How Many Pigeons Live in NYC?
There were not always pigeons in New York. These birds are not native to the United States – although today they are an expected part of almost every major city, NYC included. Settlers from Europe likely brought pigeons with them in the 1600s to raise as food, similar to chickens, or as carriers for sending messages. Eventually, these tasks fell out of favor and the birds were released to fend for themselves.
The pigeons flourished in NYC. The sheer number of pigeons living today in NYC makes it impossible to accurately estimate their numbers. At the lowest count, estimates are around half a million. Others say there is one pigeon per person, which means approximately 9 million pigeons in the city. With either estimate, the number of pigeons and the problems they cause for local businesses is also increasing.
What the NYC Pigeon Population Means for Local Businesses
There are hundreds of types of pigeons throughout the world. The species found in NYC is the rock dove, the grey and white bird with the stout body and small head that perches on nearly every building in the city.
These pigeons have evolved to live alongside people, while the city itself seems to be the perfect environment for them. Some of the reasons pigeons do so well in NYC are:
- Great Perching and Nesting Spots – All of NYC’s tall buildings and infrastructure is a perfect alternative to a rock dove’s natural habitat on the sides of cliffs.
- Abundant Food – Whether people are feeding the pigeons or the birds find food on the ground or in trash cans, pigeons in NYC are able to sustain themselves entirely off of human food.
- Fast Reproduction – Pigeons reproduce year round. The average time from mating until hatching is 1 month. The chicks will leave the nest after another month, but not before more chicks are born. If the overall population starts to decline, reproduction rates increase to offset it.
With these factors, comprehensive pigeon control – like bringing in falcons to prey on pigeons, has minimal effect. It is more effective for businesses and property owners to implement pigeon prevention techniques.
Pigeon control methods like bird spikes, bird netting, visual deterrents, and more can keep pigeons away from your property, cutting down on the spread of bacteria and the messes they can cause with droppings and getting into trash. NY and NJ Animal Control has provided solutions for properties of all types in NYC to help keep aggressive pigeons away from your business. Call us today to schedule an evaluation.