Uncertain Times For The Problem Pigeons

(Added Monday: Problem-Child-Bride is going out of town for a few days. Back next week. Toodle-pip old chaps!)

Trouble’s a-brewin’ in the Problem Household. Or rather in the Problem Garden. Or to be even more precise, under the eaves of our Problem Shed, where a family of pigeons is now nesting its second clutch of eggs of the season. Pigeon poo everywhere.

Talks are breaking down between the Problem Husband, who is hawkish on the pigeons, and me. I’m, generally speaking, more doveish on pigeons: a period of watchful waiting is what’s needed and besides, the odds are they will move on soon without any ugly interspecies strife having to occur. Why not use this opportunity to show the pigeons we can be tolerant, live and let live etc? That might just lead to its own rewards as the word spreads in the pigeon community – a fierce and proud nation – and we might start to find our car happily unpooped upon even though all the other cars in the lot are festooned with paint-corroding messages of displeasure.

“Appeasement!” cries the Problem Husband to this. “Remember Chamberlain! What a wally he turned out to be.”

“But remember too how prudence and caution served Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.” I counter. “We cannot engage in brinksbirdship with these pigeons – the results could be devastating. We’ve seen the inches of guano just one pigeon family can produce. Think what we’d face in the event of a showdown! There are millions of them and only 4 of us and we, as a civilized people, are bound by the Picadilly Conventions” (Like the Geneva ones only with pigeons instead of prisoners).

“Harrumph!” offers the Problem Husband.

And thus have The Talks gone for the past few months, ever since Mr. and Mrs. Peck and Family moved in.

This evening, however, was a bit different. There was an emergency summit of the Group of 2 Industrious Parents as the Problem Husband had just met with an extra frustrating Sudoku and had earlier been forced to cheat at several succesive games of Solitaire. Seeking a distraction from his disappointments, he did as many troubled governments will do and deflected attention to the problem of our “undocumented immigrants”, or pigeons as the rest of us know them.

Some fancy diplomatic footwork was needed to de-escalate the rhetoric which had become preoccupied with words like “exterminator”, “water-hose” and “death, death, DEATH to the varmint!” Again, I counselled patience but I think this line of argument is losing its appeal to the PH as the bats are back now too working on their own separate poo-heap, and Mr.& Mrs. Peck have started on brood #2. But I believe the Pecks took this decision according to largely evolutionary imperatives and not, as the PH suggests, ” just to piss me off” or because they’re “looking for free housing and welfare checks from bleeding heart liberals like you.”

I could see at this point that the only way to pour oil on PH’s troubled waters was to feed him. So I made him some popcorn and soon he was snuffling contentedly again, amongst the Sunday papers. The hawk has been temporarily de-taloned, but I fear that soon it will take more than reason and heart-healthy snacks to soothe the beast that squawks for pigeon-blood within my husband’s heart.

I am ready to throw it open to the United Blogly Nations for arbitration. How have others dealt with guests who have over-stayed their welcome and showed poor bathroom etiquette?

14 thoughts on “Uncertain Times For The Problem Pigeons”

  1. Get a cat. An outdoor cat. The birds will be long gone.

    If not that, then I suggest pooping on the pigeons. Turnabout is fair play.


  2. Clearly you both are missing the bigger picture here. For example: Have you considered declaring the pigeons and their offspring as dependents on your tax return? Perhaps a petting zoo? A carrier pigeon messenger service? If enterprise is not to your liking, however, I would consider buying a fairly large quantity of bird seed and creating a trail of seed from the shed to your neighbor’s yard where the remainder of the seed should be dumped. When the pigeon family takes flight douse the shed with gasoline and burn it to the ground. It works almost every time.

  3. Roosting in your shed is taking a liberty and they know it. Birds live in trees and watching them get wet when in rains is one of the pleasures of primate life. Get a long broom and throw them out.

  4. Randall, I don’t want to murder the pigeons. I want to let them raise their babies and then move. For two summers in Minnesota I hand-raised orhaned baby birds at the U of MN, and pigeons were some of my favourites. The turnabout suggestion is intriguing though and I don’t think it contravenes any of the Picadilly Statutes – they’ve been doing it on Picadilly statues for years.

    Joel, you are a man after the Problem Husband’s heart. He likes your thinking.

    Mr. Nanas, I had thought you to be more sympathetic to the cause of refugees fleeing; wanting a better start for their young’uns than mere old-fashioned twigs and branches can afford. A modern, planed shelf with no splinters and room for the kids to practise hopping. Who but the very hardest of landlords could not admire the cheeky presumption of moving in on another’s territory, unbidden. Why America was built on such a philosophy! It’s Manifest Destiny only with pigeons.

  5. Serve with an eviction notice. If that doesn’t work, call in the bailiffs. If you are careful with your timing, you should appear to be taking action whilst at the same time protecting your tenants. To prevent recurrence, approach a senior member of the Pigeon Council and tell him to take your name off the Tolerant Homestead list. It should produce results. If that doesn’t work, get the Pigeon Ombudsman involved.

  6. I’d shoot them.

    With a small-bore pellet gun, to take out their tiny inedible brains.
    Then I’d get the barbecue going, pluck them, marinade them in a tangy Cajun sauce, and cook them slowly, turning every three minutes to ensure an even tan. Then I’d serve them up with mashed potatoes and butter, on a rocket and blue cheese salad, with a bottle or two of white 2003 Douglas Green.

    But that’s just me.

  7. The shopping centers near my house have taken to placing spikes of misshapen metal atop their signage and between the letters to discourage nesting. Seems to work, and no birds are really hurt.
    Perhaps you could do the same? Probably easy to use some broken bottles embedded in epoxy. Do NOT attempt to masturbate with the resulting structure.

  8. Sam, just having the cat around will cause them to move. The cat doesn’t even have to attack them, just hang out. Out here, we always had outdoor cats. They kept the yard free of annoying critters, including chipmunks, squirrels, snakes, etc. They function much like a scarecrow.


  9. I could tell you what we did about the house martins but then I’d have to kill you. Would a faux owl do the trick and BTW – I’ve just got back and you’re off. Could we not synchronise more? Missing you already.

  10. I’m with the cat idea. The bigger of the cats here is a champion bird slaughterer. And I never have bird probems. Mother problems sure, but not birds.

  11. As an Irish person with a typical Irish-sized family, I often have problem with unwanted guests who are unable to poo in an orderly fashion. I find it prudent to move out until they leave. Perhaps this could work for you, too?

  12. They are just rats with wings. Lots of germs, poo not very good for kids, all bad for everyone. They ignore cats, so that doesn’t work. You’ll have to break up the nest and put wire netting over that area to keep them out.
    I’ll be glad to come over and shoot the dirty buggers.

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