Teenage Mutant Ninja Pigeons

CAVEAT LECTOR: Long rant ahead. The culmination of a few months’ worth of angst and distress.

One is very very deeply anguished to say that one’s balcony has been encroached upon by a family of pigeons. Ok, make that two. Two families of pigeons. You know how many individual pigeons that is? Eight. Yep, 1 Daddy Pigeon, 1 Mommy Pigeon and 2 pesky Baby Pigeons. And then count that all over again. Eight pigeons.

So this is how it started ok. One fine day, I find two pigeons sitting on the top shelf of the balcony. Harmless enough, no pooping or shedding feathers and they used to fly away abruptly if I opened the balcony door too fast. I was actually excited enough to show my friend’s 3 yr old daughter what pigeons look like up close. The kid’s from UK and it seems you don’t see pigeons at their place like this. Lucky them!

Right, so second fine day (kinda on the border of the time when the days stopped being so fine), I see the coconut broom (you know, them brooms made of coconut sticks that you use for wet washing? Cmon! understand!) shredded to bits and all the little bits up on that shelf assembled into a nest. And 4 pigeons. Two nesting, and two standing around doing nothing. Apparently, males of most species follow this trend of being useless at times.

When I saw this whole bunch of pigeons, I freaked out. I told my woes to the maid and she, from her immense wisdom, told me that a pigeon building a nest in the house augurs prosperity. Seems the folks who lived two floors below actually made place in their shelf with cardboard and stuff for pigeons to come and build nests!! Who would’ve thunk! So I lamely consoled myself that I might indeed become more prosperous due to the pigeons and added a smirk to my face thinking about the neighbors below who would be left disappointed that the aforementioned pigeons found my balcony more hospitable than theirs!

The maid was mistaken. Grossly. Four pigeons in your balcony does not bring prosperity to the house. It brings pigeon droppings, pigeon feathers, loads of fluff and sticks, lots of pigeon noises and an unbearable stink (remember the poop?). And when I asked the maid to clean it all up, what did we find? Pigeon babies. Now how can anyone have the heart to throw away pigeon babies?! Not me.

I paid the price for my humane behavior towards pigeon babies. There was even more poop everywhere, even more feathers flying around my balcony and the stink started permeating inside the house. And those gosh-darned babies never grow up! Did you know that? It’s like those people who grow up to be 30 and still live with their parents and refuse to go out! I’d had enough. So I asked the maid to clean it all up anyway and keep the nest on the parapet wall and hope to God that the parent pigeons do something about their babies.

What do you think happened next? The maid placed the nest (with 2 babies, who were not quite babies anymore) on the parapet wall – and the darn things flew! And here I was thinking I’m putting two helpless little pigeon babies out to die!  So all you parents who’re having trouble sending your kids out – chuck them out anyway. They learn. Or they get lost. Either way, good riddance.

I rest in peace for approximately 2 weeks before the onslaught starts again. Remember the other two adult pigeons who didn’t have their babies in my balcony? Well, they came back to do just that. I’m thinking the pigeons have an internal survey kinda thing on whose balcony is most appropriate for laying eggs, hatching them and have the owner help with the pigeon kids learning to fly soon – and mine came out tops. So here I was playing host to the pigeons. AGAIN!

Once bitten, twice shy, right? So I started off with trying to scare the pigeons away. Something I didn’t the last time because hey, I’m humane towards pigeons. Even if they cover my balcony in droppings. First came water. Throw a few cupfuls of water on them and they used to fly away. Only to return 15 mins later when I’m deeply engrossed with my book and/or the TV.

I turned to Google for help, next. Voila, looked like half the world was having pigeons in their balconies! The suggestions to get rid of them ranged from the already tested ‘throw water on them’  to the very labor intensive (for me) ones that involved chicken-wire, glue, pins and other assorted pointed items. The one that seemed easy enough for me to do where these: (a) tie CDs around the place the pigeons generally come to because they don’t like the shining stuff and get scared by them, or (b) add a couple of napthalene balls on the shelf where they nest ‘coz apparently they don’t like their nests smelling good.

