Pigeon population problems pooping out?


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In today’s This Week Ahead column, we catch up on what’s happening in Hollywood--not with celebrities but with pigeons:

How have the efforts to shrink the pigeon population in Hollywood using birth control gone since announcing it last July?


Since August, some of the area’s estimated 5,000 pigeons have been eating pill-shaped kibble known as OvoControl P from feeders on rooftops, making Hollywood the first area to try the contraceptive since it was given state approval in late July.

About 300 pigeons flock every morning at daybreak to eat up the contraceptive kibble, which contains nicarbazin, an ingredient that stops an egg from developing. OvoControl P has been registered with the state Department of Pesticide Regulation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and is approved by PETA and the Humane Society.

Laura Dodson, president of the Argyle Civic Assn., a neighborhood group leading the effort called Citizen Pigeon, said that they raised enough money from local businesses and residents -- over $50,000 -- to install five rooftop automatic feeders. They’ve also installed cameras to monitor the birds eating online.

After four months, the 438 pigeon regulars in one spot dropped to just below 40. Some through attrition, but pigeons are ‘just having less babies now,’ Dodson said.

The original date to reduce the pigeon population by 50% was 2012, but Dodson said that pest control and wildlife officials think it could happen within the next two years.

The pigeons are disliked in the area, currently under millions of dollars in renovation efforts, because of the messy droppings.

Italy, though, is taking a different approach on cracking down on the birds.

--Francisco Vara-Orta