Does it ever seem like pigeon flocks are out of control? Understanding the behavior of these birds and some of the history is helpful in understanding why they are such a nuisance sometimes.
Pigeons came to the United States and therefore Colorado as a domestic animal. All pigeons in Colorado today are descendants of captive birds and therefore feral.
Pigeons have a strong homing instinct and will generally return to their nest to mate. Return flights of over 1000 miles have been documented in Feral Rock Pigeons. In addition, pigeons can average 50 miles per hour in moderate distance flights and have been recorded at 90 miles per hour in short bursts.
Pigeons can reproduce any time of year if their food source is abundant. Pigeons lay one or two eggs at a time, most often two. and have a strong success rate raising their young. In cases where food is present all year long, a pair of pigeons can mate and nest six times in a year. This, combined with their homing instinct is why it is not uncommon to see flocks of hundreds of birds in settings where food is plentiful year-round.
Pigeon control has to take this and other factors in consideration. Pigeon waste is usually as much a problem as the birds themselves. Pigeon droppings are associated with three human diseases, histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis. The problems don’t end there, pigeon droppings can deface buildings, in some cases causing irreparable damage to historic buildings.
Further reading on this subject can be found at http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/birddamage/birddamage.htm
IPM provides free estimates and is happy to answer questions about bird exclusion, removal, control and behavior. Remember, these problems get worse, never better, if left untreated for any extensive period of time.