Feathers fly over unholy mess

JESS LEE
Last updated 05:00 01/08/2014
Pigeons
Jess Lee

PESKY PIGEONS: The feathered residents of St-Matthew-in-the-City may be ruining its stonework and posing a health risk to passers-by.

St Matthews in the City
Jess Lee
UNDER THREAT: Pigeon’s corrosive droppings can eat away at metal and stone.
Vicar
John Cowpland/alphapix.co.nz
St-Matthew-in-the-City vicar Helen Jacobi.

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Pigeon poo is threatening the stonework of a historic church.

St-Matthew-in-the-City vicar Dr Helen Jacobi hopes to evict the birds which have taken up residence outside the church so they don't become permanent members of her flock.

The corrosive droppings pigeons leave behind can eat away at metal and stone and also pose a health risk in public places.

Jacobi fears the mess will erode the stonework of the church which was built in 1905.

"The pigeons are flocking in great numbers - hovering around the building and landing," she says.

"We want to remove them partly because pigeon poo damages the building's stonework but it's also not pleasant for anyone walking by."

The church was awarded a $4000 grant by Auckland Council's central joint funding committee as a contribution towards the installation of pigeon deterrent measures in June.

It is now looking to install wiring around the building to stop pigeons perching.

It has become more of a problem in the last year or so, Jacobi says.

"We're not sure why - it's a bit bizarre really," she says.

Passers-by feeding the birds is part of the problem, she says.

"We're discouraging people from doing this.

"There are one or two people who were regularly feeding them and we have spoken to them and asked them to stop."

The church is now working with contractors to investigate the logistics of installing deterrents.

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