Often they are called “feathered rats”, they are dirty, full of vermins and above all disseminate diseases that are dangerous for humans. There is talk of pigeons which can be found in huge numbers in every metropolis and which have a really bad record. We will reveal why their negative image actually is not justified:
That pigeons impose a danger on humans by disseminating diseases, is a rumor which is fuelled by pest control companies in order to increase the profit. The market leader Rentokil, for instance, lists numerous, partly even lethal pathogens on its homepage which the animals shall distribute allegedly. An objective base for this assertions is actually missing in the main since most of the pathogenic agents which pigeons bear, are host-specific which means that humans in fact cannot even become infected. Among veterinarians who have hosted and nursed up to 700 pigeons over decades, there is no case of a contamination by the animals known. This means that pigeons impose no greater danger than merls, titmouses or sparrows which we even lure into our garden with bird seeds.
Anyway, the fact that pigeons are detested unjustifiably, does not mean that we should let them breed unhindered as they produce offspring excessively. And even if they do not transmit masses of diseases, they nonetheless make a lot of dirt which notoriously attacks the coating of cars. But applying spikes or nets in order to prevent the birds from nesting is not helpful. They often harbour a high injury risk, especially for the young animals, and the pigeons simply dodge elsewhere. A species-appropriate solution offer the maintained dovecotes where the pigeons get slipped plaster eggs. In this way, less youngs are hatched and the faeces restrict themselves on the shelter where they can be disposed properly instead of polluting the city. Unfortunately, maintained dovecotes are still the exception in many metropolises as they are seldomly approved due to the negative reputation of the pigeons. Hence, it is important to counteract these rumors and to support a controlled but peaceful existence of the birds instead of fanning fear.