Monday, May 21, 2012

Social engineering doesn't work on pigeons.

I have some uninvited houseguests -- The feathered, cooing kind -- bunking down in the eavestroughs and soffits on the south side of My home.  The eaves are slated for repairs this year, but in the meantime I'm trying to figure out how to evict these dulcet-toned squatters without resorting to something drastic and/or lethal.

So, as I am the kind of Goddess who thinks pigeons would be Real Cute If Only They Weren't So Messy and Destructive, I'm trying the holistic approach.

To wit:  How do I, Astreja K., go about convincing a clan of pigeons that the eaves of My house are not a good place to raise their young?

Well, the obvious answer (to Me, anyway) was "Try to sound like something that eats pigeons."

So I started out by making skittery noises up and down the wall with a pair of rubber gloves, trying to evoke images of a really, really hungry rodent that eats pigeon eggs in mass quantities.

That shut the pigeons up for, oh, maybe 30 seconds.

Then I remembered that pigeons allegedly have an aversion to owls, and occasionally to plastic scare owls.  Rather than installing an owl-shaped hunk of plastic on the roof, I gave a hoot or two to see what would happen.

The pigeons quieted down; then I heard them muttering to one another:

"'Zat an owl?"

"Nah; it's that weird lady who stands on the back stairs at midnight and yells "Kittens!  Greyscale!  Waaaalter!"

I think they're on to Me.  But I'm not ready to dial 1-800-DED-BOID just yet.

1 comment:

Astreja said...

I received the following e-mail from a family member who doesn't have a Google account, and am posting it on his behalf:

"Time travelling in reverse through TSG, my eardrums fill with pigeons. Here's some sound advice, so to speak, derived from the wisdom of a culture thousands of years old, in the islands of Nippon. Pigeons are warded off there by hanging flat, round, inflated balloons with targets painted on them. Perhaps this approach works because pigeons fear becoming identified with targets. (Or, they're averse to being replaced by one such entity, after reflecting upon the fate of the subsidiary of Baie James' much larger western sibling?)"

Oh, an update on My pigeon problems: The eavestrough-installing crew scared them all away, so the plumbing stack in the bathroom no longer reverberates with cooing.

All the better to hear the red squirrels giggling and trash-talking whenever a cat goes by... *heavy sigh*