Melbourne City Council’s $70,000 pigeon loft turned into scrap metal

by admin on July 13th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Pigeons in Elizabeth Street. Photo: Paul Jeffers The Batman Gardens pigeon coop in 2007, the year after it was installed. Photo: Wayne Taylor WMT
Nanjing Night Net

The site in Batman Park on Sunday. Photo: Paul Jeffers

Vault (the sculpture also known as The Yellow Peril ), which was removed from Batman Park in 2002. Photo: Matthew Bouwmeester

It was meant to be a deluxe bird house to encourage the city’s worst feathered pest – the pigeon – away from Melbourne’s grand old buildings.

But nine years after it spent $70,000 installing a nesting loft widely dubbed the “pigeon palace” on the banks of the Yarra, Melbourne City Council has given up – and got rid of the coop for the scrap metal.

Designed to lure the “rats of the sky” away from their usual nesting spots in the CBD, where their poo was corroding heritage building facades, the loft was placed in Batman Park in a humane attempt to curb the birds’ breeding.

By encouraging the pigeons to nest in the coop, council workers would be able to remove their eggs from the roost and replace them with plastic dummy eggs.

But the birds never took to their gleaming corrosion- and heat-resistant home, a Melbourne City Council spokeswoman said.

“The pigeon loft was removed from Batman Park in early 2015 because pigeon eggs were not being laid in it,” she said. “There was also an ongoing cost to maintain the loft, it had become unsightly and it was attracting other vermin to the park.”

Like Ron Robertson-Swann’s Vault sculpture before it, also removed from Batman Park in 2002, the pigeon loft is now gone. “The structure was sent to scrap metal for recycling,” said the council’s spokeswoman.

In 2004, the city council vowed to remove pigeons from the city’s streets, concerned their acidic droppings were eating away the facades of historic buildings.

But little has changed, with many of the city’s thousands of pigeons still nesting in Flinders Street Station, Bourke Street Mall and older buildings along Swanston and Little Collins streets.

Frank Hayes is the president of the Australian National Pigeon Association. While his group is mostly interested in show pigeons, a different breed to the city pests, he says it was fairly predictable the coop idea was never going to work.

“The nature of the pigeon is that they find a home and they stick with it. So finding them somewhere else to go is a bit of a dream,” said Mr Hayes.

“Trying to shift them is one big headache. It’s a worldwide problem and no one has ever figured out how to deal with it.”

Melbourne City Council is still concerned about the problem, but now has a less dramatic solution than building the birds alternative living quarters. “We are urging people not to feed pigeons in the city,” the council spokeswoman said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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