Feral pigeons are a generally grey with slightly glistening feathers on the neck that shine pink and green in the sunlight. Coloration is very variable with some individuals being white, others brownish-red, some grey and many mixtures.
Signs of infestation:
Feral pigeons are widely distributed and are frequently found in large flocks in cities and built up areas. Much of the damage caused by pigeons arises from their infestation of buildings. Heavy fouling occurs at the places where the birds roost, such as monuments and large buildings with ledges. This is not only unsightly, but has a destructive effect, as the acidic droppings will erode the stonework over time. Gutters and down pipes often become blocked, leading to localised flooding and associated problems. The nest becomes more substantial with each brood raised.
They roost together in buildings or on walls or statues.
When disturbed, a pigeon in a group will take off with a noisy clapping sound. This helps inform the other pigeons that there is danger present.
Pigeons are excellent fliers and can reach speeds of up to 50mph.
They are capable of rapid dives and changes in direction and most of the time will easily out manoeuvre a bird of prey such as a sparrowhawk.
Diseases carried by feral pigeons:
Feral pigeons carry many diseases that are harmful to man, many more than the brown rat and yet people would not normally dream of feeding rats! The best known disease passed from birds to man is Psittacosis but over 40 more diseases can be passed from feral pigeon to humans, including potentially infectious diseases such as salmonella, tuberculosis and ornithosis.