Pesky pigeons are becoming increasingly irritating to Hermanus residents in Fernkloof. Observant and innovative engineer, Paul Buley, noticed whilst visiting Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal that when a yellow-billed kite was soaring above there was a great flurry of pigeons and they moved somewhere safer. 

Checking with resourceful Google he discovered that the Greater London Authority now employs Hawkforce to control the pigeons in places like Trafalgar Square. It is no longer acceptable to feed the birds as recommended by Julie Andrews but instead fines are issued. 

Lemmy, a falcon and his owner handler, also a Paul, work between the Houses of Parliament and Charing Cross. Lemmy is fed a diet of chicken scraps but once a day he enjoys getting a bird’s eye view of London and the pigeons have retreated. So it is a humane and environmentally friendly method of control. 

During lockdown Paul of Fernkloof made a yellow-billed kite out of an old baking tray. It is attached to a fence pole and yebo, no more pigeons on our patio. I wonder if the yellow-billed kite ever sings the old refrain: Accept the fact that some days you are the pigeon and some days you are the statue.

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