Oak Park pigeons at Marion Street could face capital punishment

Marion Street viaduct mess leads to bird euthanasia ordinance

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Oak Park will soon become less pigeon friendly.

An ordinance amendment introduced at Monday's village board meeting will allow for the humane euthanasia of specific types of sparrows, starlings, and pigeons - the bird village staff calls the peskiest of all.

The continuing presence of a flock of pigeons under the newly upgraded Marion Street el viaduct, along with the mess they create, led village staff to continue looking for options. Already in 2012, $8,300 has been spent on preventative netting and power washing and $3,000 for trapping. Pigeons, however, have found a way to sneak through the netting.

The village board first discussed the issue in February when it approved spending for preventative measures at the viaduct between North and South boulevards. The village received complaints from pedestrians and nearby businesses about the droppings. There were also concerns about the continued costs and tedious cleanup.

Since discovering that the preventive measures had not been effective, health department staff met with a wildlife biologist at the United States Department of Agriculture Division of Wildlife Services for recommendations. The expert suggested a combination of trapping and the installation of bird spike strips on light fixtures to discourage the birds from roosting.

Under the new ordinance, the trapped birds will be humanely euthanized. A maximum of $15,000 is anticipated for activities related to the village's new plans.

Although pigeons are the main problem, the other birds were included since the ordinance follows a statewide standard that other municipalities use, according to Cara Pavlicek, Oak Park's interim village manager. In fact, the draft ordinance language came directly from Winnetka, which has similar problems because of its train viaducts.

Mike Charley, environmental health supervisor in the village, explained to the board that the reason to eliminate pigeons is not purely because of health concerns. Although pigeons are known to carry diseases, he said there aren't many public outbreaks related to sicknesses contracted from pigeons.

"It's really as much of a nuisance as anything to the public and costs to the public," he said. "But if we remove the flock, there is a good chance we can reduce pigeons."

Charley also indicated that because the viaducts are being renovated in the fall, it would be a waste of money to add more nets and continue the cleanup process.

Trustee Bob Tucker asked about the possibility of relocating instead of euthanizing birds, but Charley said its proven pigeons return home.

"Relocation is what we wanted to do," he said. "We don't want to euthanize pigeons."

At the sparsely attended meeting with three trustees missing, the issue was up as a first reading and will be brought back to the board's June 4 meeting for an official vote.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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do it right the first time pigeon proof the structure!  

Posted: June 4th, 2012 4:14 PM

It would be more cost effective to make this structure more pigeon proof.Killing the pigeons would be a temporary bandage and it would just be a matter of time before more a new flock would make inhabit it. From what I read, it would cost the village 15,000 to trap and gas the pigeons. Within a short period of time, new pigeons or the ones that were not caught initially will reemerge. What's the plan then?Oak Park will dish out an additonal 15,000?It doesn't make sense.

Rose from Oak Park  

Posted: June 4th, 2012 4:07 PM

Oak Park certainly has enough well educated folks to figure out how to humanely handle these pigeons. Killing these innocent beings is a lazy and cruel solution. There are various humane options. I trust that the decision makers will make the right choice and actually partake in making Oak Park be known as the progressively humane suburb of Illinois. This aside, it would be more cost effective (re: tax dollars) to make the structure pigeon proof rather than to kill the pigeons.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 10:20 PM

Pigeon Chat - Excellent article by WJ Staff Reporter Anna Lothson in tomorrow's WJ (Online tonight) and a WJ Editorial stating that the village needs to go back to the drawing board before using euthansia. Public Input counts!

Jenny Tiner  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 9:42 PM

I was on Marion as well Kyle and there are pigeons up there-TRAPPED and there was a wee sign of poop. A few viaducts over there was MUCH MORE. Get the spikes, quit trapping them, it was disgustingly sad, even my daughter (11) understood w/o my influence that it was sad and wrong and "mean." @Horace, don't blame ya. It's not that it is all trivial, it's that people voice logical solutions/options for supposed democratic issues and they fall on deaf, unwavering ears.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 29th, 2012 1:07 PM

In River Forest this weekend for the parade. Walked under the Metra. Seems their wire mesh is working?


Posted: May 28th, 2012 6:35 PM

This is exactly why I left Oak Park. Endless arguing over the most trivial of matters.


