Concern expressed about trapped birds; town sets them free

Sueann Musick
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PICTOU – Pigeon problems are plaguing Pictou.

The Town of Pictou says it recently received a complaint from a resident concerned about glass falling from the old post office building on the corner of Water and George streets.

It says town crews boarded up the windows on the side of the building’s first and second floor for safety’s sake, but concerned residents are now worried that pigeons may be trapped inside and dying.

“The glass in the windows has been broken over the years and the pigeons made their home there until recently when the windows were boarded up for the royal visit, said Rachelle Gaudet.

Town councillor Alta Munro, who spoke with Gaudet and a few other people outside the vacant building, said the royal visit has nothing to do with the windows being boarded, but rather it was done for safety.

“Someone reported falling glass and there are people who use the side of the building’s property as a walkway,” she said.

Munro said a crew boarded up the first two floors of building’s windows earlier in the week and then the town had workers cut holes in the boards a few days later after concerns were raised about birds being trapped inside. She said the town also hired a crane operator to cut a hole in a third-storey window that had been boarded up by the owner of the building a while ago.

On Thursday afternoon, pigeons were spotted flying in and out of the holes that were cut in the wood.

Gaudet said she heard birds inside the building banging against the windows trying to get out on Tuesday, before the holes were cut.

She and a few other bystanders are pleased with the holes in newly boarded windows, but are still concerned about pigeons staring out from the front of the building and another one that is outside and won’t leave the window sill.

“The ones in the front need help getting out,” said Lynn Plexman. “This town has complete disregard for living things. Falling glass is a valid concern, but you can’t do something like this.”

Munro said the town has done all it can do at this point because the building is privately owned and it doesn’t have the jurisdiction to go inside.

A realtor who listed the building in the past said there is a hole in the building, near the roof, where pigeons have gotten in and out in the past.

Charlene Steeves, who first noticed the building boarded up on Monday, said the town could be doing more to ensure the pigeons are safe.

“They should be consulting someone that knows how to help them,” she said, adding she doesn’t know the layout of the inside of the building so she is unsure if the birds in the front can find the holes in the boarded-up windows on the side of the building. “They can’t board up buildings with wildlife inside.”

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