(a) Tied CDs around the balcony. The only thing I gained from that is a nice sparkling balcony when seen from outside. And in two days, I found all the CDs down, with the strings torn up. Yep, the pigeons don’t like ’em. But they most definitely were not scared by them!

(b) I was out of napthalene balls, so I did the next best thing that came to my mind – sprayed room freshner. You know the really headachy ones that smell like jasmine? Sprayed it generously on the shelf. Effect? Nothing. The pigeons came back as if nothing had changed about their beloved nest. I went one step further and sprayed it right into their faces. Again, nothing happened! They just flew away and came back a while later!!

I fell back to throwing water. But no, God wouldn’t let me have it so easy now, would He? This one pigeon was sitting so stubbornly on that shelf, that it refused to budge even though it was completely drenched in water! With temperatures in Hyderabad touching 40 deg C, I’m not surprised. But I am surprised why I didn’t think of this before. So, gave up on the water again. But the good thing was, I now realized that the pigeon was actually incubating the eggs. Which was why it refused to move! So what should I do now? Get rid of the eggs! Simple!

Don’t judge me, ok? I’m usually not that heartless. But when one is pushed to the limits (read: threatened by certain illness due to all the poop and the feathers), one comes up with drastic measures. So I confiscated the eggs. The pigeons came back to find the eggs gone. And I was dancing around in joy that I finally got rid of the mutant pigeons. But alas, my joy was very shortlived (approximately 30-45 mins).

The pigeons are back.

Any suggestions on how to get rid of the buggers are most welcome.

 

P.s: Title sounds familiar? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the original. Remember those 4 turtles with different colored head bands and with names of famous painters? Thanks to a brother who used to be a die-hard fan of these turtles.

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36 thoughts on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Pigeons

  1. well, the pegions do look cute and all, but then whn you got ‘attacked’ twice in a row, it kindof makes you do drastic things… if they r making nest in teh shelf, try putting big cardboard box or sumting like that there so that they dont get spac to put up a nest…
    (may be the second pair came coz u made the kiddies of teh first pair fly so early… 😛 )

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  2. Absolutely hilarious as usual…
    This is what comes for being greedy and making fun of male pigeons.. 😛
    Now coming back to your help… ever heard of freaky gizmos that make hell of a lot of noise? or rather those old Radio’s that make terrible noises?? use those… sound should scare them away… especially high frequency whining…
    And last but not the least learn the lesson of the day… don’t make fun of male species… go now and repent thou mortal one…. do some padaseva of ur patidev…

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  3. I came across this post quite randomly. I have lived in Hyderabad and have had this exact same pigeon problem (stupid birds were all over my apartment complex!). I tried almost everything in the book before I hit upon the solution by accident, when I got myself a puppy! That puppy scared the living daylights out those irritating pigeons.

    As a bonus, puppies are way cuter than pigeons 😀

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  4. Anoop – Yeah, I saved one shelf by blocking it with wooden planks..but I have 3 more shelves!! 😦

    Amey – hello..I dont have any means of knowing how old the pigeons are! it just went with the original title for the Turtles 😀

    Vishnu – I didn’t make fun of just male pigeons.. I said ‘males of most species’.. home sapiens is also a species 😉

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  5. Max – Yeah, that’s what I’m doing right now. confiscated the eggs and removed the nest.. lets see if that works permanently..

    Anonymi – Puppy?! iyo, no..I’m not a pet-loving person.. actually I hate animals in the house..so I’d rather live with the pigeons than get a pet! 🙂 welcome to TP, btw.

    Me – I read that post..looks like her problem is more serious than mine.. I mean, she used canons?! 😉

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  6. :)) ROFL. beautiful and hilarious description, as usual. we have the same problem too, since years. there are pigeons in everyone’s balconies in our apartment. sometimes, they walk around in the house as if they just bought it from us. its sometimes tiresome, but we have learnt to live amidst nature. nothing helped.

    btw, i cant believe you did a google search for that!!! :O

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  7. Pingback: Pigeon trouble | DesiPundit

  8. Lol. You write so beautifully!!
    But I agree, I live in Mumbai and I had the same problem. Except that my maid actually had to touch one of the baby pigeons who was trying to nibble her hand away. You know what the pigeons think of people touching their babies!!
    Hubby decided to get a net installed. It is green, which is a plus for me. It has holes large enough to chuck water balloons through but not big enough for the damn pigeons to get in!! Its usually available in hardware store in different colors 🙂

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  9. God bless Desipundit.
    Had I purely relied on the net and its randomness, I may have never encountered your blog in my whole lifetime (sniff sniff…. :D)

    The Jasmine part made me giggle!

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  10. Really good post..
    Hmm..same problem here..me being in hostel. Pigeons come into the room trough the window/balcony; make their nests in the shelf. Can’t understand why it is me always discover it late. I changed my room many times too.

    Last time they did that. I closed by balcony door/window permanently and threw the nest things out.

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  11. PI – my problem was that serious, PI!! 😦 those buggers were ruining the entire balcony! and I was really worried ‘coz I read that pigeons actually cause more infection than even rats!!!! scary no?

    Priyanka – Thank you! 🙂 we thought of the net too, but we kept that as the last option.. didn’t want to forego the airy balcony as far as possible 🙂 welcome to TP.

    Arvind – Amen to that! 🙂 That jasmine room freshner was awful..we used it once and had to air the house completely to get rid of the smell! welcome to TP, btw.

    Naren – A nest inside the house?! that’s worse! Hope the pesky birds stay out.. 🙂

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  12. ROTFL.
    Okay, sorry. you asked advise. what u’ll get in return is empathy (that’s quite a bargain, i tell you). This blog is a godsend, almost. I needed to vent my pigeon frustrations anyways. 😀 we’ve got a colony of pigeons taking shelter in two shafts adjacent to two bathrooms. and they keep on making all sorts of noises, smells, feather-balls, and what not (babies, too, yes, but thankfully they’re all in the shafts).

    and i swear i’m not making this up, but last week i woke up after a dream where pigeons had broken up those glass plates that adorn bathroom windows — you know those things that rotate. and i was out on a killing spree. okay, i lied. i woke up after killing the first pigeon. no i’m not violent otherwise (especially not to birds/animals — only humans). but these stupid birds can really really bug you.

    i’ll watch this place for more interesting suggestions that i can try with the healthy population in the shafts. i’m hoping i don’t have to use the red indian darts/those air-guns to kill some of these before they turn me completely insane with their constant wing flapping (why don’t they go somewhere? i mean flapping wings is supposed to be done for “going” somewhere. anywhere?).

    world’s no 1 pigeon hater,
    asuph

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  13. I’m commiserating in the hope that you believe misery loves company. Sorry, no solution, though. We had lots of pigeons, they went away recently for a few days, we rejoiced, they are back.

    We also have a thriving bee hive which comes back with unfailing regularity in the same spot – hangs like a Damocles’ sword over the entry arch into our apt building – even after we employ measures to make them go away.

    We had a monkey visiting us and it was welcomed as “Hanuman has come to our house”. No problem that Hanuman can be violent or diseased and have people going nuts/catatonic with fear. We also have several stray dogs taking up residence now and then till one or the other of the (in)human residents decides to spirit them away because they disrupt and dirty the building and howl throughout the night.

    Humane vs human is a big, big problem!

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  14. Nikhil – 😦 unfortunately, yes. God Google is merciless!

    Asuph – welcome to the club 😦 although I’m glad these birds haven’t entered my dreams yet..now that would be the last straw! 😉

    Anon – Antony Bourdain eats anything and everything! 😉 but you know what? if you see the kind of crap these birds sit on you’d lose your appetite to eat any food at all!