Posted: May 28th, 2012 6:30 PM

You people are discussing pigeon poop. What has the world come to? Or should I say, what has Oak Park come to?

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 28th, 2012 5:17 PM

Ailwie. I think i having the spelling correct.A finger length sized fish in Lake Michigan. They would die by the tens of thousands, wash up on shore,smell and close beaches.Ill. Dep. of Conservation introduced the Coho Salmon into the lake to eat the ailwie.Coho grew as big as watermelons.Sport fishing grew.All natural.Falcons to eat the pigeons. The circle of life.


Posted: May 28th, 2012 10:54 AM

@John, I was on Marion this weekend & there is plenty of poop, but didn't see any pigeons. The Board still has to have a final vote next week before it's official.

Jenny Tiner  

Posted: May 28th, 2012 10:20 AM

@Interfaith. That is great. @Oak Parker I didn't see the news story but how wonderful for whom ever was able to speak out, can we post links to that story? @ Michael Jehlik-thanks and great ideas. AT VILLAGE BOARD-Have you finished your dirty job or not? Is this what we are seeing, I personally DEMAND a date for when or if this has happened be given.We're doing things to save them, we want to know it's not in vain.@ Greener than thou PETA may approve spikes b/c they displace not kill? call em

Interfaith Housing For Avains  

Posted: May 27th, 2012 2:51 PM

We are in the process of obtaining Federal and State grants in order to build affordable housing for these neglected and shunned birds.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 27th, 2012 2:19 PM

I have been downtown at the Pigeon Home and saw No Pigeons at Oak Park and South. Did they get insulted and leave, or has the dirty deed, euthanasia, already taken place?

Carol Southern from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 27th, 2012 11:51 AM

You know why I don't miss my cable TV? 'Cause all I have to do is read the Wednesday Journal online comments section for entertainment!


Posted: May 25th, 2012 12:15 PM

@Just Sayin Many raptor conservation groups use 15 lbs as a cutoff for dog safety but recommend you closely supervise any small pet--cats, too, etc.--if raptors are present. Peregrines will eat mammals, reptiles, have been documented to kill sandhill cranes in one pass...that's a 10 lb bird right there.

Just Sayin'  

Posted: May 25th, 2012 11:53 AM

@Kyle: ChaCha, the definitive online resource, says peregrines can carry 50 pounds - perhaps comprising an entire flock of pigeons and their young. You're obviously mistaken. I once saw one carry off a calve. Then I woke up. Really, Kyle, they can't carry seven pounds. A peregrine weighs around two pounds. Their primary food is birds, hence their label "duck hawk." They don't "carry" ducks, either. They slam them to the ground and then eat them where the are, or drag them to cover first.

FLO from chicago  

Posted: May 25th, 2012 11:27 AM


Arlo Guthrie  

Posted: May 25th, 2012 7:35 AM

I went up there, I said, "Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL." And I started jumpin up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL," and he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL." And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me, sent me down the hall, said, "You're our boy.


Posted: May 25th, 2012 7:31 AM

There are farms & bird/pigeon rescue orgs but they run mostly on a volunteer basis so taking on a bunch of new birds would be difficult, I'm guessing. If somebody had a farm with a coop & you had ongoing drivers to make, say, weekly or monthly runs to relocate the captured birds. I say spare the birds if people can get organized enough to figure out what to do after they're in the cage & out of the village's hands.

Marie Perkins  

Posted: May 25th, 2012 7:22 AM

If a place could be found to place the pigeons, I would be more than happy to drive them there IF that is the decision that will be made regarding their lives.


Posted: May 24th, 2012 11:22 PM

Discussing elsewhere, someone asked how the birds would be put down...could we get clarification on that? My friend said in his science research he's used gas, but poison is also common. Maybe after the birds are trapped they could go to a bird-rescue organization instead? But are those people not in favor of euthanasia willing to put the money up to house the birds in a pigeon rescue facility? Volunteer to drive the pigeons to new homes?


Posted: May 24th, 2012 8:59 PM

Portable plastic pedestrian protectors....pigeon parasols perhaps. A bin on both sides of viaduct. Pick one up and drop off on other side. Pigeons protected, people protected . Imagine the media coverage!

