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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

For a few years up until last year, I had pigeons nesting under my fire escape right outside my kitchen window. When I say "under" the fire escape, I mean in the space between the fire escape and the roof of the garage, which sticks out under my fire escape, creating about a foot of clearance. Because I had a cat (and her littermates lived next door, also on the same fire escape), I put a type of plastic grass out there to cover the slats. This results in a perfect habitat for a pigeon nest. People can't see it, and it's sheltered from the weather.

Then, without warning, a neighbor complained about the pigeons in this lightwell and the next one over, so the landlord hired a company that covered the access from the sky with a mesh one day. They put a zipper in the top of the mesh so that, in case of fire, we could climb up to the roof (four stories high) and, hanging off a vertical ladder with one hand, unzip this mesh overhead with the other.

I Don't Think So!

Not to mention, the day they put this stuff in they trapped two pigeons in the lightwells with no exit. I finally got them out through a gate, but they were very panicky and it took hours.

Then, for a few weeks after that, they would sit on the roof and look down like "But ... but ... but... I *live* down there!"

So I ratted the landlord out to the Fire Department which - after three calls - apparently finally came and inspected the mesh and said it wasn't legal. Mostly because, the Fire Department needs unimpeded access FROM - and TO - the roof in case of an emergency, and this mesh was a barrier to that.

I found out that the mesh was gone because one day last month I heard a fluttering of wings outside, and saw a shadow, and it seemed AWFULLY close. Then I checked and saw the mesh was gone. The pidgies know a good thing when they see it - they immediately moved back in!

One day last week I was standing by a car in the carport, with a view down the breezeway that connects the two lightwells, and I saw a pigeon flying back and forth from my fire escape to the one on the far lightwell (he had to fly down a tunnel-like walkway to get between them). He went back and forth forever, until I startled him accidentally and he dropped to the ground, motionless, and I saw he had a twig in his beak! He was headed for my fire escape so I figure he had started nesting in the far one, but mine is better (because of the artificial grass).

Anyway, just now I opened my kitchen window - which I never open, the cat is not allowed out there anymore - and I lifted up the astroturf to peek and see if there was a nest. Well, I startled a grown pigeon who flew up instantly to the third floor. And before I went back in, I peeked quickly and there are two eggs!

I know that after they were evicted from my side, a nesting pair tried to nest on the other side of the building which was a really bad location because (a) the fire escapes are over a busy driveway and (b) unlike on my side, there is no garage sticking out underneath them to create a nice safe space - they are hanging over the air. So they were trying to nest ON the fire escapes (right outside people's windows) as opposed to UNDER them as they are on my side.

Anyway I had to shoo them away twice on the other side, because both locations they picked were unsafe for them and for their babies. And it only took throwing one thing up at them to make them abandon a location FOREVER. So I hope by startling this pidgie, I haven't made him/her abandon his nest. Suffice it to say, I won't be going out there or opening my window again.

Oh, and in more good news, there was a woman in the neighboring building who HATED pigeons, and last year a family nesting outside her apartment met with a bad fate. Not directly due to her, but she wasn't at all sorry. I see she has moved out!!!
 

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So I ratted the landlord out to the Fire Department which - after three calls - apparently finally came and inspected the mesh and said it wasn't legal.

GOOD for you! Geesh the things that people """think'''' they can get away with just amaze me!!!:confused:

She will be back, after she realizes that she is not being watched.... She is just waiting for the "coast is clear" sign....;)
 

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That's wonderful! You could trick them and replace the eggs with wooden ones. Might keep the neighbors happy.
 

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Great news...and I'm glad the heffer moved, too !
 

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one of the most misunderstood animals in the world is the pigeon,companies make millions annually exterminating them,..even if you own your own home,neighbors can complain to the city will respond in kind,...i wish people could be better educated about these magnificent creatures,but i fear few will convert to bird lovers,..your pigeons will live in constant danger of extermination,,once spotted by the public,,it is shameful that the animal (human)cannot realize their own destruction,..i am pleased they give you such pleasure,but you have an uphill battle,..best of luck/give them hell,..sincerely james waller
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everybody for the good wishes. I know pigeons have an uphill battle in an urban environment but for now, their footprint is small and they have picked an absolutely ideal spot to nest. They are not at risk from predators, they are sheltered from the elements, and best of all, they are out of view of the residents of the building. It's only when they fly in or out that anybody would notice them.

Because they're nesting, they're busy and they don't hang out on the fire escape, just UNDER it outside my window with the nest.

I did peek again - bad me - but I was very gentle and slow this time. One of the parents flew up in alarm but I talked "pretty" to him and he hung out looking at me from one flight up, then to my surprise, flew back down and went under the fire escape. I was stuffing this nest material through the bars in hopes they might use it. Anyway, he (she) was clucking maternally, I've never heard noises like that before, and went right back to the nest. I had lifted up a nearby piece of astroturf but left the nest covered.

So, I keep my kitchen window closed, but every time I'm in there I look out at the fire escape and smile mentally at my little family that I know is safe and secret out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi all, what is the incubation period for pigeon eggs? The eggs were there as of June 24th when I first posted on this thread (possibly earlier) - and they're still not hatched. The parent(s) are still sitting on the nest. So, it's been 10 days since I first saw the eggs.
 

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Hi all, what is the incubation period for pigeon eggs? The eggs were there as of June 24th when I first posted on this thread (possibly earlier) - and they're still not hatched. The parent(s) are still sitting on the nest. So, it's been 10 days since I first saw the eggs.
Incubation time is about 18 days ..

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmmm, I don't think the eggs are going to hatch. It has now been at least 20 days since I saw the eggs, and they were laid possibly several days before that. I just peeked out and there is nobody sitting on the eggs. Do they sit on the eggs round the clock while they are incubating?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I think I can officially declare that the two eggs are not going to hatch. I spotted them on June 24th - they could have been laid a few days earlier, and since they generally lay eggs a couple of days apart, one of them is at least 29 days old and the other is at least 31 days old . With an 18-19 day incubation period, these are duds.

They're still out there, and the birds are still coming and going from that location. Should I remove them from the nest? It would be difficult to do so since they are very close to my window underneath a 3 foot wide fire escape. I'd have to stand on the fire escape and then put something under it and roll them out somehow. Trying not to destroy the nest in the process.
 

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We had a dud egg in our last clutch. Is there anything specific that contributes to that? Older age of pigeons or anything like that? Or is it just one of those things, the luck of the draw?
 
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