Author Topic: Pigeons endangered?  (Read 1777 times)

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Offline lifo

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Pigeons endangered?
« on: July 11, 2011, 15:47 »
I have noticed that there seem to be far fewer pigeons in Wpg. than there used to be. The last few trips downtown I have been watching for them in the locations where I used to see them and I noticed that many of their roosting/nesting areas have been removed from bldgs. Overhanging eaves have been removed on some bldgs. and the eaves covered with metal panels on others. Then I started to wonder about food for the pigeons and realized that as we have revamped our rail transportation system, grain cars (railroad) in particular we have removed what was the major source of food for pigeons, not only in the cities, but in almost every small town that had a grain elevator. The old wooden grain cars used to leak a lot of grain, especially in the rail yards where the cars were shunted, and cleaned.

Every rail line through our cities used to have abandoned, open buildings where the birds could roost and safely raise their young. These bldgs. were close to a major source of food. These are quickly being razed or converted for other uses, such as the Forks.

Modern buildings are not conducive for birds nesting on them. Most modern office buildings and even light industrial buildings don't have eaves that are open. A favorite roosting area for pigeons.

Many old abandoned houses are being razed for new development.

These changes, if I am correct in my assumptions, could have a major impact on the Falcon Restoration Project.

Questions: How many pigeons are there in Wpg. and is their population really on the decline as I suspect, or have they just relocated out of the downtown area.? How is this impacting the Falcon Restoration Project?


Offline Rose

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Re: Pigeons endangered?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 16:16 »
Lifo, perhaps we could send some of the Brandon Pigeons to Winnipeg,it seems as if we have an ever increasing number.Our falcons here (Brandon) much prefer any other bird to a pigeon example Sora Rails (lots),black billed Cuckoos,Yellow Headed Black birds, Kildeer, Blue Jays, other unrecognized Shore birds, Flickers, and even small ducks(blue winged teal). Have seen very few body parts of Pigeons lying around the building.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: Pigeons endangered?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 16:34 »
Interesting question Lifo.  Actually pigeons are not traditional food for peregrines, they prefer the species Rose listed at the Radisson too.  But its a bit like having a 7-11 nearby, you would prefer to have a home-made smoothie, but 7-11 is closeand you don't mind having a Slurpee since its quick and you have to take the dog for a walk anyway.

Seriously though, if the pigeons disappeared, the peregrines would rely more on the other species around town - generally pigeon size or larger as smaller really don't have enough on them to make the labour cost-efficient.   It would probably mean more time spent at the water treatment facilities, along the river and at nearby marshes.  The U of M birds used to dine most frequently on gulls, so perhaps the gull population would take a bit of a hit.

Do I really thing that pigeon numbers will decline so much that the peregrines would be greatly impacted?  I'm inclined to say no just because pigeons are very efficient breeders - start early, end late and do it often.

I have always found this Wikipedia entry to be pretty all encompassing - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Pigeon

Offline carly

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Re: Pigeons endangered?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 16:36 »
Here in Toronto, they've found new places to nest.  Our buildings are mostly glass and steel and concrete where I work and the pigeons nest in the under ground parking garages underground!  Then they fly out following the cars and sit outside on the hydro wires and any lower rooftops they find or up high on top of the towers.

They also nest on people's balconies and in planters too!

I suspect they just find new places and adjust - kind of like the pefa did with all the cliffs eroding and deteriorating..now a high rise is a cliff replacement.

ps: I've read that pigeons reproduce 6 times a year!!

Offline lifo

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Re: Pigeons endangered?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2011, 16:50 »
I started a new thread under Manitoba Peregrines, Other Raptor/Birding Stuff. I hope that is the right place to put it. I asked the question, "Are pigeons becoming endangered" and would enjoy a discussion on the topic. I invite all of you who have been around much longer than I and who know much, much more on the subject to join in with your comments.

Perhaps this topic has been discussed before. If so please point me to the thread.

Thanks.

Wow, the efficient folks around here already found the thread and answered my questions. Thanks for that.
phil
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 16:57 by lifo »

Offline lifo

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Re: Pigeons endangered?
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 16:57 »
Ah, great information, thanks. I had always thought that pigeons were their preferred species, I guess because when I was in Vancouver I had an office in Granville Square and we had peregrines on the building. The only birds I saw them eat were pigeons. They actually brought a few of them to the ledge outside my office window.

Thanks for the quick replies.

Offline Leana

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Re: Pigeons endangered?
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2011, 18:58 »
 But its a bit like having a 7-11 nearby, you would prefer to have a home-made smoothie, but 7-11 is closeand you don't mind having a Slurpee since its quick and you have to take the dog for a walk anyway.


LOL! Good one TPC! Still giggling from this statement!!!   ;D

On the same note, whatever Cade had for breakfast on the ledge this morning sure looked pretty big in size!  Guess Ivy got tired of bringing home slurpees... ;D

Offline lifo

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Re: Pigeons endangered?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 16:33 »
Quote
Guess Ivy got tired of bringing home slurpees... Grin
lol