R. Morrow-Nye from Oak Park  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 8:29 PM

Where Will it END? New birds will come -- you will need to exterminate them also. I can not believe that mass murder of bird populations is the best solution -- Also can not believe that US Wildlife official recommended this FINAL SOLUTION -- MASS MURDER is MASS MURDER -- which population is NEXT?

Oak Park resident from Oak Park  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 8:20 PM

I just saw this on Channel 2 news at 5pm. Maybe now they will listen!

Michael Jehlik  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 8:15 PM

It seems the best option is to shew the adult pigeons out, collect any babies that might be there and then close the remaining openings to the netted area. Since Oak Park citizens paid so much for the net they might as well insist that the job is properly completed. I organize Wings of Hope Outdoor Bird Care Society, we have a member who lives in Oak Park that reported the pigeons are entering and exiting the netted area through a small opening that might be easily closed. People have been keeping pigeons for over 10,000 years. Most municipalities consider pigeons domestic animals. Pigeon poop is a sought after organic fertilizer in many parts of the world. Pigeons normal body temperatures are 109 degrees which means the bacteria that affect them are in a totally different class than those that affect humans. Pigeons are Granivores, this makes their poop much less toxic than that of a meat eating animal. Pigeons have many fascinating abilities that we do not. They are among the most agile and fastest animals on earth! When strength is scaled to body size they are the strongest. Many have said Pigeons love more deeply than humans,they are the Doves of Peace in the Bible and many other Sacred texts. BF Skinner taught pigeons how to type messages to each other on electronic keyboards. Skinner observed pigeons telling fibs to each other in order to get more seeds from the experimenters. There is a lot of interesting information in the National Geographic Special: Pigeon Genius. There are many clips from the film on Youtube. Another great film is "Share the Blue Sky" also on Youtube. If babies are found they should be given to one of Chicagoland's fine Wildlife Centers such as Fox Valley Wildlife.

Marie Perkins  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 5:57 PM

I was just by the viaduct on Marion and North/South Boulevards (apparently Channel 2 did a news story about this) I didn't see any pigeons where the mesh nets were put up. I did see a pigeon between the letters of Oak Park. Put mesh between the letters. Put spikes on the viaduct. Put an owl figure on both sides. BUT DO NOT KILL THEM! It's funny. In the movie, "Mary Poppins" people were encouraged to feed the birds. Here it's kill the birds. We animal rights activists will not be quiet for this.


Posted: May 24th, 2012 5:18 PM

On a different topic, I'm wondering why we needed this specific action by the Board...it seems to me something that should have been done quietly under normal animal/pest control guidelines. Why did we need to specifically update for birds? How are they different than the rats we already control?

Greener than thou from Oak Park  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 5:09 PM

Pigeon spikes! Sounds absolutely midieval. I'm surprised PETA would endorse such a product. Really people, this problem will solve itself if we just leave the birds alone and stop cleaning up after them. The pigeon guano will eventually accumulate to the top of the viaduct eliminating all avian and human access. Viola! Problem solved!


Posted: May 24th, 2012 5:06 PM

Jenny/Jennifer, you don't want to control pests until after they've made someone sick. Esp given that the people most likely to get sick from pigeons are those with already-weak immune systems. HIV, the elderly, young children. I hear what you're saying, but it doesn't work like that. I actually love the spikes, btw. But it just shifts them to other locations, true. Even killing them, others will probably arrive. But all pests are kinda like that. Mice, raccoons, rabbits.

Jenny/Jennifer Tiner  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 5:01 PM

Am I missing it or does anyone know the proposed date/time span they intend to do this? Can someone please come forward with that information if they know? Thank you.

Jenny/Jennifer Tiner  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 4:58 PM

Mainly this is for Kyle, but..all of you, check your facts, reputable facts. I'm still waiting to hear of an OP'er that has been made sick by any of the birds.I'd like to know if someone has been made sick by a squirrel/dog/possum/rabbit/mouse bite? hmm? should we off them too? CHECK YOUR FACTS OR YOU LOOK LIKE AN IDIOT. But I guess that is okay since no one knows you, the people around you most likely already know and just get bored, as I am, with ignorance & just stop listening.

