City of Brno Considers Urban Dovecotes To Address Pigeon Overpopulation
Pigeons live in pairs, with a nest box provided for each, as well as perches, feeders, drinkers and underlays for nesting. Photo credit: Brno City Municipality.
Brno, June 15 (BD) – Every large city is dealing with an overpopulation of pigeons, including Brno. They not only pollute public spaces, but their droppings are also dangerous for the surrounding area.
Urban pigeon houses, known as dovecotes, could be the solution to the problem, as a cheap, low-maintenance, humane and effective way to reduce the pigeon population. Plans for a municipal dovecote system were presented at the Brno Mayors’ Assembly on 8 June by the City of Brno’s Department of Water and Forest Management and Department of Agriculture.
“Decreasing the number of pigeons is often carried out by extermination, shooting, or deployment of predators,” said Deputy Mayor of Brno, Jaroslav Suchý (KDU-ČSL). “In my opinion, this is very inhumane, and moreover, it is expensive and is not a long-term effective solution. We therefore gladly accepted the proposal to find out more about the concept of urban pigeon houses.”
The presentation explained how dovecotes function at the Matyáš Koperník Gymnasium in Bílovec. Such pigeon houses have been operating for several decades in parts of Western Europe, where the pigeon population was reduced by 50% with the help of partial egg collection.
Each pigeon house has its own arrangement and system. Pigeons live in pairs, with a nest box provided for each, as well as perches, feeders, drinkers and underlays for nesting.
“The essence of dovecotes is that they offer birds an ideal space to spend time,” said Suchý. “They move about 80% of the day, lay their eggs here, and the droppings stay in place. At the same time, their arrangement is simple. There are several types of pigeon houses – loft, roof, column and tower. Lofts are the most suitable option, because they are affordable and easy to maintain. The estimated price of such a pigeon house is CZK 150,000-200,000, and each one can hold hundreds of pigeons.”
The city is currently investigating the best locations for such pigeon houses to be built. Suchý expects ideas to be proposed by the city districts to whom the concept was presented. “Currently, we are investigating the interest of city districts, and which suitable places they might have for pigeon lofts. We also need to know the minimum number of pigeon houses that would improve the condition of Brno’s streets.” For this, the city needs to calculate the rough pigeon population of the city, thought to be in the thousands.
The main goal of building urban pigeon houses is to reduce the number of pigeons by collecting eggs. “In this way, the city can save money on cleaning, even in the long term. In the final stage, the vitality of the pigeons will also improve and both parties will benefit from this,” said Suchý.