Chiswick's Pigeons: Pests or Pets?

Whether you loved them or loathe them they are on the increase in W4

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Amount of seed left for birds each day


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A number of residents living close to Chiswick Back Common have become so concerned with the numbers of pigeons on the green and surrounding buildings that they raised the issue at this week's Chiswick Area Committee meeting.

Whilst great numbers of pigeons have been a feature of the area for many years, the residents believe the reason behind the massive increase in the size of flock is down to one individual who arrives each afternoon with 5kg of seed with which to feed the birds.

"This matter is occurring on a daily basis on Chiswick Back Common near Rocks Lane Sports centre," a concerned resident told who went onto say that the person in question was "very quick in getting the grain down and disassociating themselves from the chaos".

"The flock approximately 200 plus and rapidly increasing."


When not eating, the birds nest on the roof tops of the buildings around the Common. Although Ken Livingstone was able to create by-law making feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square illegal, there is little that Hounslow Council can do about the matter. Pigeon droppings were said to have been responsible for £140,000 of damage to Nelson's Column and the square.

pigeons chiswickWhist there is an active Pigeon Protection Society in London, pigeons can pose problems, particularly when they occur in large numbers. Not only are their droppings unsightly, their acid corrodes stonework and damages buildings. Droppings on pavements can become slippery when wet and pose a hazard to passing pedestrians.

Problems also arise when well meaning people overfeed birds, which can attract lots of pigeons. There are no laws a Council can use to stop people feeding birds, however, if a large amount of rotting food accumulates, or the feeding is attracting rats or mice, they may be able to help. Excessive feeding can actually harm pigeons as it can cause overcrowding at feeding sites, and promote the spread of disease among birds.

Members of the Chiswick Area Committee did promise residents they would look into the matter.

September 10, 2010