Jenny/Jennifer Tiner  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 4:54 PM

Alright, I have stayed off here to read up, talk to friends, live my life etc. You guys. We wonder why Oak Park has issue from the top down NO ONE can get along, can we cut the crap-haha(not the pigeons or other birds) and concede when it is time to concede, take appropriate action and move thru yet another hurdle within Oak Park w/o the "i'm hiding behind my computer so I can be nasty" thing? Speak with your actions, seriously. I am. I won't stop with the petition or research or protest. PETA

Jennifer Tiner  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 4:48 PM

Petion has been made. When the heck did you guys get on falcons, anyway, this is silly. Here is a link to pigeon spikes. Did ya do this OP? Think of it even, put em in all the viaducts if it you are concerned they will just move to another, you can't stop them by killing them. You just can't or should I say, shouldn't. http://www.deterapigeon.com/pigeonspikes.htm


Posted: May 24th, 2012 3:16 PM

Fun fact time, Just Sayin: if we're talking about peregrine falcons they can carry off prey of about 7 pounds. So yes, small chihuahua beware. Other fun facts--falcons carry disease, too. And a NYC man once sued & won $6 million for the city not removing pigeon poop that he slipped & fell on. lol

Just Sayin'  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 2:41 PM

" . . . where the hawks or falcons carry off small dogs . . ." lol. Really? They can hardly carry a rabbit very far, incidentally, and I've never seen one able to carry a rabbit up into a tree, for example. Not to say they will never attack a dog or cat, which happens on rare occasion, but more simply that hawks and falcons can't carry one away . . . but for tiny puppies that are more like rats. U guys are killin' me. Just sayin'

Just Sayin'  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 2:30 PM

Falcons have already been reintroduced to the Chicago area.


Posted: May 24th, 2012 2:07 PM

Brian, some of my hunter friends would have a far different idea about how to solve our pigeon problem. lol


Posted: May 24th, 2012 1:52 PM

These comments are so typically Oak Park! I like the suggestion of falcons, but if they are introduced, someone will complain that we are violating the pigeon's human (um, avian) rights.


Posted: May 24th, 2012 1:46 PM

Trish, I know it's not their fault they're here. But in the end they still don't belong & we have to do what we can to correct the problem. We can't tell them to make nice, clean up after themselves, stay clean. If we could truck them all to an old pigeon's home it'd be great, but the reality is think about how fat they are compared to actual wild doves. City life is actually kind of cruel to them, if you think of it that way. We put dogs to sleep. Horses. Life is tough.


Posted: May 24th, 2012 1:26 PM

yes, Kyle in a perfect world we would like to see pigeons on rock sea cliffs!!! But really whose fault is it that they are here? Why kill them? They have no place to go. Plain and simple, man takes over. Sometimes man has to take the blame for adding to the problem and not innocent creatures, sorry


Posted: May 24th, 2012 1:19 PM

@Carol I actually agree that many more things need to be handed over to the community for a decision. Though pigeons are a health risk. I'm not sure I think public safety issues should be up to majority rule. Some things you can even say "pigeons can make you sick" & people will still go against their own best interest.


Posted: May 24th, 2012 1:12 PM

I was surprised to see somebody get "moderated." lol Apparently your original wording was too harsh for the WJ boards, Oak Parker. @Trish, it's not not about being a bother...pigeons carry disease, pollute with their poop which is then runoff, harm property. I'd love pigeons if they were on rock sea cliffs where they belong. But there's a certain amount of wildlife management that always has to take place in urban areas.


Posted: May 24th, 2012 1:08 PM

So you're killing animals that do not pose a health risk but are seen as a nuisance by a few complainers. It's obvious from the comments that most residents do not approve. Why don't we get a say?

Oak Parker from OAK PARK  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 12:59 PM

O.K.. Kyle...You are just an idiot. I hope a sparrow POOPS on you!

trish from oak park  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 12:52 PM

it's not about being a "pigeon lover!!!!!" why does everything bother everybody?? People walk around coughing, sneezing, they are spreading germs. I am not a bird lover, but why kill innocent birds because they do what they do?? If people don't like them stay away from the viaduct. Simple. People make a big deal out of nothing. Leave them alone.

Diane K from OP  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 12:30 PM

Please, go ask Andy Gilchrist. How fitting if a small businessman from Oak Park can figure out how to solve this problem. (He has the advantage of being a REAL PERSON, familiar with the area with years of experience solving common problems for the entire community. I sure do wonder what he thinks.


