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Pigeons &hearts Chicago

By Rachelle Bowden in Miscellaneous on Jul 26, 2004 7:06PM

Pigeons - Photo: National Audubon Society's annual early winter survey found the number of pigeons in Chicago increased by 64% in 2003. Seems like a lot, but compared to the early 80's this is nothing. Back then there were an estimated 2.5-5 times as many pigeons around the Loop.

Researchers say that you can't read anything into this one-year jump and that the increase could be nothing more than a statistical blip created by counters being in the right place at the right time. Still there are other indicators that point to an increase in birds. Like business has been steadily growing at Bird-X Inc., a locally-run company that specializes in bird repellants.

Chicagoist is thinking that maybe these new pigeons are the 1,500 homing pigeons, famous for their ability to find their way home, that mysteriously went missing in a Swedish race! Ok.. most likely not. Ok.. not at all.

Chicagoist doesn't particularly like pigeons. One or two near us are ok, but one or two hundred creep us out. But we don't condone inhumanely killing them either. Not feeding pigeons is the most humane way to control their populations.. and a word to all the pigeon lovers who like to feed them: We hope you like rats too. Rats feed on pigeon waste so feeding the pigeons is feeding the rats, and rats will also eat the food put out for the pigeons (basically rats eat anything). We also hope you don't mind giving your money to the city because feeding pigeons is a violation of a city ordinance and you can get a $500 fine for it.