50 Pigeons Trapped Under Reno Bridge

By  | 

A few hundred local pigeons are searching for new homes, after nesting under a Reno bridge for nearly a decade.

Department of Transportation officials say near the intersection of Keystone and Seventh streets, the bird problem has become increasingly worse over the years...so they've decided to do something about it.

DOT officials say after the pigeons have been making their home on the bridge for about ten years...only now they've decided it's time the birds make their home somewhere else.

Drive by, and you'll see at least a hundred birds under the bridge, most of them undisturbed by the passing cars or the changing lights. Transportation officials say it's not the birds they don't like, it's what they leave behind.

"Every time I walk through here, there's bird poop all over everyday. A couple times I came through, I got hit in the head. It's kind of gross," said Fredrick Moore of Reno.

Citing the bird droppings as a "health issue," the DOT hired a local exterminating company to help get rid of the messy pigeons.

Nets were put up a few weeks back, in order to deter the birds from nesting there. The problem is, some of the birds got stuck behind the nets and many have been there ever since.

"I've seen one dead and it was sad. I think they should find a different alternative," said Reno resident, Madeline Finnerty.

In fact, DOT says 50 birds have been trapped and 20 birds have been found dead behind the netting since it was installed. They say they've put up traps to help catch the birds before they die. That method has helped them save about 30 pigeons so far.

"They should just be left alone," said 16-year-old Travis Hughes, who skateboards under the overpass daily.

Some locals who use the bridge say the method is not only inhumane, but also that it doesn't seem to be helping.

"Well there wasn't any poop or feathers until they put the netting up. I mean, it wasn't uncontrollable. I see more now," said Finnerty.

Moore added, "I don't know what the solution is but something needs to be done. Walking through here with dead birds and poop everywhere is kind of foul."

DOT officials say the netting was actually a more inhumane option than the spikes you may see on buildings elsewhere in Reno. they say those spikes can actually impale the birds.

A spokesman for DOT tells us they are working on getting all of the trapped birds out from behind the net, and they were hoping to finish up by Thursday afternoon.

They also say there are no holes in the netting, so no more birds will be able to get in and become trapped. The netting you saw on the bridge is permanent.

Transportation officials say they'll install similar nets on three other bridges in upcoming weeks...one at Pyramid Highway, one on Rock Boulevard, and another on Wells Avenue.

They say they'll use a loud horn or noisemaker in order to scare the pigeons away before they put those nets up. They estimate the project will cost around $60-thousand dollars in state taxpayer money to complete.