Pigeon mobile for the bus station A construction trailer to curb the pigeon plague in Bonn

Bonn · The uncontrolled pigeon population combined with large amounts of rubbish have long been a problem for the city of Bonn, especially at the central bus station. Now a construction trailer is to help improve the situation.

Pigeon mobile for the bus station: A construction trailer to curb the pigeon plague in Bonn
Foto: Benjamin Westhoff

Bits of leftover burgers, broken off pieces of pretzel, sandwich crumbs - Bonn's central bus station is like a buffet. At least for pigeons. The much maligned "rats of the air" are all around, cooing away and leaving droppings in their wake. Over the years, the issue of a mobile pigeon house has been raised again and again. In March 2021 the administration's Hauptausschuss (Main Committee) finally commissioned the building of a pigeonmobile at the bus station to get the birds under control. It comes in the form of a construction trailer.

According to the city administration, site assessment has been completed and the hand-built construction trailer has already been delivered. Soon it will be set up near the southern subway in the direction of Poppelsdorfer Allee and fenced in to protect it from vandalism. According to the administration, the pigeon mobile will not affect the plans for the construction of the new central bus station.

One pigeon produces over 12 kilos of droppings per year

The project is being supported by the Stadttaubenhilfe Bonn association, whose members will take over feeding and the ongoing care of the pigeons on a voluntary basis. Both the city and the association hope that the new home for the grey pigeons will reduce their population and also their droppings, of which there are quite a lot.

According to a study by the civil engineering trade association, a single pigeon leaves behind ten to twelve kilograms of wet droppings and around 2.5 kilograms of dry droppings a year. Thanks to the pigeon loft, 80 to 90 percent of this should no longer end up on the street.

Reducing droppings is important because the large quantities of bacteria, yeasts, viruses and fungi excreted by the birds pose a health risk to humans. As two urban pigeons can easily produce eight offspring within a year, it is important to keep an eye on the growing population. This is something pigeon houses can do, because the eggs can be exchanged for dummy eggs in a controlled manner. This has already worked in Bad Godesberg.

The planned location of the pigeon house.

The planned location of the pigeon house.

Foto: GA

Experience in Bad Godesberg

In 2012, the council of Bonn opened its first city pigeon loft here, a project that developed into a real success in the years that followed. Ten years later, however, the city and the association started to lose control of the pigeons after unknown persons repeatedly distributed large quantities of food in the city, luring the birds away and causing them to multiply uncontrollably once again.

In order for the pigeon mobile at the bus station to fulfil the expectations of the administration, illegal feeding must be stopped. As the press office explains, fines of 25 to 1000 euros can be imposed for illegally feeding birds. The amount depends on the frequency and severity of the offence.

(Original text: Jonas Dirker; Translation: Jean Lennox)

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