Natures Corner

Intelligence in animals in nature, our backyards, and our homes!

December 14, 2007

Another sad Pigeon Story; this one from England

Post-mortem tests carried out by a government laboratory show pigeons in Trafalgar Square are starving to death, according to a campaign group.


The Veterinary Laboratories Agency examined five corpses and found them to be in "poor bodily condition" and the "gizzard of all birds was empty".

Pigeon Action Group (PAG) says a ban on feeding the birds, introduced by mayor Ken Livingstone in 2003, is to blame.

The mayor's office said measures to reduce pigeon numbers were humane.

The whole story continues stating it's an Agonising death.

Posted by sue at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2007

More Pigeon Info, from Maggie Wright

The New York City pigeons are in great need of your support and prayers. There is a movement afoot in the city government to make it illegal to feed a pigeon. Specifically, Democrat Councilman Simcha Felder wants to fine anyone who feeds a pigeon $1000.

Pigeons are descendants of the Rock Dove that lived in cliffs along with the seagulls, gannets, puffins and seals in northern Britain (among other places). They nested in cliff cubby holes to raise their young. Today’s pigeons do well in cities because living in the nooks and crannies of tall city buildings instinctively replicates how their ancestors lived.

Pigeons are not our enemy. Over the years, they have helped humankind by carrying messages across war lines in World War II, as well as carrying blood samples between hospitals and laboratories. Their likeness is used as the image of the Holy Spirit in Christianity today.

Pigeons are gentle, intelligent animals. They have lived peacefully with fellow New Yorkers (and other people in other cities) for eons. They are not overly disease-ridden: there have not been any New Yorker epidemics from them over the years. They are NOT “rats with wings.” They are some of the ONLY remaining nature that New Yorkers have left. They should be treated humanely.

There have been many suggested ideas by more rational people than Mr. Felder, such as pigeon expert Andrew Blechman. The link to his article in the New York Times is below:

For the past few months, I have been infuriated to read about the illegal netting and trapping of pigeons that has been done in New York City by THUGS ……and no one in the city government has seemed to do a thing about it. These birds were either sold for food…..or WORSE! They were sent to “pigeon shoots” to be used as “real pigeons” as opposed to “clay pigeons!” I remember reading about the horrible Pennsylvania pigeon shoots where the birds were released in the air to be shot for target practice. If they were not dead, some of the spectators were known go KICK and STOMP on the wounded birds until they died. AND some of these spectators were children!!!! What are we teaching them???? What is wrong with us????

And now we want to starve them?

If you care about the pigeons, please send a note to Mayor Bloomberg of New York City to resolve this issue with the pigeons in a more humane manner. For more information, you may refer to the links below. (People for Pigeons web site) (New York Bird Club BLOG)

Thank you & Blessings,
Maggie Wright
Creator, Nature’s Corner Magazine

Posted by sue at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2007

Support NY Pigeons!

From the New York Bird Club: (Read their Blog)

Rally: Friday, November 30 - (noon - 1)

Please show your support of pigeons and their right to peacefully exist in our City by opposing Councilman Simcha Felder's proposal to fine anyone $1,000 for giving a hungry pigeon a crumb of food, by attending the rally on Friday, November 30 from noon to 1 pm. Please bring signs and banners in opposition to the proposed Bill.


Where: Steps of City Hall, 131 Duane Street between Chambers and Vesey Streets, Manhattan.

Transportation: Subway 4,5 to Brooklyn Bridge; R,W to City Hall; A,C, 2,3 to Fulton Hall.

Need Directions?

Please also Visit People for Pigeons for more info.

Posted by sue at 07:15 AM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2007

Pigeon Netting been going on for years...

Here is a news story from 2004!

The reports are usually the same: around dawn, near a city park or plaza, two men jump out of a van, the license plate often concealed with tape. They toss a handful of seeds, and when pigeons descend, they swipe the birds up in a net.

''We've been getting calls about this for years,'' said Mark MacDonald, a 32-year veteran with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York. He is also the organization's main pigeon expert.

Once captured, the pigeons are then driven to Pennsylvania, investigators believe, and sold to private gun clubs for use in live bird shooting.

''We never got enough evidence to go after the people moving the pigeons within the state and across state lines,'' said Clayton Hulsizer, a retired Pennsylvania A.S.P.C.A. officer who spent three years working under cover investigating the traffic in pigeons. ''But it was common knowledge that New York City played a role when it came to the supply side for the pigeons.''

Though accounts of the nettings seem to teeter on the edge of urban lore, the rare witnesses to the thefts swear by them.

One woman from the Upper East Side said that in the last six months she has seen netters on several occasions next to the East River on the jogging path near 76th Street. ''One of the guys looked at me staring at him and said, 'Keep walking lady, just keep walking,''' she said. Edwin, a Bronx pet store owner who breeds homing pigeons and asked that his last name not be used out of fear for his business, said the netters had been around as long as he could remember. ''Actually,'' he said, ''they're called hoopers because they use hoop-shaped hand-held nets.''

To most New Yorkers, street pigeons -- winged rats, they are sometimes called -- do not evoke either great affection or urgent concern. But no one disputes that pigeons have it hard enough without the threat of being captured and killed.

Crammed into a concrete jungle, the birds navigate a perilous world of electrified ledges, predatory hawks, rooftop glue traps and millions of disdaining pedestrians.

But they do have rights -- unlike privately owned homing and racing pigeons that usually live in rooftop coops, street pigeons -- which pigeon breeders call clinkers -- are considered property of the state, and it is illegal to harm them. And they do have their defenders, some of whom have been consumed with ending the illicit trade conducted by the netters.

