“Planned Pigeonhood” in Waikiki

Pigeons in WaikikiIf you’ve been fortunate enough to visit the beautiful island of Hawaii you’ve probably visited Honolulu.  And if you’ve visited Honolulu that means you’ve probably been to Waikiki.  And if you’ve been to Waikiki that means you’ve seen the pigeons (a.k.a. rock doves).

Lovely birds, as special as any living creature, but not very popular with the tourists.

Hawaii is a common destination for Alaskans in the winter.  With an almost total lack of sunshine from November to February we pledge to ourselves that this winter we are getting out!  Hopefully it happens.  And there is nary a more direct route to full-on sunshine then the quick five or so hours from Anchorage to Honolulu.

Pigeon missing footThe pigeon on the very left is looking pretty mangy (click on the photo to see it larger).  There are so many pigeons in Waikiki, with no natural predators anywhere in sight, that they over breed and become a danger to themselves and people.  The photo on the right shows another pigeon from Waikiki, this one missing a foot and walking around a restaurant hunting for food scraps and somehow managing to avoid being clobbered.

So when I saw this posting by the Human Society about OvoControl, a contraceptive-laced food that property owners can feed pigeons, I was thrilled.  It describes how the manager of The International Marketplace, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Waikiki, chose to take a chance on the product and saw a 60% reduction in pigeons after 12 months. (It costs $9 a day to feed/treat 100 pigeons.)

Talk about an ideal non-violent and humane solution!  Maybe this will catch on in communities that are fed up with the overpopulation of this city-loving bird.

8 responses

  1. We have pigeons but fortunately not an overpopulation.

    March 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    • That’s good to hear. I don’t consider ours here in Fairbanks to be an overpopulation problem either but I bet some would disagree with me. Some people just hate pigeons no matter what.

      March 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm

  2. Sharon Holdinghausen

    We are planning our first trip to Hawaii at the end of the year and I am looking forward to seeing all the different birds, plants, fish…. I also heard that there are alot of chickens running around.

    March 25, 2013 at 4:36 am

  3. What a wonderful solution. We have mourning doves here. They’re sweet things. No pigeons (yet). I’ve heard them called ‘flying rats.’ Their excrement has a special ingredient that quickly rots metal. One reason alone for shooing them away from buildings.

    May 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm

  4. I grew up in London. Loads of pigeons there, but few are as attractive as the ones you’ve caught here. I quite enjoyed walking around among them. The only real downside is a risk of getting, ah, ‘bombed’.

    For a long time I referred to pigeons as ‘rats on wings’. And then, quite recently, I learnt — sorry, can’t recall where — that ‘studies have shown’ that pigeons are no more likely to be pest carriers than any other beastie.

    I find it sad that too many pigeons are considered such a nuisance that people would take such measures, and can’t help thinking that the real scourge of this planet (homo fatuus brutus, on its way to 8 billion individuals, and still climbing) could do with a hefty dose of the same medicine.

    March 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm

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