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What happened to the pigeons that used to be in downtown Wilmington? Has the city been feeding them chemicals?

Shelby Sebens

The city of Wilmington has not used chemicals to control the pigeon population, according to city spokesman Dylan Lee. In fact, the city has no active effort to get rid of the birds who often just come and go, he added.

Andy Wood, education director for Audubon North Carolina bird conservation, confirmed that the city is not poisoning the birds.

“I’m not seeing dead pigeons around so I don’t think it’s a poisoning effect,” he said. “The city would definitely not be doing that.”

But Wood did offer some possible explanations for a lack of pigeons roosting downtown. He said in the past couple of years he has fielded several calls from people complaining about pigeons roosting on their properties. He said he offered non-lethal methods, such as bird netting, for preventing them from roosting on roofs and other undesirable areas. He also said there are wildlife pigeon removal services in the area.

“It may be that our efforts at displacing pigeons from the area is actually having an effect,” he said.

But that’s just speculation and it could be other factors as well.

Pigeons don’t like the heat and this time of year downtown Wilmington can be sweltering. They might be choosing to roost in cooler places than the hot concrete downtown.

Wood said he has also seen a new species of dove in the area and they could be competing with the pigeons.

Lastly, he said this time of year is like Thanksgiving for the pigeons and it’s possible they are sleeping in cooler places, like under bridges, and heading to the countryside for dinner where they can find hay, corn and other crops to feast on.

Whatever the reason, Wood is certain they are not being poisoned because he would not only be seeing dead or sick pigeons, but also dead or dying birds of prey, cats, dogs and other animals.

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3 Responses to “ What happened to the pigeons that used to be in downtown Wilmington? Has the city been feeding them chemicals?”

  1. On August 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm B. Williams wrote:

    A great way to control the pigeons is a product called Nixalite (I am sure there are knock-offs, too) which is basically metal wire spikes that you put wherever they roost. It doesn’t hurt them or kill them, and it keeps the mess from under the nest off your porch. You can see even the Bellamy Mansion uses it, if you look up under the porches. It’s effective and humane.

  2. On August 7, 2010 at 9:03 am Pat wrote:

    Its summer and the ground is very hot….around 5 or 6:00pm look to the sky they are flying above the Federal Building…Lots of them!

  3. On September 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm nancy wrote:

    hi i live in waterville,me i have not seen any pigeons since last year this is not normal for our city i usually feed them the only birds i see are crows,doves,chickadees and new small light green birds the size of a chickadee i thought this was very strange we usually have flocks of pigeons and now their gone would like to know what is going on thank you Nancy

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