Posted: May 24th, 2012 12:28 PM

Oak Parker, I'm just pointing out that everybody getting all worked up about the pigeons is a little short-sighted. :-) They're a disease-carrying invasive species. Heaven help us if we extended the conversation into, say, culling deer herds in various parts of the country. I'm a firm believer in a rational middle ground between animal hugging & responsible stewardship of our environment. For the record, I'm fine with the rat killing, too. lol


Posted: May 24th, 2012 12:03 PM

I'll just point out the pigeon-lovers on here that we already are killing rats in Oak Park, if you're worried about humane animal treatment. lol I point you to the Environmental Health division where you can, free of charge, get a rodenticide poison. The waiver form is a pdf if you'd like to see it...you have to release from liability that it is harmful to children & pets before the Village will give it to you. Is everybody outraged about that, too? LOL


Posted: May 24th, 2012 11:21 AM

on amazon now Dalen OW6 Gardeneer 16-Inch Molded Owl cost? $12.50. Please, please, try a humane and cost effective way of ridding the viaduct of pigeons. Not everything has to be expensive and elaborate, like the roadway underneath the pigeon poop.

Beth Puccinelli from Oak Park  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 11:03 AM

This is the craziest one yet.So, you're going to spend my money to kill birds??? Hell No. I think we have a FEW BIGGER PROBLEMS around here. Are you people nuts? If I started .....I wouldn't be able to stop. I will say just one thing..spend a couple of bucks and pull out the tree stumps the kids are tripping over. I mean you did cut down the trees. Law suit????

flo from chicago  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 10:19 AM

leave the pigeons alone!! people are messing too! Humans make more mess than any animal. They are God's creatures, come on oak park have some compassion! I love shopping in oak park, no more

Epic Putz...  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 8:42 AM

Anyone else find the Holocaust reference in this story in the dead tree edition of the paper, p.13 "Pigeons The final solution," a little odd? Personally, it just highlights the WJ's editorial biases when it comes to certain issues...

Bethanne Portala  

Posted: May 24th, 2012 8:36 AM

Euthanizing the pigeons (and starlings and sparrows), who are just trying to get by like all the rest of us, shouldn't be an option! It's cruel and unnecessary. Another person commented about adding owl decoys or something similar in the area... to me that sounds like a great idea.

Dan Hefner from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:05 PM

The pigeons create less of a mess then the Trustees of the Peoples Republic of Oak Park. Why not install monitors under the viaducts and feed tapes of the Village Board meetings to the pigeons? This action would likely result in the mass suicide of the pigeon population.

Bruce Broerman  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 7:14 PM

Maybe the localvore movement should get involved in this issue. Persuade a local restaurant to specialize in 'domestic squab' as a delicacy.

Dan in RF  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 6:17 PM

This is absurd. The conversation should be about the people who did the work and the board members who accepted a lame excuse for poor performance. How does a bird sneak through? Does it wear a disguise or have a fake ID? Maybe an employee should stand and watch where the birds sneak through and fix the hole each time it happens. Rather than passing an ordinance, offer to euthanize their jobs if they cannot figure out how to stop a bird.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 5:22 PM

Our neighbor's home had long been abandoned and in significant disrepair when pigeons move in to the property and occupied the entire 2nd floor. A real nuisance and a heckuva mess. The house was eventually sold and during it's rehab, the birds moved out and relocated to a large tree in our yard. We tried a a number of ways to shoo them away but nothing worked. Oak Park's best answer man, Andy Gilchrist recommended that we hang owl decoys in the tree and around the property. The pigeons took one look at those plastic predators and moved on. An inexpensive and humane way to solve the problem that might work at the Marion Street viaduct.

Greener than thou from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 4:55 PM

We are we presumptuous humans to evict pigeons from their natural habitat of a railroad viaduct? Rather than eradicating the birds, we should eradicate the rumbling trains that pollute their air and no doubt frighten their hatchlings. Sure, a few thousand more people would have to drive to work every day, but the important thing is that a few dozen pigeons will live quieter, more contented lives. Let's give the steel and concrete viaduct back to the pigeons just as nature intended.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 4:32 PM

The British don't want them either. lol There was a major campaign about 10 years ago to get rid of most of the pigeons in Trafalgar Sq in London...that was mostly through feeding restrictions.

