Birds of a feather prevent us from flocking somewhere together

You may or may not remember that my wife has an extreme fear of birds. I mean, you would only remember that if you read the column from like four years ago about how my wife hates birds. These are the types of things I write about. Honestly? I’m not sure why anyone reads this column.

Anyway, if for some reason you don’t remember that particular column or have it handy in your archives, here are the Cliff Notes: my wife hates birds. If I had to boil “birds” down (my wife would literally like to boil birds) to something more specific, I will say that my wife hates, especially, pigeons.

Pigeons, I think, are most famous for residing in two places: Italy and New York. With regards to the former, my wife spent many vacations in her father’s homeland, and of all the wonderful things Italy is famous for, the pigeons in St. Mark’s Square are not one. In fact, if you YouTube “pigeon attack in St. Mark’s Square,” you, too, will develop a hatred of pigeons. Hey, let’s go to Italy so we can have the experience of vile-filled rats with wings descending on us as if the gates of hell have been opened. Sounds fun. As far as NYC is concerned, my wife attended NYU, and would literally cross the street every time a pigeon was in her way. This, of course, meant that it took her three hours to get to class, and she failed out of school after one week (not true).

I’m not going to say that “escaping the general vicinity of pigeons” was high on our list of reasons to move to Arizona, or on our list at all, but I will say we were genuinely surprised to discover that pigeons reside in Arizona, too. I don’t understand how these dumb pigeons survive the desert heat. It would be cool if the pigeon population had decided the Valley was a good place to migrate, and then sometime in July of 1780 they all spontaneously burst into flames, causing their mass extinction. Oh well.

You also may or may not remember that we now have solar panels on our roof. Maybe you didn’t read that column (weirdo). Maybe you are reading this column and thinking, “Where is this even going?” Well let me tell you where this is going.

A significant amount of pigeons are currently living underneath our solar panels. There are nests. New generations of pigeons are spawning from our roof, and we hear their terrible ooo-ooooing at all hours of the day. The noise coming from our house sounds like 10 owls are dying of laryngitis. You can imagine how well this unfortunate fact has been received at home.

Strangely, my strategy of throwing tennis balls at them has not forced them to relocate, meaning I had to explore other options. Apparently, the process of having nesting pigeons removed from your roof/solar panels is not as easy/inexpensive as I had hoped. It is probably going to cost us more than $1,000 to have these dumb pigeons removed in a way that ensures they don’t return. In detailing the reason for the high price, the woman on the phone used the phrase “toxic feces.” God, pigeons are the worst. Really, I am talking to God. God, why did You create pigeons? I don’t understand. According to the Bible, even St. Francis hated pigeons. True story.

Anyway, we are now in serious discussions about having to cancel our summer vacation to pay for pigeon removal services. I am looking forward to someone asking me, “Hey, why didn’t you guys go to Seattle?” so I can reply, “Toxic feces.” I hope everyone has a great summer. Please kill a pigeon.

Note: This column appears in the 5/16 issue of The Glendale Star and the 5/17 issue of Peoria Times.


Thom said…
Your solar installer should help you with this problem. To prevent nesting of vermin beneath the panels, solar installers in some areas, like Denver, include screening with every residential system they sell.

It is a rare problem, but increasing with solar's popularity. And if it happens in your location, of course, it doesn't matter how common it is —— for you, it's 100 percent.

It can be expected in certain neighborhoods, but is otherwise difficult to predict. As with anything, prevention is cheaper than repair. Nests, which retain water and snow, can cause roof damage. So can the caustic nature of the droppings. Squirrels cause even more damage due to their need to gnaw constantly, to keep their teeth from over-growing.

The required material and specifically designed hardware can be purchased here: