Businesses fighting pigeon problem

These trees on 2nd street and South Avenue A. have been grackle-free since local businesses and residents joined efforts to scare them off last month with the use of firecrackers. The grackles haven't been much of a problem but other birds like pigeons and doves have been for local businesses and their buildings, according to Portales Public Works Director John DeSha.

Since the great-tailed grackles took flight in January, businessmen and local residents still haven't seen many signs of them returning.

But the absence of those pests has made an avenue for another.

Pigeons and doves have become more of an issue recently for local businesses and their customers, according to Portales Public Work Director John DeSha.

"Pigeons have always been there, and now that (the grackles) are gone, there are a lot pigeons appearing and more people are noticing them," said DeSha.

The pigeons have not replaced the grackles in the trees but they tend to rest on buildings, according to DeSha.

Portales Post Office employee Laurel Leppke said pigeons and other birds have become a real nuisance for the post office.

"I've had customers complain that the handrails and handicap ramp are too dirty," said Leppke. "We can clean it, but it's a constant battle to deal with every day."

Leppke says the birds hang around the building throughout the day.

Although pigeons have been an issue for local businesses, DeSha says that they are not posing a problem for the citizens as the grackles did.

DeSha is currently researching solutions for the pigeon and dove issue and hopes he will find one that he can recommend to local business owners.

As far as the grackles, DeSha says he has been able to control them.

"I still patrol the streets, I go by every day just to make sure they're not coming back," DeSha said. "I've had a good handle on the grackle situation. They were back during the snowstorm and gone the next day."

Last month businessmen and local residents teamed up to set off a barrage of fireworks to frighten the birds away.

According to DeSha, since then, there have been no big complaints.

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