    SRA – Wow, pigeons, bees, monkeys and dogs? tough luck! btw, for the bees, once you remove the hive, re-paint that portion of the wall – we had that same problem and re-painting solved it. If not repaint, atleast spray some strong smelling stuff there, it helps a lot. It’s been 2 yrs now and no bees (though they do build those hives in the upper floors)

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  15. Hi,
    Back to your blog after a loooong time. Hope to catch up now 🙂
    And hey, we had the same problem here as well. Mother confiscated the eggs-just as you did and the problem seemed to be done with. It was a little heartless but then had to be done, as you say, taking into account the long term effects 🙂
    And good to know you’re supporting the Chennai Super Kings as of now 🙂 They just won a match now:) The Chargers beat us the last match though 😦 Seems VVS being out of the team is good for the side. Gilchrist is doing a fine job.

    Sathej

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  16. Aah, now that’s a load off my mind. I mean, at least this does not go against our culture and all.

    So, got any pigeon-proof methods? Covering the balcony with a mesh might work 😉

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  17. Lovely writing as always. I know how bothersome it can be , have had similar experience in Mumbai. I hope here ends your tryst with pigeons.

    ‘Apparently, males of most species follow this trend of being useless at times.’ Lolz, Btw thanks for being charitable and adding “at times” , even if it was as an after thought, lol.

    Wonderful read.

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  18. Exactly. I got mine coming in from the bathroom window and nesting in the loft, so I had the feather-poop-smell benefits *inside* the house.
    So I started closing the batchroom door.
    And every night, semiconscious in sleep, I would walk through the dark passage and dead silence, open the door to take a leak, switch on the light, and two pigeons would *explode* in my face.
    I lost several years off my life there in that single incident.

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  19. Hi,Highly interesting pigeon bhagao ideas.but if you are ready to spend some money you get detachable wired grills of plastics try that to cover your balcony.

    Byeeeee……………

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  20. Sathej – Hey! long time! 🙂 and about IPL, I’ve lost hope for DC after Gilly himself said he has no hopes of reaching the semis 😦

    Himesh (??!!) – Well, if it’s those songs, chances are we’ll be going out of the house leaving the pigeons to enjoy the sound of music 😉

    Amey – the mesh is the only way out now I think.. but I’m gonna try the water-throwing a bit longer and see if it helps. 😦

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  21. Ganesh – thank you 🙂 I have to cover my back when making generic statements about the male community right? 😉

    RustyN – Hey! 🙂 yeah I know.. but work keeps me away from the blog at times.. 😦

    Princess – Peach and cream bathroom? And here I was thinking ‘Princess’ is just a name you decided to call yourself! who knew you actually were one! 😉

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  22. Ashish – What is it with pigeons and bathrooms?! Maybe I should just be glad it’s my balcony and not my bathroom 🙂

    Alpesh – yeah, looks like covering the balcony is the only thing left to do.. but I so hate a covered balcony 😦

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  23. Ya, DC, RC and MI are really languishing at the bottom now. Hmm….Chennai is doing ok, but they are badly missing the Aussies – Hayden and Hussey.
    Sathej

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  24. This idea of covering the balcony is temporary as after a few days the pigeons will automatically know that there is no point coming and then you are free to open the covers……….

    We don’t need to hurt them but to stop them Intelligently

    Bye…………:)

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  25. Pingback: Thank you, Blogsville! « uniquely priya

  26. I love pigeons i have 50 or more of them u r all really meen asbout them if u got to know them they would be ok like i hate cats i wish they all just go away but i cnt kill them so y hud u kill the piegeons i love pigeons so ha x

    You have 50 pigeons?!!! BTW, can you show me one place in the post where I’ve said I wanted to kill them or even wanted them dead? And if you love pigeons so much, well, good for you! 🙂

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  27. if you want the pigeon to go away do this put a cat alarm there it irates there ears and the will go hurting pigeons isnt going to hep you if you hurt that pigeon more will come i am a really good with pigeons puit things on your balcony ok

    I found an eaiser way! I jus kept driving them out (pouring water, mostly) whenever I saw them. And whaddya know, 4th week straight, no pigeons!

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