London’s Flying Pest Patrol
If you’re a Londoner, you know all about having annoying pigeons everywhere you go, be it going for a walk around the park, or going about the city to do your shopping, only to be flocked by these birds looking for a bite to eat. If this sounds familiar, you are probably used to the mess they make and the frustration that goes along with trying to avoid their droppings as they rain down at random.
Did you know, however, that lately, London has been seeing a rise in a natural predator of pigeons, the peregrine? They are moving into the city and are on the hunt for their favourite food.
Peregrines are powerful creatures that use their sharp talons to snatch their prey up and hold it tight as they fly away to enjoy it in a safe spot. Peregrines are some of the fastest animals in the world, able to fly up to 240 mph. It’s easy to see why they get their prey so easily, right? Luckily for us, these majestic birds prey on pigeons and are responsible for helping decrease the population in busy London.
Historically, peregrines were killed off and poisoned to deter them from the city, but they’ve recently started to come back in small numbers, coupling up, having babies, and increasing the population year by year. While it may seem scary to look up and see a huge bird of prey hovering around the city buildings, they are of great help with pest control for pigeons. They are the main natural predator of pigeons and are doing their part in helping with the overpopulation experienced in London.
Peregrines are learning to adapt to typical London life, too, building their nests in safe corporate spots, where they are encouraged, as well as learning how to hunt after dark by using the light of street lights. They are adapting to match our lives and help us take back some of the city from pigeons. Seems like peregrines are no longer the pests they once were in the history books.
While there are other methods to getting rid of feral pigeons in Britain, this is definitely the best one that can be found in terms of sticking with natural methods. It gives peregrines a safe environment to stay and find food, and it gives Londoners a break from pigeon crowding.