pigeon papers

For an easier read -- just click on "recent posts" to view each post separately; to view urban wildlife coalition's home page, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/urban_wildlife_coalition_NYC

My Photo
Name:
Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

MEDIA

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/10/nyregion/10pigeon.html?ex=1087867835&ei=1&en=0b6e4a4fea2abd63

THE NEW YORK TIMES
Who's Kidnapping the Pigeons, and Who Cares?
June 10, 2004
By IAN URBINA

The reports are usually the same: around dawn, near a city park or plaza, two men jump out of a van, the license plate often concealed with tape. They toss a handful of seeds, and when pigeons descend, they swipe the birds up in a net.

"We've been getting calls about this for years," said Mark MacDonald, a 32-year veteran with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in New York. He is also the organization's main pigeon expert. Once captured, the pigeons are then driven to Pennsylvania, investigators believe, and sold to private gun clubs for use in live bird shooting.

"We never got enough evidence to go after the people moving the pigeons within the state and across state lines," said Clayton Hulsizer, a retired Pennsylvania A.S.P.C.A. officer who spent three years working under cover investigating the traffic in pigeons. "But it was common knowledge that NewYork City played a role when it came to the supply side for the pigeons. "Though accounts of the nettings seem to teeter on the edge of urban lore, the rare witnesses to the thefts swear by them.

One woman from the Upper East Side said that in the last six months she has seen netters on several occasions next to the East River on the jogging path near 76th Street. "One of the guys looked at me staring at him and said, 'Keep walking lady, just keep walking,' " she said. Edwin, a Bronx pet store owner who breeds homing pigeons and asked that his last name not be used out of fear for his business, said the netters had been around as long as he could remember.

"Actually," he said, "they're called hopers because they use hoop-shaped hand-held nets. "To most New Yorkers, street pigeons - winged rats, they are sometimes called - do not evoke either great affection or urgent concern. But no one disputes that pigeons have it hard enough without the threat of being captured and killed.

Crammed into a concrete jungle, the birds navigate a perilous world of electrified ledges, predatory hawks, rooftop glue traps and millions of disdaining pedestrians. But they do have rights - unlike privately owned homing and racing pigeons that usually live in rooftop coops, street pigeons - which pigeon breeders call clinkers - are considered property of the state, and it is illegal to harm them.

And they do have their defenders, some of whom have been consumed with ending the illicit trade conducted by the netters.

"The negative attitudes toward these beautiful creatures are ridiculous," said Al Streit, founder of Pigeon People, a group of 20 organizing members with a 300-person e-maillist. The group, which meets once a month, works to remind the public that pigeons are just like any other bird, he said. Their waste "is no dirtier than the sparrows'," he said. "So why the discrimination?

"The world and workings of the netters remain murky. Nobody seems to know of any arrests. The vans and trucks that many insist transport the birds and deliver them to the gun clubs have not been stopped." The problem has been that the nettings occur in 15 seconds or less," said Mr. MacDonald, of the New York A.S.P.C.A.

But Don Bailey, a part-time truck driver who often transports birds, says the trade exists. Until 1999, Pennsylvania was home to the Hegins Pigeon Shoot, one of the oldest and most heavily attended annual shooting events in the country. The shoot attracted more than 5,000spectators for Labor Day weekend and often left an estimated 6,000 pigeons dead. Mr. Bailey said he was one of the truckers who provided birds for the Hegins shoot.

"Some guys moved them from Philly and New York City, but I never did," he said. Mr. Bailey said that all of the pigeons he shipped to Hegins came from teenage farm boys in Pennsylvania who gather up the birds from barns and granaries and sell them for a dollar or two each.

The Hegins shoot was ended after years of pressure from animal rights advocates, but live shoots still exist in private gun clubs around Pennsylvania. And Mr. Bailey said he did not think, in truth, that grabbing pigeons in New York for use in the shoots was such a bad idea. "Thinning out the population in New York City is a good thing, right?" he asked. Some people, obviously, think not.

Anna Kugelmas is the director of the New York Companion Bird Club, a group with 60 members. Ms. Kugelmas started her group because she was tired of people yelling at her every time she threw seeds on the street, she said. In New York City, feeding pigeons in public areas is legally considered littering.

"Loving pigeons can be a pretty lonely affection in this city," she said. She has a point: of the approximately 300 pigeon-related calls to 311 per month, city data shows, roughly half are complaints about people feeding them.

The other half are complaints about the birds' feces." The city has plenty of places to call if you want them removed or killed, but nowhere to call if you want them helped because one has a broken wing," said Margaret, a member of the club who spoke on the condition that her last name not be used.

Several people devoted to rescuing and healing injured or stranded pigeons say that more ought to be done and that there needs to be more oversight by the government when it comes to pigeons.

