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Montana Tech study hopes to combat pigeon population

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Jul 16 2013 05:58:37 PM MDT
BUTTE, Mont. -

Last year, Uptown businesses owners asked the city commissioners to address the issue of pigeons damaging historical buildings and creating a health concern.

A year later, the results are in.

Callie Doyle, a researcher with the study, said, "the link between pigeons and the urban condition is really strong."

Researchers at Montana Tech tell NBC Montana they've come up with interesting findings to their study, and soon they will be able to implement possible solutions to the pigeon problem.

Doyle explained, "Butte is a unique situation, we have a huge historic district and a lot of damaged buildings."

She said they examined things like: what kinds of buildings the birds specifically like, and what times of day they come around.

She knows the study wasn't cheap; the city gave more than $15,000 to the project.

Researchers also talked to local business owners to get their take.

We talked to Paul Cote from the Gamer's Cafe who said the birds are a problem.

"I'm for fixing the problem whatever it takes," he said.

He explained, "the problem with pigeons in my mind is they're a dirty bird... you have to watch out for the poop and it's an unhealthy thing."

He said he supports the study.

Back at the lab, Doyle continues to crunch the data, hoping her work can help prevent some of the urban decay in Butte.

She said, "by doing some of these management plans, we can help to prevent things like the Brinks building and the Deluxe building from happening."

This issue will be re-addressed at the commissioners meeting tomorrow evening.