The Pesky Pigeons, Act III

Kevin Leininger wrote in today’s News-Sentinel about those pesky pigeons in downtown.

This time, from the perspective of the coop owner:

Is bird keeper part of the problem?
Pigeon owner insists population growth is not his fault; others blame his birds for damage

“They’re not ‘wild.’ Watch this,” Taha Alshimmary said as he clapped his hands and yelled at the pigeons lining the peak of his house on East Washington Boulevard. The birds, a variety of colors and breeds, flew high into the air before circling back to Earth – many landing near the open wood-and-wire coop in the backyard.

To some, the 46-year-old Iraqi is part of the problem: a growing downtown pigeon population that is damaging buildings, dive-bombing pedestrians and endangering commerce and the public health. But Alshimmary insists he’s the real victim, with bureaucrats and businesses using his harmless and often-expensive birds as scapegoats for a distant problem their presence did not create and their deaths cannot solve.

[…] Mike Ackels thinks it’s a big problem, even though he’s also in a position to verify that Alshimarry’s pigeons stay so close to home that they probably aren’t among the pigeons circling the Lincoln Tower, Allen County Courthouse and other tall buildings a few blocks to the west.

“He’s killing us with those pigeons,” said Ackels, manager of Alshimarry’s neighbor, Woodson Motorsports at 436 E. Washington. “One of them pooped on the head of a customer’s kid. He was furious, and the kid was screaming and crying. If he can keep pigeons, I can keep chicken hawks.”

[…] “We’ve seen our maintenance costs increase dramatically in the last three years. Our coating (on the concrete building’s exterior) has deteriorated, and pigeons’ (droppings) can damage the roof. This is not just one building’s problem,” said One Summit Square Facility Manager John Meyer, who thinks the fairest funding solution would be for the Downtown Improvement District to assess property owners for their share of the clean-up cost.

[…] “I don’t care about Woodson,” Alshimmary said, adding that he has invested more than $50,000 in his birds, which to my untrained eye do not seem to be the garden-variety pigeon most often seen downtown. “Where’s my human rights? If anybody wants to stop me, they should pay for (my birds).”

[…] “Some people like dogs or cats. This is my hobby,” Alshimmary said.

“Get a dog. Be normal,” Ackels responded.

“Where’s my human rights? If anybody wants to stop me, they should pay for (my birds).”

Other AFW posts about the Pesky Pigeons

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