"There is a real lack of policy when it comes to urban wildlife," said Johanna Clearfield, director of the Urban Wildlife Coalition, a group that does what it can for squirrels, sparrows and pigeons in New York City.

Ms. Kugelmas agreed. "If Bernard Goetz can be the city's main squirrel rehabber, which he is, then you know there is a real void here," she said, referring to the man who shot four teenagers on a subway train in 1984. But for pigeon advocates, the netters remain a top concern, and some lament that no one is bold enough to take them on.

There is, though: Bird Operations Busted.

"We're the hard-core part of the pigeon movement," said Bob, who asked that his last name not be used but who is the founder of Bird Operations Busted, an organization that has about 15 members. "Our aim is to unveil the mafia of netters," he said in hushed tones, seated in an Upper West Side cafe. The first challenge, he said, involves surveillance. Members of the group have disposable cameras in case they happen upon a netter in action, he said. The group has also installed hidden video cameras at several spots in Manhattan.

Gordon King, 71, a retired lawyer who is working pro bono for the group, said that the goal was to collect evidence and eventually compel state officials to investigate illegal nettings. But Bob acknowledges it will not be easy. The wireless video cameras that the group uses are expensive, he said. Their installation in public spaces requires discretion. The group is also collecting a paper archive of witness accounts of netting sightings from across the city, complete with license plate numbers and descriptions of suspects, he said. "Sometimes," Bob said, "you have to do a lot to get the smallest injustices corrected."

************************************************************************
http://www.nydailynews.com/06-15-2004/news/story/202893p-175069c.html

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS,
JUNE 15, 2004

Bird-control plan is rattling cages

By RALPH R. ORTEGA
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A midtown love nest frequented by thousands of pigeons has turned into a love trap.

In a quest to keep the landmark 80-year-old Haier Building clear of pigeon droppings, owners hired a New Jersey firm to place cages on a ledge, lure the birds with food and relocate them upstate.

But the technique has outraged animal advocates and sparked a cruelty investigation by the ASPCA, whose inspectors were at Broadway and 36th St. yesterday checking conditions inside the four cages.

Pigeon lovers who fear the birds will meet a fate more foul than upstate freedom have staged jail breaks, scaling a 30-foot wall of the six-story building to pry open the cages.

"Pigeons love people and there's nothing wrong with loving them back," said Al Streit, director of Pigeon People, a rescue group. The relocation program began six months ago with the best intentions, said David Odermatt, Haier's director of security. "What we're doing is the most humane thing in the city," Odermatt said.

The columns on the former Greenwich Savings Bank are stained by pigeon droppings, which were eating away at the architectural masterpiece purchased by Haier, the Chinese appliance maker, three years ago.

Odermatt said he did not want to euthanize the birds before applying a sealant that would protect the building from excrement. So he turned to the Bird Doctor.

Sal Santamaria, an expert with the Paramus, N.J.-based Bird Doctor, denied the pigeons are being killed or sold. "We don't believe in doing that," he said. They're kept for 30 days, starved for 24 hours and then released to an undisclosed location upstate, Santamaria said.

Odermatt insisted the cages - which so far have trapped about 1,500 birds - are in compliance with all local and state regulations.

But Streit fears a trend. He said pigeons increasingly are considered nuisances and being unfairly forced out of the city. Other New Yorkers offered little sympathy yesterday for what critics call winged rats. "I just don't see any use for them," said Peter Dunn, 22, as he sat under a tree in Herald Square.
***********************************************************************
JULY 29, 2004
THE WEST SIDE SPIRIT
MANHATTAN MEDIA GROUP

COMMUNITY NEWS
BY LIZ TODD

AN UPPER WEST SIDE CHURCH ALLEGEDLY HAS BEEN TRAPPING PIGEONS ILLEGALLY. YET, DESPITE EVIDENCE AND ARGUMENTS FROM ANIMAL ACTIVISTS, AN ASPCA OFFICER AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH'S OWN OFFICIALS, THE CITY WILL NOT BE TAKING ACTION AGAINST HOLY TRINITY CHURCH, ON 82ND STREET BETWEEN BROADWAY AND AMSTERDAM AVENUE.AN ANONYMOUS WORKER AT 221 W. 82ND STREET, THE APARTMENT BUILDING NEXT TO THE CHURCH, SAID RESIDENTS HAD BEEN CONCERNED ABOUT THE PROBLEM FOR MORE THAN A YEAR.

