Pigeon problem spurs trials

Yolande Steenkamp, of Dunedin, feeds pigeons at the Dunedin Botanic Garden this week. PHOTOS:...
Yolande Steenkamp, of Dunedin, feeds pigeons at the Dunedin Botanic Garden this week. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
Disruptive populations of pigeons at the Dunedin Botanic Garden have provoked the Dunedin City Council to trial new options to combat the winged menace.

Parks and recreation acting group manager Scott MacLean said pigeons caused problems when they "land on people’s arms, shoulders and heads to get at the food intended for ducks".

"Unfortunately, some people encourage this behaviour by deliberately feeding the pigeons."

The council had previously worked on population management, but there was no formal control system in place.

Complaints had been made in the past, specifically at weekends and holidays when more people were feeding the ducks.

Pigeons roost at the garden.
Pigeons roost at the garden.
Visual deterrents, such as the use of fluttering hawk and falcon silhouettes were among the devices being considered, but the council was mindful of the constraints with these devices.

Updated signage discouraging visitors from feeding the pigeons was also being discussed.

Trials for the new deterrents would take place towards the end of this month.

 - Any ideas on how to combat the pigeon menace?

wyatt.ryder@odt.co.nz

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