Family Planning For Pigeons 6-28-2010 - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Family Planning For Pigeons 6-28-2010

Clark County will soon be feeding the pill to pigeons who have taken up residence in the county’s parks.
The county will be trying to slow down the pigeon’s population growth by feeding them OvoControl, a birth control pill that will be mixed into corn the county will be feeding the birds.
To deliver the contraceptive, a timer releases food and the pills from a feeding device in the early morning at the same time every day. It won’t take long before the pigeons are trained to a feeding spot and time.
"If you feed them at five minutes to seven every morning they will show up at 10 minutes to seven and wait for you to feed them," said Kevin Parker, assistant manager of park maintenance.
Pigeons reproduce quickly, especially in environments where food is plentiful. Once paired up, pigeons, which mate for life, lay two eggs every couple of months, with their young leaving the nest about three weeks after hatching.
The pigeon is a member of the dove family that first took up residence along cliffs in Europe and Asia. City ledges are similar to their ancestral cliffs, making human dwellings a favorite habitat for them.
The pill is safe and endorsed for use by the Agriculture Department, Parker said.
Other pigeon control devices, such as poison, can hurt other birds that inadvertently eat the poison as well as cats and dogs that may eat a dying bird that had been poisoned.
The pigeon contraceptive will cost the parks department $1,500 every three months, but the county said less pigeon waste will cut down on park maintenance.
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