By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
STRABURG -- Pigeons may lose some of their favorite roosting spots in downtown Strasburg.
An effort began recently to cut down on the amount of bird droppings left on town sidewalks.
"There's nothing sanitary about it either," Keith Henry, owner and operator of Valley Animal Removal and Prevention, said Friday. "People don't even want to walk up and down the street, which makes it kinda bad."
The birds perch under the second- and third-story balconies of numerous properties along King Street. While they perch, they drop waste on the sidewalks, at times creating a layer of waste a quarter of an inch thick. The town has sent workers to clean the droppings from the sidewalks using power washers or other means. However, the birds return to their roost and again the droppings accumulate.
Henry stood on a ladder in front of the former Flower Basket installing measures under the second-story balcony meant to prevent birds from perching. He strung pieces of fishing line between screws over places birds often perch, such as pipes or other parts of the wooden structure. Later he plans to install wire as a more permanent prevention method "to discourage them from wanting to land up there," he said.
"This seems to be kinda the worst spot," Henry said.
Henry recalled seeing workers power washing the sidewalks, so he talked to town officials who referred him to the property owner. Henry met with the property owner and came to an agreement as ti where he would install the preventative devices.
As Henry explained pigeons prefer perching on stable spots. Wire doesn't provide a stable place for pigeons. Henry pointed out similar devices installed in the window ledges of a nearby building. Wire is preferable to some methods, such as spikes attached to window ledges or eaves, because it is far less visible, according to Henry.
As Henry installed the devices, several pigeons stood on the balcony above him and the roof of the building next door. Pigeons also roosted in the balconies of a building across the street and nearly a half dozen of the birds circled overhead.