Late Reports

Ordinary Council Meeting


Alby Schultz Meeting Centre,



6:00pm, Tuesday 27th AUGUST, 2019


Administration Centres:  1300 459 689




Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda

27 August 2019




Order Of Business


8          General Manager’s Report. 5

8.5            Regulatory Services. 5

8.5.1        Cootamundra CBD Pigeon Strategy Report 5


Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda

27 August 2019




8            General Manager’s Report

8.5        Regulatory Services

8.5.1      Cootamundra CBD Pigeon Strategy Report




Glen McAtear, Manager Regulatory Services


Phil McMurray, Acting General Manager  


3. Sustainable natural and built environments: we connect with the places and spaces around us

3.2 Our built environments support and enhance liveability



There are no Financial implications associated with this report.


There are no Legislative implications associated with this report.


There are no Policy implications associated with this report.


1.       Correspondence - Belmont Pest Management    



1.       Council prepare a fact sheet to distribute to residents and local businesses providing information on pigeon control.

2.       Council undertake pigeon proofing on Council assets where roosting pigeons congregate.




This report was prepared and submitted to the July, 2019 Ordinary Meeting, however, as Glen McAtear, Manager Regulatory Services was an apology at that meeting it was deferred to the August, 2019 meeting.

At the Ordinary Meeting held on Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 Mr Allan Mitchell and Ms Jenna Reid both addressed Council during the Open Forum in relation to the mess created by pigeons nesting in their business’ buildings.


Council in previous years, in conjunction with business owners, has undertaken many techniques with the objective of eradicating pigeons from the CBD of Cootamundra. As stated in the attached report pigeon control is a complex issue where many factors must be considered.   

Of the methods Council has previously undertaken none have been absolutely successful in eradicating the birds from the infested areas.  After recently researching the eradication of pigeons Council staff met on site with Jamie Grentell, consultant of Belmont Pest Management, and author of the attached report, to discuss pigeon control.  It is worth noting that as recently 2018 Council contracted the services of a local contractor to eradicate the birds.

The identified problems and health risks posed by roosting pigeons are that they:

·   Attract cockroaches and rats.

·   Damage buildings and monuments due to the corrosive nature of their droppings.

·   Cause damage to buildings by roosting and breeding in roof spaces.

·   Create a build up of debris which in turn causes drains and gutters to block creating potential fire hazards.

·   Cause extensive damage to air-conditioning units and other roof top machinery.

·   Create hygiene concerns by increasing the risk of parasites and diseases in domestic and other wild bird populations.

·   Impose escalating costs of public liability insurance due to slips on droppings.

·   Increase costs to Council with the cleaning footpaths.

·   Provide a vector for the spread of disease and weeds from outer areas.

Control Techniques

Research indicates that utilising lethal control techniques is not an effective measure for the long term reduction of the problem birds. Lethal techniques, such as shooting, trapping and poisoning have only proven to achieve short term reductions with most instances just four (4) to six (6) weeks of respite from the birds. The reduced numbers of the culled pigeons can be quickly revived with juvenile birds and the flocks may reach their initial numbers, or be even larger, after a few weeks.

When shooting the birds it is important to realise that if birds are shot in inaccessible locations the birds cannot be retrieved creating other health concerns. Further, when killing adult birds it may leave juvenile flightless birds in nests to die of starvation.

Other issues when using lethal techniques, particularly when trapping, are that it is essential for the food supply of the birds to be removed otherwise the flocks can quickly return to pre cull numbers. 

Some licenced pest control operators utilise a chemical where the theory is that the birds go to sleep and die.  Unfortunately, in many instances, the birds feed fly away and die an inhumane death which can lead to other animals ingesting the birds and, therefore, ingesting the poison also. Large numbers of native wild birds would also be exposed to the poison. 

Food reduction

It is particularly important in all instances to remove any alternate food and water sources and ensure that refuse, particularly from food premises, is stored securely and ensure any spillage is kept to a minimum.

Destruction of nesting sites

Pigeon nests are very simple structures and commonly found along building ledges, air-conditioning units and window sills.  Pigeons are very persistent and removal of the nests would be an ongoing task and to be used in conjunction with other bird control methods.

Proofing and deterrents

It is important to prevent pigeons from gaining access to nesting the above mentioned nesting sites by sealing windows, doors and open eaves.  This could create extensive renovations or be as simple as closing a window or sealing a crack or crevice. 

Products such as netting, wire coils or spikes prevent pigeons from landing and gaining access to nesting sites.  Other methods include scare devices, either audio or visual, or the application of gel products that make it uncomfortable for the birds to stand in the affected areas.

It would also assist in the reduction of pigeons if neighbouring businesses were to bird proof their buildings otherwise such efforts could just see the birds moving from one building to the next.


In summary, pigeons become problematic when they have easy access to roosting sites. To remove the birds building landlords and/or business proprietors are obligated to undertake methods to make their buildings uncomfortable sites for the birds to roost.  The owners of buildings where the pigeons are congregating should engage the services of licenced pest control agents to undertake birds control programs. Neighbouring businesses should also be encouraged to participate in bird control programs.

Lethal techniques will only rid a site of the nuisance birds for a short period of time and have to be perpetually undertaken to ensure the birds do not return.  The food and water source for the birds should also be reduced or removed where possible to discourage birds from roosting.


Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda

27 August 2019


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