Community Blog: Keeping out the pigeons

By Reuters Staff
June 21, 2010

SAFRICA-2010/Feral pigeons, stray crows and roaming rodents have been trying to make a home for themselves at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. But they have been kept at bay…by trained falcons.

“Birds and rodents are controlled inside the stadium by using trained falcons to disturb and hunt them. Birds attempting to roost at night inside the stadium are disturbed, ” so says Port Elizabeth poison-free pioneer and Wildline founder Arnold Slabbert.

Slabbert said the stadium was surrounded by a major concentration of feral pigeons, as the structure was conducive to encouraging pigeons to roost and breed there.

Another problem species, said Slabbert, was the ever increasing urban crow populations which were also controlled inside the stadium. “Crows interfere with the wiring systems on the speakers and create a major mess.”

Through the Urban Raptor Project (URP), the city has set a standard in efficient bird control. Slabbert said the URP had commenced with initial stages of bird management at the stadium in April 2009.

Feral pigeons needed to be controlled or preferably eradicated totally. “They are a health risk and compete with our indigenous bird species.”

This blog was written by a community blogger  chosen  to write  on their community’s experience of the  World Cup.

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