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Published 2006
LGVN Animals / Pigeons

Welcoming Pigeons Back into our Cities.

Germany and Holland show new humane ways that enable people and pigeons in cities to live side by side.

Pigeon loft on the roof of the Bijenkorf store in Amsterdam - designed by Stefan Gross
Pigeon loft on the roof of the Bijenkorf store in Amsterdam

Pigeons and city life go hand in hand, but it's a love-hate relationship.
We feed them in the park, we photograph them around tourists attractions in city centres and there is always the air of romance and perhaps melancholy seeing pigeons take off from town squares at sunset on late autumn evenings. In fact, cities wouldn't be quite the same without our inquisitive feathered residents. But at the same time, many town dwellers around the world have also scorned pigeons as pests and vermin, often resulting in solutions that cause a painful, slow death either by traps or poison. And we have all seen the sad sight of limping pigeons who have had their feet ripped apart by sharp metal traps.
But now, groundbreaking new projects have been springing up in Germany and Holland, providing habitats for pigeons on city rooftops in a clean, controlled environment.
Innovative designs of pigeon lofts allow easy maintenance, whereby population numbers can be regulated by replacing eggs with plaster ones. Because of regular feeding inside the lofts, the pigeons sleep and brood there instead of window ledges and gutters where they can cause a nuisance.

Landelijke Werkgroep Duivenoverlast is a group in Holland who are actively promoting this new approach to pigeon problems in cities. They point out that the age-old methods of capture and killing of pigeons doesn't cure the problem. They will always return, and often in higher numbers because the remaining birds are driven to reproduce more frequently to make up for those killed.

With the new easily accessible lofts being situated in Dutch and German cities, along with low-shock wiring to deter pigeons from unwanted areas, these new projects are hoped to inspire the councils of other world cities like London, New York and Rome to reconsider their approach to the "nuisance" of pigeons.

For more information visit: http://www.duivenoverlast.nl

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