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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My colleagues and I have received permission from our university to put up an urban pigeon cote for a humane / no-kill pigeon control program, from which we can offer conflict-free housing to the pigeons, centralize and collect their droppings, and replace their eggs with false ones to limit population (see e.g. https://www.animalaid.org.uk/the-issues/our-campaigns/wildlife/case-humane-control-pigeons/; http://www.picasuk.com/area_wide_control.html). This kind of program has already been successfully undertaken in several cities and has proven more effective than lethal pigeon control (see e.g. Haag-Wackernagel, Daniel (1992), Regulation of the Street Pigeon in Basel, Wildlife Society Bulletin 23: 256-260; S. Magnino et al. (2009), Chlamydial infections in feral pigeons in Europe: Review of data and focus on public health implications, Veterinary Microbiology135: 54–67). We’ve received permission to start small with a pilot project of an inconspicuous cote on the roof of a parking garage, and hopefully expand out from there if we can show results (we also have interest in cotes for humane pigeon control for our university’s urban farm and our legislature building and surrounding area).

We’re at the stage of applying for grant funding for our initial pilot cote on the parking garage roof, for which we need a cost estimate – and for that we need a design. We were thinking of putting our cote on the roof of a stairwell on top of the parking garage that seems to offer good shelter and protection (see attached pictures of proposed cote location). I’m also attaching the initial proposed design that our art and design expert drew up. I have experience with my indoor non-releasable companion pigeons; one of my colleagues has experience with rehabbing pigeons for release, building a non-standard cote for someone who wasn’t practicing population control via egg replacement, and historical pigeon cotes; and one of my colleagues has experience with structural design. But none of us have experience with standard contemporary / urban pigeon lofts and the habits of pigeons living such lofts who are able to fly outside.

We thus had several questions, including:

(i) How wide should we make the pop-holes? Is 4” in diameter a good size?

(ii) How big should the nesting areas be? Is 10”x12”x12” (wxhxd) a good size? Also is it good to have walls separating the nesting areas with an open area between the nesting areas and the pop-holes?

(iii) Is it good to have one pop-hole per nesting area? Do we have to worry about it getting too cold (we’re in a place that gets very cold in the winter) if we have too many pop-holes – or insufficient ventilation if it has too few pop-holes? Also do we need to make more holes for ventilation beyond the pop-holes?

(iv) From what we understand it’s common for the pigeons to have an open space to fly from different pop-holes to different nesting areas and from different nesting areas to other nesting areas within the loft. How much space do they need for that? Is it more than 18” on all sides? Considerably more?

(v) Do the pigeons need perches on the outside of the pop-holes and on the inside of the pop-holes too, so they can fly up to them and then get out?

(vi) We had several questions related to when the nesting areas could be cleaned (and if needed when the loft could be moved – since especially for the pilot project we were thinking it might be good to be able to re-locate it to a more public place if the initial pilot is successful). A lot of these revolve around my wondering whether, after replacing eggs with false ones, do outdoor pigeons in lofts abandon the eggs after about 3 weeks (as my indoor pigeons often do)? If they do so do they move to another nesting area in the same loft? (Or is there a concern with them seeking a new nest outside of the loft?). We were thinking that it would be good to have an opening into each nesting area for us to be able to replace the eggs without disturbing the other nests. I don’t know if this is a common design feature with roof-top cotes / lofts; one thing that might be a bit non-standard is that I don’t think we have permission to walk on top of the roof of the stairwell where we’re planning to place the loft, so we’re hoping that we can get all of the work done from a ladder placed next to the loft.

We’d be most grateful for any feedback you could give us on these questions – as well as on our proposed design and idea for placement of the cote more generally. One other thing about the general design – we’re thinking that instead of 4 vertical rows of 4 nesting areas each that we have in the initial design, we may want to opt for 2 rows of 8 nesting areas each (as this might sit more easily into our proposed area of placement).

Thanks so much!
Howard
 

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If you google old pigeon cotes, it will bring up pictures of many old cotes and designs. It shows you the inside of some of them to give you an idea of how they did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Links & Pictures in the Stickies Not Working for Me

Hi all,

The links and pictures in the stickies at the top of this page for the nest boxes & loft designs don't seem to be displaying for me. Can others see them? Can they be fixed? (I'm using google chrome).

Thanks,
Howard
 
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