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 4:09 PM

Pigeons aren't native either. The British brought all three to the states 100 years ago. Don't kill them. Either give them amnesty or send them back home.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 2:50 PM

On further research, John, it's because they drive out native species by destroying nests & stealing nesting material.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 2:39 PM

John, I have no idea what's up with the other species but the article makes it sound like boilerplate when it comes to invasive bird control. Just on initial research it kinda seems like in general wild birds are protected, but those are the 3 that have generally been singled out around the country for control measures.

The Situation  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 2:25 PM

They're just trying to get a tan and party with us. Don't you get it brah?? Tshirt time!!!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 2:21 PM

Kyle - I may have to give in on the pigeons, but what's up with the sparrows and starlings?

The Solution  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 2:03 PM

Just tack up a few of Ken Trainor's recent columns under the viaduct. That should do the trick.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 2:02 PM

$4000 for a small dog if it happens at all? I will contribute to the small dog fund.Feed the hungry falcons.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 1:39 PM

Re: owls They don't work. Re: falcons They do work, but then you have situations like in NYC where the hawks or falcons carry off small dogs & the city owed a lady something like $4000. Anybody ever watch Billy The Exterminator? I wonder what he'd do...he's all about humane pest control.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 1:36 PM

@John, they're still there. They just don't perch on the beams anymore and choose to walk around the platform harassing CTA riders. It's both funny & annoying in the winter to have to scare them out of the way to find a place to stand (in pigeon poop) under the heat lamps. And oh the pigeon poop smells lovely when heated! lol They do actually ticket people for feeding them.

Brian Slowiak from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 1:32 PM

Completing the circle of life, introduce a pair of falcons to the area, after the pigeon feast, capture falcons and relocate. Why isnt anyone thinking about the hungry falcons?

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 1:21 PM

The Clark Street Station of the Green Line used to have pigeons walking on the platforms and tracks and crap bombs falling from above. They installed spikes and the number of pigeons was vastly reduced. Maybe, the village should have had a chat with Chicago rather than Winnetka.

Cherie Mucha from Palos Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 1:01 PM

Can't you try some plastic owls first? It would be humane and less expensive.

Church Lady  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 1:00 PM

Well, isn't that special! I just don't know what's worse? Killing God's creatures or little Nicky's potty mouth! Do you kiss your mother with that mouth young man?

Carl Spackler from Caddyshack  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 12:56 PM

"To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit - ever. They're like the Viet Cong-Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that's all she wrote."


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 12:28 PM

Pigeons are just rats with wings. Squirrels are just rich rats - the 1%ers living in high rises. Possums are rats with a thyroid condition. However, if there is a more humane way I'd say try that first. Maybe some company makes fake hawks or other predatory birds that can be placed under the viaduct to scare them away.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 11:42 AM

Don't kill the birds. You don't like dealing with the bird poop under the viaduct, don't go under it. Killing these birds is wrong...I wonder what PETA would think about this?


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 10:47 AM

Jeff, we've encountered opossums lately in the bushes during after-dark dog walks. What bothers me about them is the ones in my neighborhood tend to stand their ground rather than run away. We have free roaming house cats, too. But isn't there only one animal control person? I usually figure it's not worth reporting. Interesting to hear from other residents having problems.

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 10:32 AM

While we are in the mood to target "flying rats", next should be the oppossums. They are basically giant rats. I have had to dispose of two of them that died in my yard over the years, and it wasn't pretty!


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:59 AM

Pigeons are served as a dish called "baby chicken" in China. Did you know China has a population of over 1.3 billion and is the second largest country in the world after Russia??

Oak Parker  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:29 AM

Figure out a way to collect Oak Park property taxes from the pigeons, and they will go away, just like people do.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:28 AM

@lolz I'd be happy to offer the services of my dog. She loves to kill the bunnies, squirrels, and birds that invade her yard. But I'm sure the pigeon-lovers find animal-on-animal violence to be cruel, too. Those lions in Africa need to find someone to eat other than zebras! LOL


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:17 AM

I say everyone orders a rifle (or "chopper" as Lil' Wayne and Rick Ross refer to them as) from out new gun shop on Roosevelt (supporting local business, duh, no brainer!) and everyone in Oak Parks takes out just one of these pigeons. C'mon people, it's a group effort! Each and every one of us must take part in the euthanasia of these disgusting pigeons! If we don't do something now they are gonna just take over this whole little village of ours! I will not stand for it!

