Cold-blooded measures do not a pigeon solution make


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I wrote a letter to the Wednesday Journal a week or so ago [Pigeons don't make people sick, Viewpoints, Aug. 30], protesting the views in a previous WJ letter that said rats and pigeons should suffer the same fate — extermination — because of the threat of human illness from pigeon droppings [Viewpoints, Aug. 23]. 

In last week's WJ letters [Pigeons really are a health issue, Viewpoints, Sept. 13], Roberta Arnold also advocated that pigeons should be "killed or removed by a professional company" because of the acute danger to human health from pigeon droppings. 

I would like to expand a little on my previously stated views against killing pigeons. First of all, I think it is a very cold-blooded solution to wipe out a whole species of birds because of their droppings. It also certainly sends a terrible message to our children about not being cruel to animals. This solution does not jibe with the commonly held view that Oak Parkers are very compassionate people, especially on social issues. Last, I would like to point out that so-called "scientific solutions" are not always the right solutions. I am thinking, particularly, of the U.S. prisoner interrogation plan drawn-up for the U.S. government in the early 2000s by two certified, prominent U.S. psychiatrists, which is now regarded by the U.S. government as an unconstitutional "torture plan."

As an 82-year-old woman who has had seven children, lived for the last 70 years in various Chicago areas, and still travels regularly to the Chicago "Loop" on public transportation, I enjoy seeing the pigeons downtown — often at my various train stops. I think it is nice to occasionally see something living that is not attached to an iPhone! 

Marsda Conner

Oak Park

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Bruce Kline  

Posted: September 21st, 2017 1:09 PM

And to add to Maureen's comment: these humane pigeon deluxe hotels don't seem to be working so well. Namely they have (the "hotels") many vacancies - the pigeons perhaps want more luxurious facilities than offered, or perhaps just prefer the street and the usual statue to despoil. Interesting that pigeon sympathy is not just limited to Oak Park. There are many in Lisbon who mirror Ms. Connor's viewpoint and are appalled at doing what is necessary to effectively control these pests.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: September 21st, 2017 10:04 AM

then there's the solution they're using in Lisbon, Portugal where they are building deluxe bird houses for their pigeons, stocked with gourmet bird feed and top-of-the-line nesting materials. When the pigeons lay their eggs, caretakers sneak in and steal all but one of the eggs, replacing them with artificial eggs. There was a front-page story about this in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. Some might call it bird-brained, but it's a novel method of pigeon population control. Just not one I'd like to see my tax dollars used to pay for.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: September 20th, 2017 5:47 PM

To be clear, I don't want to pick on Marsda. The world needs more sweet old ladies who love creatures around them. But, we live here and these birds are a real problem here. My Mom is Marsda's age and seeing her trying to maneuver without getting the unpleasant droppings all over her shoes and the legs of her walker was ONE of the reasons we started talking about this in the first place.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: September 20th, 2017 9:30 AM

It is not a question of wiping out an entire species of bird. It is a question of wiping out an entire species of bird that inhabit and injure a specific area. In Oak Park, I suggest the introduction of a pairing of peregrine falcons to feast on the squab. Once the buffet is removed, capture and remove peregrine falcons to a different location. The message o our children would be PETA, peregrine (falcons) eat tasty animals.Pigeons are not a social issue. If any person or group was holding Marsada Conner hostage and threatened to kill her, I would not allow the government to use torture on any person to return her safely. If she died, she died for a just cause.

Ken Stucken  

Posted: September 20th, 2017 12:47 AM

There are gun ranges in Indiana and Kentucky who would be happy to give your feathered friends a new home, and make sure they are fed and watered a for the rest of their lives. Short of that, aren't liberals always telling us how we should be more like the Europeans? I hear squab tastes like chicken.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: September 19th, 2017 10:52 PM

Bird loving Oak Parkers are compassionately eating about 50 chickens a day in DTOP restaurants. But we let a dozen pigeons terrorize DTOP and dump gooey infested poop on our walkways and we do nothing. Its disgusting to have these flying rats living in the Marion Street Bridge. Pigeons are not rare or endangered, lets get rid of them in this location. If they will fly back after capture then they have to be put down.

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