THE APARTMENT FACING EAST FROM THE FIFTH FLOOR UP OVERLOOK THE RECTORY ROOF - A BUILDING ADJACENT TO THE CHURCH - WHERE THE ALLEGED TRAP HAS BEEN. PHOTOS TAKEN BY MEMBERS OF THE URBAN WILDLIFE COALITION JUNE 29 AND GIVEN TO THE WEST SIDE SPIRIT SHOWED SEVERAL BIRDS IN AND AROUND THE WOODEN-FRAMED, WIRE MESH TRAP.ON JULY 7, THE CITY'S HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS VISITED THE SITE, A SPOKESWOMAN FOR THE CITY, WHO ASKED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS, SAID DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS INITIALLY THOUGHT THEY SAW A PIGEON COOP."

STAFF INSPECTED AT THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH IN RESPONSE TO A COMPLAINT ABOUT UNSANITARY CONDITIONS RELATED TO THE PIGEON COOP," THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN SAID. "THEY FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF A PIGEON NUISANCE, AND NO UNSANITARY CONDITIONS."LATER REALIZING THE "COOP" WAS ACTUALLY A TRAP, HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS CONTACTED THE CHURCH TO INFORM THEM A PERMIT WAS REQUIRED.THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN ACKNOWLEDGED, "OUR INSPECTORS DID NOT SEE THE TRAP IN OPERATION, AND THEREFORE WE CANNOT ASSESS A VIOLATION.

"HAD THEY SEEN A WORKING TRAP, THE CITY WOULD HAVE REQUESTED PROMPT ABATEMENT. INSPECTORS MAY ALSO ISSUE A VIOLATION, WHICH CAN RESULT IN A FINE OF $200 TO $2,000.STATE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION LAW REQUIRES ANYONE WISHING TO TRAP PIGEONS IN NEW YORK, IN CASES WHERE PIGEONS CREATE NUISANCE CONDITIONS, TO APPLY FOR A PERMIT FROM THE CITY.THIS PERMIT APPLICATION MUST DOCUMENT THE NUISANCE CONDITIONS AND DESCRIBE THE PROPOSED MANNER BY WHICH THE ANIMALS WILL BE HUMANELY EUTHANIZED OR WHERE THEY WILL BE RELEASED.IN AN UNRELATED UNANNOUNCED INSPECTION THE SAME DAY, THE ASPCA EXAMINED THE CHURCH SITE.

THE ANIMAL RESCUE ORGANIZATION HAD RECEIVED SEVERAL CALLS FROM CONCERNED MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC THAT THE BIRDS WERE BEING HOUSED CRUELLY. SO ASPCA SPECIAL AGENT JOSEPH PENTANGELLO CHECKED IT OUT.HE SAID THAT ALTHOUGH THE CHURCH STAFF MEMBERS WERE INITIALLY UNWILLING TO ALLOW THE OFFICER ROOF ACCESS, THEY EVENTUALLY COOPERATED."I TOOK SEVERAL PHOTOS OF THE ENTIRE ROOF," PENTANGELLO SAID.HE SAID A ROOFTOP TRAP CONTAINED ONE PIGEON, WHICH APPEARED SOUND AND HAD SUFFICIENT FOOD AND WATER. "I LOOKED AT THE GENERAL CONDITION OF THAT BIRD," HE SAID. "THERE WERE NO CARCASSES AND THERE WERE NO FEATHERS OR TELL-TALE EVIDENCE TO ME THAT THERE HAD BEEN PROBLEMS BEFOREHAND."

ON JULY 9, HOLY TRINITY CHURCH APPLIED FOR A PERMIT TO TRAP PIGEONS. REV. MONSIGNOR THOMAS LEONARD, FROM THE CHURCH, DID NOT RESPOND TO REPEATED REQUESTS FOR COMMENT. THE WEST SIDE SPIRIT COULD NOT CONFIRM HOW LONG THE INITIAL TRAP HAD BEEN IN PLACE, OR WHY THE CHURCH HAD APPLIED FOR A PERMIT TWO DAYS AFTER OFFICIALS VISITED THE SITE. IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER TRAPPED PIGEONS WERE HUMANELY KILLED OR RELEASED ELSEWHERE.THE CHURCH'S EVENTUAL APPLICATION WAS "INCOMPLETE" AND THEREFORE DENIED ON JULY 20, ALTHOUGH THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN COULD NOT SAY WHETHER THIS WAS BECAUSE THERE WAS INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE OF A PROBLEM AT THE SITE, OR BECAUSE THE PAPERWORK HAD NOT BEEN FILLED OUT FULLY.

AS OF JULY 22 THE TRAP WAS DISABLED, THE SPOKESWOMAN SAID. CHURCH OFFICIALS, SHE ADDED, HAD INFORMED THE CITY THAT IT HAD BEEN COVERED OVER AND WOULD BE REMOVED BY THE CONTRACTOR, T & W PIGEON ELIMINATING CO., OF LINDEN, N.J.DESPITE ACKNOWLEDGING TO A REPORTER THAT THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT DID IN FACT SEE A TRAP, NO ACTION WILL BE TAKEN AGAINST THE CHURCH.

