Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pigeon Be Gone

One of the biggest changes I’ve experienced moving to Toronto was my new winged neighbours. I never had any problems with pigeons on my balconies in any of the places I’ve lived in Edmonton. But for some reason, the word got out of my relocation and I had a plethora of pigeons strutting around my balcony and leaving me little welcome gifts by time I had arrived. Of all the things I regretted leaving behind at the wildlife shelter, scraping poo was definitely not one of them. I was not about to embrace that task in my new life if it did not come hand in hand with the occasional opportunity to hand feed (okay, cuddle) baby flying squirrels.

Now, you know that I endeavour to adopt a live and let live attitude with creatures lower down on the food chain than myself. I’ll try to capture and release spiders or flies rather than kill them just because they are in my home. They don’t want to be there anymore than I want to see them there. But I have limits. If they try to take me on, I will defend myself. Something jumps at me – I squish it. Something runs at me – I squish it. Looks at me sideways with questionable intent in one of its multiple eyes – squished.

I was forced once to remove a spider web from the outside of my kitchen window. The resident spider was larger than most of the protein portions of my evening meals, and try as I might I could not identify it – is it dangerous? poisonous? carnivorous? – from the internet. Rather than risk it being a danger to my health, I chose to evict it from my window sill. Problem was, its web was juuuust outside the reach of my longest broom handle. As I stretched off my balcony to reach it, the damn spider itself made a break for it. On my tiptoes, I warned it out loud “I don’t want to kill you but I will if I have to.” Then I looked down and saw the pedestrians within earshot of me looking up in terror.

So I wished not to duplicate such a scene with my pigeon problem. Oh, the pigeons are welcome to live, absolutely. But I never said anything is welcome to defecate on my property. So I took once more to the internet for guidance. Turns out, the consensus is that pigeons are afraid of cds. No, they aren't still reeling from our recent economic downturn – compact disks. And it doesn’t even have to be country and western music! Just kaleidoscopy (if that is not yet a word, I claim it to be so right now). And jingly stuff, if the faceless masses on the internet can be believed.

Dude, I had jingly stuff! My bellydancing days were over – I could hang tin coins on my balcony rather than a yet-to-be-made hip scarf. And I had cds that need never see the inside of a ghettoblaster again! I even had a few of those aluminum pie plate dealies that you put under your stove’s elements to catch crap and reflect heat. Up those went!

It’s been about a week, I think. And sure, my balcony looks a little like a bargain basement attempt at Barbie’s Dream Discotheque. But, while I have observed the random new modest poo pile (the rainstorms Toronto has been having almost daily helps to eradicate those), by and large my balcony is nobody’s toilet once more. Victory is mine!

This is such a triumph I just had to kick back in my chaise lounge, haul my laptop onto my balcony, and type all this up in the cool summer evening. Ahhh. Poo-less.

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