News

Pigeons Break Up North Bend Council

Why are animals so funny? It never fails, that after


a long agenda on such engrossing topics as water


system improvements and block grants, a discussion about


some kind of animal will bring out the best in our city


officials.


Last week in North Bend, it was pigeons, a


"flighty subject," said the mayor. There is a problem in


town with the messy birds, and the merchants have


wanted something done for several years now. There are


solutions, but they're either difficult or illegal.


City Administrator Jim Neher reported receiving


a letter from a Paramount Pest Control and told the


council the proposal "looks expensive." It would


involve cleaning and sanitizing all the birds' roosting areas


on the city's buildings, then putting out some kind of


marginally effective repellent.


"It sounds like a bunch of pigeon bull to me,"


said Councilor Danny Bennett.


Neher, who usually has a fine command of the


language, was explaining that the birds would just


move around to different places in town if their roosts


were pigeon-proofed, and added that these were


"habit-forming birds, real habitual birds." (These aren't just


weekend or part-time birds North Bend has.)


Apparently, the only sure way to get the


sidewalk-painters to leave town is to locate their feeding


ground and attack them there, with a chemical that knocks


them out for an hour, allowing them to be picked up and


taken somewhere else, such as Seattle. Bennett pointed out


that the owner of a pig farm where they were believed


to feed did not want the birds tampered with, especially


on his property.


A surefire way, Neher said, would be to employ


the old .410 shotgun or the .22 loaded with short-range


bird shot. That brought an idea to Councilwoman Susan


Vieg, of a downtown sporting event, say on a "Saturday


morning, when the skiers are buying donuts at George's."


This provoked laughter in the staid council chambers.


Administrator Neher noted that this was basically


a pest problem for the building owners, who would


have to foot the cost of pigeon-proofing at the roosts.


Councilman Fritz Ribary said, "No pun intended,


but I'd hate to let this drop," and suggested that, whether


for health or tourism reasons, the city should share some


of the cost.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Nov 26
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.