Hannibal council pigeonholes downtown bird issue as problem
7 months, 2 weeks ago
How best to deal with downtown pigeon problem
The growing number of pigeons circling overhead in downtown Hannibal has ruffled a few feathers. Consequently, what to do about the community's pigeon population was a topic of discussion during Tuesday night's meeting of the City Council.
While Council members agreed that something needs to be done to curb pigeon proliferation, the exact "something" was not as clear cut.
Before making a final decision, the Council wants to learn what the cost will be to hire a team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services to do the job. The group, which is based in Springfield, Ill., uses an assortment of methods to harass pigeons into leaving. Sometimes they will trap birds. The team also utilizes lethal methods of disposal such as pellet guns or, as a last resort, poison.
If the USDA method is used, its personnel would be responsible for the removal of dead birds.
The alternative would be to strictly rely on poison to reduce the flock. That method was utilized years ago when containers filled with toxic feed was set up on a number of downtown rooftops where pigeons frequently feed. The fast-acting poison - Avatrol - literally had pigeons falling from the sky.
"There were hundreds of flailing birds on Broadway when this program last occurred," wrote City Manager Jeff LaGarce in a memo to the Council. "The 'initial hit' is huge, but it only lasts a day or two."