What the flock is with all the pigeons in downtown Trail?
City staff is looking into a variety of different ways of dealing with the pigeon population, which seems to be growing alongside the Canada geese and seagulls.
“It’s almost laughable in a sense until you see what’s happening in terms of the amount of feces on the ground and the inability to use parts of the park,” said councillor Robert Cacchioni.
The city has received several complaints from business owners concerned about the impact the birds have on attracting customers and on general health.
In September, Trail council took their concern to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, where Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Blair Lekstrom promised a solution to the pigeons nesting on the bridge.
“Not only are the holes in the bridge providing a place for them to roost but it also provides now a place for them to breed, a nesting area, so what you got is a big rookery,” said Cacchioni.
The pigeons also like to gather along the Esplanade.
“It started out with a few people who raised them – they’re not wild birds, they are domestic birds – and now we’re dealing with the offspring,” explained Cacchioni. “Thirty years ago, there were no geese in the valley, as there were no seagulls, and now both have come in and because people feed them and the milder winters they remain and breed.”
The city has hired on staff through Career Development Services to clean up after the geese that accumulate at Gyro Park. While providing employment opportunity is nice, Cacchioni would like to see the bird population controlled.
“People like to feed birds and that’s fine but when you do feed them, you have to realize that can cause a problem,” he said, adding that one potential solution could be creating a designated feeding area.
Councillor Al Graham recommended the city approached Natural Control Alternatives, which manages ground squirrels in the city, for advice.