Marie Perkins  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:07 AM

@Kathleen, I find you to be a nuisance. Should you suffer the same fate as the pigeons? The waste and filth that you as a human leave behind is far worse than what pigeons do. At least pigeons have more brains than you do.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:07 AM

Well I gave away my full name below, oops. Anyway, Kyle, you can get diseases, but have you? Have they tested the birds? The viaduct is being re-done, what if they move then? I'm not gonna engage in arguing, I will only stand by my opinion there are other options. @Marie, whatever you have tried to do about this already, thanks, I'm sorry I didn't know sooner. Protest is coming, peaceful, but they can't get away with this after all that they've gotten away with already.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:06 AM

Obviously the highest and best use of the Village Board's time. And people wonder why the Board is completely ineffectual. It's pigeons, and the dollar value is less than $20k. Please empower the workforce in Oak Park to do their and stop micromanaging every sneeze.

Marie Perkins  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:02 AM

@Jenny, I with you on this. I've already done proactive things to put this in the public eye. Pigeons, unlike humans, are very intelligent, loyal to each other and don't deserve this. I'm sure the many animal lovers in Oak Park and beyond agree. It's time to vote the village board out. I won't be voting for anyone who kills animals.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 9:00 AM

Look at it this way, Jenny. Do you have a dog? I do. Rats eat pigeon poop. Fleas then bite rats (we have a huge flea problem in OP lately) & then bite my dog. Not to mention that you can even get diseases from just trying to clean the poop off your sidewalk if you inhale. That's a public safety issue, sorry.

Jennifer Tiner  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:56 AM

As for Elmer Fudd, he brought up a good point, squirrels and rabbits. I'm pretty sure when I walk my dog he or I could get sick from those buggers as well. We should eradicate them right Kyle or anyone on here that only sees them as disease ridden? The squirrels are everywhere around here. Who are any of you to decide what dies and what gets to live because you don't like it. We can just pick and choose now? Insane. Again, for those in support of not doing it, thanks for having a brain.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:55 AM

Crippled people are unsightly and a burden to our tax structure. Kids who litter should be euthanized. Death to ants. It's all part of the plan, folks. lolzzz. Feed these pigeons to the homeless. Build some nests for Master Splinter and his friends. lolz


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:53 AM

Great support I see in favor of not doing this. @Kyle, are you serious? Flies, you think I would eradicate flies or ticks, or mice? You are a funny one. Rats? I see em, so what? They live around here, we"re in an urban environment.Baths too tedious to upkeep,so it's an issue of taking up too much of people's time? If it saves them I think that is the most respectable thing to do, they don't know what they are doing. Name ONE OP'er who has something from these "disease ridden" birds. Can't huh?

Lori M  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:42 AM

Wait now - I admit I didn't read all the comments thoroughly but we're getting little, tiny condoms on birds now?

Taxpayer Jeff from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:29 AM

Here is another way we can rid ourselves of birds, save money, and be greener! Turn off the lights at the library at night. As I recall, they leave the lights on at night to stop the bird collisions that were occuring when the Library first opened. Back in those days we were trying to save the birds. Now?

Kathleen from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:09 AM

The only good pigeon is a dead pigeon. Flying rats nested on the porch of our condo. A good deal of money was spent to get rid of them. Flying rats are not only a nuisance, they present a genuine health hazard.


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:07 AM

@Jenny that was actually me who said it's like spraying for mosquitoes. Rats? How do you all feel about rats? Mice? Ticks? Flies? I love how people can get so squishy about vermin. lol

Kim from Oak Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 8:01 AM

They are pigeons. Maybe we should leave food out for them and the rats without wings. And green? Oak Park green? Are you kidding? No bike lanes, everyone driving a couple of blocks in their gas guzzlers? Please. Green is another of Oak Park's self-congratulatory fantasies. Demonstrate away!

J Roy from OaK Park  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 7:19 AM

I love pigeons and always have. They are grey and not dirty. I saved a baby starling from extinction by a seagull on Sunday outside the Thompson Center. My idea of fun is to go to Millenium Park and feed the pigeons. What's next? Crippled people are unsightly and a burden to our tax structure. Kids who litter should be euthanized? Death to ants. It's all part of the plan, folks. Let's worry about our problems and go about our business, educate our kids, read to children, feed some homeless.

