Pigeon Wars

Sep 2016

By Louise Froggett

I think it was the beady little eyes that bugged me the most. That, and the defiance of the thing; the way it stared back and bobbed along, oblivious to my anger. I’m talking about the pigeons that invaded our balcony.

I like birds…I love birds, just not this group of birds. Firstly, it was the shocking pile of bird crap tucked behind our stack of outdoor chairs. Sweeping, washing, washing again – I finally got the mess cleaned away. I shuffled the stack of chairs and tied metallic ribbons to them. There, that should scare them.

No. I awakened to that sweet little coo coo sound and wondered what to do. So, I crept very quietly to the open window and wildly flung the contents of a full glass of water at it. Hooray, a direct hit! The coo coo stopped but it glared at me with appalling arrogance. I raced out of the room, up the hall, across the living room and burst onto the balcony screeching shoo shoo at it. It sighed and flew away. In exasperation I said to my husband, “that pigeon gave me the finger”. His eyebrows went up and he replied, “um, I’m pretty sure pigeons don’t have fingers”.

So, off to the dollar store I went in search of pinwheels. Surely, spinning things would scare them away. I selected two of them…a small one to tie to the chairs and a big one to lash into the opposite corner. The big one was a masterpiece…a metallic silver and gold peacock with spinning parts that went in two directions. I secured them tightly, believing our problem was solved.

No. Our balcony was way too windy for pinwheels. In one day the peacock started to lose “feathers”. By day three it was nothing but a head with odd bits flipping (occasionally) behind it. Garbage. The little pinwheel flew around hysterically and made all sorts of squeaky noise, then…silence. I went outside and it was gone. Nothing left but a stick with a spoke. Failure again.

By now, I was telling everyone about our dilemma and we were receiving all sorts of advice. Shooting them always eventually came up in the conversation. That’s perfect – a water pistol! Back to the dollar store. I didn’t see anything suitable but a friend came to the rescue; a big red and gold plastic water gun. Now, we were in business.

No. The water reservoir leaked like crazy and it didn’t spray hard enough. I had water dribbling down my leg and, as I “shot” at the pigeon, the water splashed on the balcony floor about 12 inches in front of my feet. The pigeon sat there and watched. All right…I give up.

So, the other day I’m standing in the bedroom, folding laundry and I hear that familiar coo coo. I look out of the window and there it walks, head bobbing, along the balcony wall. In huge frustration I pick up an armful of underwear and socks and hurl them at the glass. The pigeon flies off in a panic.

Nesting season may be over for now, but I’m already planning my next strategy. Maybe underwear and socks are the answer after all.