Pigeons are always a contentious issue. Whilst some people enjoy feeding the birds, others view them as flying rats. It is certainly the case that large populations of pigeons in urban areas can wreak havoc on the local architecture. Pigeons can also prove disruptive to businesses, particularly those selling food. Cafes are often besieged by pigeons just as the eateries on the coast are targeted by seagulls. The business owners would love to be able to rid themselves of what they doubtless view as a scourge, but they can't kill the pigeons. So, what do they do?
A New Plan of Attack
A Swansea cafe has come up with a unique way of deterring the local pigeons from bothering its customers. The owners of Coffee Fresco in Swansea Marina have purchased weapons to combat the birds. They have invested in water soakers for their customers to aim at any pigeon that lands on their table!
The pigeons have been aggressively scrounging food around the cafe and have proved to be a serious nuisance. Food has been pinched from right under the noses of the customers. The problem has persisted for many years and the owners have reached the end of their tether. The cafe's manager, Gary Mills, said: "It's been a problem ever since the shop opened but every summer it gets worse and worse, more pigeons come. "Staff at the cafe had put up signs asking visitors not to feed the birds and have tried placing plastic eagles around Coffee fresco to scare off the pigeons. But none of their tactics have cured the problem. Staff had grown tired of having to leap on tables as soon as customers have left to get them cleared before the birds descend on the leftovers. Now customers are being invited to squirt water at the pigeons.
The water does not harm the birds which are now aware of the water pistols and fly away as soon as they see them. They still come back a few minutes later! The cafe's customers report that the water pistols are working. The birds don't like the water but it doesn't hurt them in any way.
The Local Authority
The council has tried to reduce the number of pigeons by preventing the birds from perching on surfaces above public areas. But there isn't any way that they can stop the birds landing on walkways. The council has also instituted a ban on the feeding of pigeons in the city centre. Many local authorities are now banning the feeding of pigeons and those who ignore the laws will find themselves with spot fines of up to £80. How do you feel about pigeons? Are these birds simply pests or do you enjoy feeding them?