Elmer J. Fudd  

Posted: May 23rd, 2012 7:07 AM

Can we include wabbits and squiwels?


Posted: May 23rd, 2012 12:35 AM

Disgusting that any human thinks that they have the authority and the right to wipe out nature because they think they're pesty!

Jenny from Oak Park  

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 11:50 PM

Even if it is just me and my daughter you can expect a full on protest if you proceed Oak Park. There are a world of other options and you better find them. This is insane and inhumane and yet another example proving you all do not know how to handle much of anything. SHAME ON YOU! Ms, whom ever you are below about mosquitos being the same, uh-uh, not buyin it. It's always about money, you guys get away with ENTIRELY TOO MUCH. Not this time.


Posted: May 22nd, 2012 10:28 PM

Bird birth control is rather tedious & has daily bait requirements. Not to mention that it isn't pigeon specific & would possibly affect other birds.

Diane K. from OP  

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 10:17 PM

Looks to me like you have NOT explored all the options, yet. What a pity it will be if you euthanize the birds (even the 'good' birds), renovate the viaduct and find out you still have the the same problem. Sounds like you should first explore the issue of a nearby open food source. Then please look into birdy birth-control. Far more humane.


Posted: May 22nd, 2012 8:17 PM

Pigeon's? In Pope's Paradise? Say it ain't so!

John Butch Murtagh from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 7:47 PM

Why is the pigeon plague only downtown and not in the neighborhoods? Is it because we don't have open garbage cans, dumpsters, and human food debris on the street? Did anyone consider removing the food source before choosing euthanasia? I sure don't understand the sparrow and starling euthanasia. All they do is attack bluebirds and martins. I feel bad for the less assertive birds, but isn't the world still governed by Survival of the Fitest? Sparrows and Starlings are not native to the U.S. Perhaps they do not have the proper immigration papers. Is it a surprise that Winetka has a bird killing ordinance? Shouldn't be! Winetka is doing everything they can to keep out affordable housing. What's a bird to Winetka. I sure hope this does not make it open season on sparrows and starling. The favored euthanasia technique is guns, traps, and chemicals. I don't want any of these death tools around my neighborhood. Next on the euthanasia list is Cormorants, Crows, Geese, Doves, Ducks, Grackels, (Sea)Gulls, Robins, Swallows and any bird that attacks Bees or Chickens. All are on the Wildlife Hit List.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 7:33 PM

Brian Smith, you have a very good solution to helping the problem instead of killing the Pigeons. The board wastes so much time when the solutions are simple for almost every problem they present themselves with. That is what makes them idiots. If you offered to do consulting for the idiots on the board, you may have received a 50 thousand contract and returned the same answer and they would have been astounded by money well spent. These board members are idiots.


Posted: May 22nd, 2012 7:11 PM

I was just about to mention the birth control other cities use, Brian. Or hawks and falcons. Those both seem far-fetched, to me.

Brian Smith from Chicago  

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 7:02 PM

Too bad the City is not considering birth control for the birds -- easy to clean up this mess with ovocontrol.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 6:20 PM

The board should ask how Chicago, with the many viaducts what they do, or was it easier to ask the people you know would give you the answer you wanted. The board members are idiots and the only reason why they want this is because they where the same idiots who spent 5 million plus on Marion street .


Posted: May 22nd, 2012 6:02 PM

Marie, I'm an animal lover who goes out of my way to find ethically raised food. But I draw the line at disease-carrying pests. I would not have loved the plague rats, sorry. I'm glad this is being done humanely, but we also spray for mosquitoes. Same thing.

Marie Perkins  

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 5:57 PM

To the 2 previous posters, may Karma bite each of you where you sit. I always loved the fact that Oak Park was a very environmentally friendly and conscientious place to live. But with this proposed slaughter, I will have to rethink that. This will not be a good thing for Oak Park's "green" image.


Posted: May 22nd, 2012 5:06 PM

Good riddance to the rats with wings, I say. I'd prefer to not have a case of histoplasmosis from walking under the L tracks. lol

Steak Burger from Oak Park  

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 4:09 PM

A simple solution...the euthanized pigeons become healty meals of squab for local restaurants, homeless shelters, etc. Sustainable food supply...how totally Oak Park!

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