in hawks to scare them away, Los Angeles is trying pigeon birth control (probably something in the feed, unless they have little pigeon condoms), and in Basel, Switzerland, where people apparently have even more time on their hands, they go around stealing the pigeon’s eggs and replacing them with fake ones.
New York tried hawks a few years ago, but abandoned that plan after one of the hawks attacked somebody’s chihuahua.
Felder apparently recognizes the difficulty in prosecuting the pigeons themselves for their bad behavior, although he finds it frustrating that the pigeon gangs are allowed ro run wild. "We have pigeons doing whatever they do all over the city without anyone trying to stop it," he said. He blamed the pigeon enablers: "If people like pigeons, take theim into [your] homes, feed pigeons in your house and let them crap all over the place in your living rooms." Presumably the law will contain an exception for those who want to harbor pigeons behind closed doors.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg acknowledged that pigeons were a problem, but seemed to favor a voluntary feeding boycott rather than a ban. "We do have a lot of pigeons," he said, confirming what many had feared.
Link: CBS News