Facts about Feral Pigeons
Descended from the Rock Dove Feral pigeons have a considerable colour variation ranging from white to black. Weighing between 250-300grams they each consume around 60grams of food per day. With flock sizes between 40 and 350 birds each flock has a distinct territory.
Diseases spread by the Feral Pigeon include Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Lysteria monocytogenes, Vibrio cholererae. Bird Parasites that bite humans spreading disease include the Pigeon Bug, Pigeon Tick, Bird Mite and Pigeon Flea. There are also Air Borne diseases that are extremely hazardous to health.
Lifecycle – 2-3 eggs per clutch, 7 clutches per year. The young are sexually mature at 4 months. The Feral Pigeon breeds all year round the young squabs feed on pigeon milk and are fledged at 30 days.
The Gull – Laridae
There are six species of gull in Dorset. Great Black Backed – Larus marinus, Lesser Black Backed – Larus fuscus, Herring – Larus ridibundus, Common – Larus canus, Kittiwake – Rissa tridactyla
Predominantly associated with coastal sea side towns the Herring, lesser black and black backed gull can now be found inland in huge numbers.The Herring and Lesser Black Backed Gull are the biggest pest of the gull species in Dorset.
Lifecycle – Upto 3 eggs are laid between April and May with incubation taking around 30 days. The young are capable of flight at around 10 days not leaving the nest for 6 weeks. Gulls can be very long lived with the Herring Gull living as long as 20 + years.