Pigeons to lose their pier privy

Pigeons fouling up your coastal waters? Who you gonna call? Bird Busters.

Santa Monica’s City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Bird Busters to install netting under the Santa Monica Pier to reduce bacterial pollution caused by pigeon droppings and other debris.

Concerned about bacterial contamination near the pier, the city teamed up with Heal the Bay to identify the source; pigeon feces were determined to be the likely cause.

In 2008, a consulting firm suggested netting as one of the most effective ways to keep birds from roosting in areas where they’re not wanted.

The netting is made of color-coded polyethylene twine that is twisted and knotted and attached to a cable support structure, according to the Bird Busters website.


The Los Angeles company’s bid, the lowest of four proposals, came in at $107,758.

Neal Shapiro, supervisor of the city’s watershed management section, said Santa Monica has spent millions of dollars over the years on efforts to eliminate pollution from urban runoff flowing through the storm drain that empties under the pier.

But, he said, the pier’s structure is conducive to roosting, meaning that “water quality still can be poor.”