''The negative attitudes toward these beautiful creatures are ridiculous,'' said Al Streit, founder of Pigeon People, a group of 20 organizing members with a 300-person e-mail list. The group, which meets once a month, works to remind the public that pigeons are just like any other bird, he said. Their waste ''is no dirtier than the sparrows','' he said. ''So why the discrimination?'' ...

The world and workings of the netters remain murky. Nobody seems to know of any arrests. The vans and trucks that many insist transport the birds and deliver them to the gun clubs have not been stopped.

''The problem has been that the nettings occur in 15 seconds or less,'' said Mr. MacDonald, of the New York A.S.P.C.A.

But Don Bailey, a part-time truck driver who often transports birds, says the trade exists. Until 1999, Pennsylvania was home to the Hegins Pigeon Shoot, one of the oldest and most heavily attended annual shooting events in the country. The shoot attracted more than 5,000 spectators for Labor Day weekend and often left an estimated 6,000 pigeons dead. Mr. Bailey said he was one of the truckers who provided birds for the Hegins shoot.

''Some guys moved them from Philly and New York City, but I never did,'' he said. Mr. Bailey said that all of the pigeons he shipped to Hegins came from teenage farm boys in Pennsylvania who gather up the birds from barns and granaries and sell them for a dollar or two each.

The Hegins shoot was ended after years of pressure from animal rights advocates, but live shoots still exist in private gun clubs around Pennsylvania.

And Mr. Bailey said he did not think, in truth, that grabbing pigeons in New York for use in the shoots was such a bad idea.

''Thinning out the population in New York City is a good thing, right?'' he asked.

Some people, obviously, think not.

Anna Kugelmas is the director of the New York Companion Bird Club, a group with 60 members. Ms. Kugelmas started her group because she was tired of people yelling at her every time she threw seeds on the street, she said. In New York City, feeding pigeons in public areas is legally considered littering.

''Loving pigeons can be a pretty lonely affection in this city,'' she said.

She has a point: of the approximately 300 pigeon-related calls to 311 per month, city data shows, roughly half are complaints about people feeding them. The other half are complaints about the birds' feces.

''The city has plenty of places to call if you want them removed or killed, but nowhere to call if you want them helped because one has a broken wing,'' said Margaret, a member of the club who spoke on the condition that her last name not be used.

Several people devoted to rescuing and healing injured or stranded pigeons say that more ought to be done and that there needs to be more oversight by the government when it comes to pigeons.

''There is a real lack of policy when it comes to urban wildlife,'' said Johanna Clearfield, director of the Urban Wildlife Coalition, a group that does what it can for squirrels, sparrows and pigeons in New York City.

Ms. Kugelmas agreed. ''If Bernard Goetz can be the city's main squirrel rehabber, which he is, then you know there is a real void here,'' she said, referring to the man who shot four teenagers on a subway train in 1984.

But for pigeon advocates, the netters remain a top concern, and some lament that no one is bold enough to take them on.

There is, though: Bird Operations Busted.

''We're the hard-core part of the pigeon movement,'' said Bob, who asked that his last name not be used but who is the founder of Bird Operations Busted, an organization that has about 15 members.

''Our aim is to unveil the mafia of netters,'' he said in hushed tones, seated in an Upper West Side cafe.

The first challenge, he said, involves surveillance. Members of the group have disposable cameras in case they happen upon a netter in action, he said. The group has also installed hidden video cameras at several spots in Manhattan.

Gordon King, 71, a retired lawyer who is working pro bono for the group, said that the goal was to collect evidence and eventually compel state officials to investigate illegal nettings.

But Bob acknowledges it will not be easy.

The wireless video cameras that the group uses are expensive, he said. Their installation in public spaces requires discretion.

The group is also collecting a paper archive of witness accounts of netting sightings from across the city, complete with license plate numbers and descriptions of suspects, he said.

''Sometimes,'' Bob said, ''you have to do a lot to get the smallest injustices corrected.''

Posted by sue at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2007

Pigeon Netting in NYC

~Sue Note: Maggie Wright, noted author and publisher of Natures Corner alerted me today to this story. I have been unable to find a news story about it.. So lets get the word out there!~

There is a business growing in NYC where people are netting pigeons and then selling them for food or pigeon shoots. It is against the law for anyone except the Dept of health to capture birds in NYC. The group is trying to get the DA involved. First, the people need to be photographed and the world needs to know this HORRIBLE thing is going on.

Pigeons are netted in more and more areas. Only in my neighborhood today I saw a warning posted that netters are here. Thank you to whomever posted that.

From the correspondence I have received and being realistic, it will be difficult to stop them, unfortunately. It is a lucrative business and easy pickings.

We need to make an effort and become very vocal about this and let people know what is going on. Most people do not know!!!!

Let people know the following:
1. Netters are netting in Manhattan and in the five boroughs and beyond. It is a big business and very lucrative, all cash with no taxes being filed.

2. It is against the law to remove pigeons from their habitat. Only the Board of Health can remove pigeons or a license is needed from them.

3. Pigeons are being sold to shooting galleries and restaurants. People may be eating pigeon meat as it is being substituted for quail, squab or even chicken.

Please post all over the internet and DO NOT BE SHY. If you posting is removed, post again.

1. Post on all message boards, websites, blogs, groups, etc.....everywhere!!! The more people know the better for the pigeons!!! And you never know who will see it.

2. Make up fliers - simple ones will be fine. Tell people netters are taking pigeons and selling to restaurants. Tell them it is against the law. Put up in your neighborhood and anywhere you happen to be. You can make up ones that are self sticking like labels.

3. Contact government officials. They may not reply, but if enough people contact them, they will begin to take notice. Keep emailing and calling.

Posted by sue at 09:14 AM | Comments (0)