"OUR INSPECTORS DID NOT SEE THE TRAP IN OPERATION, AND THEREFORE WE CANNOT ASSESS A VIOLATION," THE SPOKESWOMAN SAID.JOHANNA CLEARFIELD, THE DIRECTOR OF THE URBAN WILDLIFE COALITION, SAID SHE WAS APPALLED BY THAT RESPONSE.
"IT SHOWS THERE'S NO REAL HEART IN ENFORCEMENT," SHE SAID, "THERE'S NO REAL MUSCLE. THE FIELD IS WIDE OPEN FOR PEOPLE TO DO THESE VIOLATIONS."

AS FOR WHY PENTANGELLO FROM THE ASPCA DID NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE TRAP, HE SAID HE COULD NOT BECAUSE THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF ANIMAL CRUELTY."

AS FAR AS THEM (THE CHURCH) NOT HAVING THE PROPER PERMITS OR THE REQUIRED PERMITS, THAT'S A REAL ISSUE, BUT UNFORTUNATELY NOT THE ASPCA'S ISSUE," PENTANGELLO SAID. OUR ISSUE IS CRUELTY TO BIRDS, NOT GETTING INTO THE LABYRINTH OF CODES AND REGULATORY ISSUES OF THE RIGHT SORTS OF PERMITS."

CLEARFIELD, FROM THE WILDLIFE COALITION, WAS ANGRY AT THE IDEA OF ANY LOSS OF LIFE, WHETHER THROUGH HUMANE EUTHANASIA OR BECAUSE THE PIGEONS DIED INADVERTENTLY IN THE TRAP OR ON THEIR JOURNEY TO A RELEASE SITE.

"YOU CANNOT JUST WILLY-NILLY KILL PIGEONS JUST BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE IT," SHE SAID. "THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF NEW YORKERS WHO ARE ANIMAL-SYMPATHETIC. IF THIS WAS A DOG OR A CAT, THE CITY WOULD BE UP IN ARMS."


***************************************************************************
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, MAY 27, 2004
SLINKY VS. STINKY
By RALPH R. ORTEGA, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

The long battle to keep pigeons from pooping on visitors to Manhattan's Bryant Park is getting down to the wire. Today, workers will wrap Slinky-like coiled wires around tree branches hanging over sitting areas in the midtown oasis in an effort to ward off birds and put an end to the foul potty breaks.

"The wire's not steady. It moves, it wobbles, it makes the birds dizzy, and they go away," said Charles Fremaint, projects director for the 34th St. Partnership. The Bryant Park Restoration Corp., which runs the park, is banking on those results to finally win the battle of the bird.

Once overrun by drugs, the French Classical-style park was cleaned up and reopened in 1992, when it quickly became a lunchtime mecca. But the pigeons also came, looking for scraps and dropping excrement.

"The pigeons do dunk on you a lot," said parkg oer Scott White, 64, who was hit three times last year. Getting rid of the birds has been a long - and sometimes embarrassing - fight. Drugging the pigeons didn't work, and fake owls didn't scare them away.

A plan last year to use a hawk to chase away pigeons backfired when the predator swooped down and attacked a Chihuahua. Daniel Biederman, director of the park corporation, hopes the wires will spare up to 2,500 people who sit under the trees every day. He vowed to keep looking for a solution if the wires don't work. "This is going to help us some of the way, hopefully all of the way," Biederman said. "And if not, we'll try something else. ... We will not stop."

Originally published on May 27, 2004
***************************************************************************
And in MIAMI.....
Areti Weisberg's compassionate battle to save the pigeons in her building from being exterminated --
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/9292141.htm


******************************************************************************
2 video clips about pigeons available
http://www.paccomfilms.com/previews.html

The first has a lot of historical info, the 2nd is about racing pigeons. (The RealPlayer versions of these clips work, but not all of the QuickTime versions do.)

These are excerpts from longer documentaries about pigeons, of which there are several available as DVD or VHS here:

http://www.paccomfilms.com/films/pigeons.html
*******************************************************************************




1 Comments:

Blogger fghbn said...

Joy in warcraft leveling living comes wow lvl from having wow lvl fine emotions,wow power level trusting them,power leveling giving them power leveling the freedom of wrath of the lich king power leveling a bird in the open.wlk power leveling Joy in living can age of conan gold never be assumed as a pose,or put on from guildwars gold the outside as a mask. People who have this joy don not need maple story mesos to talk about it; they radiate it. wow gold They just live out their joy and let wow power leveling it splash its sunlight and glow into other lives as naturally as bird sings.

4:44 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home