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Feathered Squatter

June 6th, 2003

I’d been hearing an excessive amount of cooing outside my windows, and had noted pigeons hanging out there a bit–but now it seems I’ve got one nesting out on my balcony. I have an old, beat-up metal shelf rack out there with the bottom covered over with a tarp. Last night I went out to clean some stuff out of there and was just a bit more than slightly surprised to have a pigeon suddenly panic and fly up into my face!

Well, it came back, and is now comfortably resting there. Nothing there but a few bags with rags and throwaway stuff, but it seems quite content roughing it. I was surprised that it let me get within a few feet of it to take these shots. I’ve checked during the day when it’s gone–no nest, no eggs.

So there it’ll stay. Always thought pigeons got a bad rap, with them being called “rats with wings” and such. They’re basically gray doves–in fact, the species name is actually “Rock Dove.” Come from Europe, where they roost on ledges of cliffs. You wouldn’t mind of a dove nested on your balcony, now would you?

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  1. August 5th, 2003 at 12:36 | #1

    excellent, I’m so glad you have pictures. our Shibuya balcony rock doves just laid their egg a few days ago, and mom has been sitting on it fairly contentedly. I broke up an old dead plant full of branches and left it out last week, and within hours, pop was picking up choice bits and arranging them into a round nest…

    I have to check out the rest of your photos and will post some when I have a chance.

  2. Shana
    March 21st, 2006 at 04:12 | #2

    When we moved into our apartment we shooed the pigeons off our balcony so we wouldn’t have to clean up their mess, and they stayed away for about 6 months. A few weeks ago they returned, and my roommate just called me at work to tell me that she found two little eggs in a pot on our balcony. At first I told her “gross get rid of them” but then I said I would look into it and we could decide what to do. We both thought it would be an interesting learning experience so we decided to let them stay…in large part because of your little blog here. So thank you very much. Please email with any advice you might have! Thanks!

  3. leesa Mire
    May 6th, 2006 at 04:27 | #3

    Great Blog, actually the first one I’ve ever read.

    Here’s my story:
    Pigeon landed on my balcony. Kept shoeing her away. She built a nest. Noticed the nest on a monday. Told my husband to break up the nest. (He doesn’t recall this request) By tuesday there was an egg. “Sh*t, she laid an egg!” I yelled. Well, now I had to let them stay…by wed there was a 2nd egg. “Sh*t, she laid another egg”. A week later mama was sitting pretty on her nest when I opened the window and she flew away and I noticed that the first egg hatched. To this day the 2nd egg has not hatched. (Been about 21/2 weeks since it was laid. Mama layed a 3rd egg 2 days ago in an odd spot outside of the nest. Baby is growing FAST, but I have not seen mama in about 3 days….I feel responsible..maybe I scared her off with my curiosity…
    will mama return?

  4. Annie
    September 4th, 2006 at 05:59 | #4

    Noticed birds on the balcony two months ago. Friday I saw a nest w/ two eggs in it -decided to leave it along because I was thinking abou the destroying off the eggs. Today the birds have hatched. How much longer do I have to wait until the nest can be removed? Will they come back what can I do to get rid of them???

  5. Luis
    September 4th, 2006 at 10:54 | #5

    Check out my “Pigeons Page” to see the progress:


    You can also see the Pigeons category in this blog:

    Pigeons Category

    Roughly speaking, my pigeons left for good about 5-6 weeks after hatching. However, if I were you, I’d lay newspaper and/or tarp all over the floor of your balcony, as it’s going to get severely littered with pigeon poop. In the meantime, don’t be alarmed if mama leaves for protracted periods of time, and son’t be too shy about approaching the nest or even petting the piggies (maybe after they’re a bit bigger, though).

    And yes, the parents will probably try to come back. They did with me, two or three times. Scaring them off frequently does no good, nor do scarecrow/scary-eye treatments. I used a bird netting sold at a local supermarket/home center, the kind gardeners/farmers use over their plants. I had nothing to tie it up to so I used duct tape, and “closed off” the balcony with it. That sufficed, and the birds haven’t tried to come back after a year or two of this treatment.

  6. Jay
    March 8th, 2007 at 22:23 | #6

    “You wouldn’t mind of a dove nested on your balcony, now would you?”

    Yes I would, a creature that poops all over is a creature that poops all over. =(

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