Name:Harrison Location:United States

The Original Lovable Little Fuzzball

Here's the straight stuff.

The adventures of Harrison are true.
Try a few of his Crunchy Bites for a taste.
--Alpha Human Mom

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Fe-lyings Fail Again

Well, I finally bit the Dentabone® and visited the ultimate catblogger. The "catcam" doesn't lie. There they were, fe-lyings taking their ease as if our nation weren't under attack from all sides. My God--you could almost say they were Demo-cats!

"Out at the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District's Pacheco plant they've got pigeons. Pigeons for days. Pigeons on the roof, in the I-beams, in the gutters and all over the machinery.

"And where there are pigeons, there is pigeon poop. Tons of it. They know poop out at the sewage treatment plant, and everyone agrees there is way too much of the pigeon type. It streaks the equipment, pollutes the treated water and generally ruins everyone's day."

Somehow I never thought of poop being a problem at a sewage treatment plant.

"So [Chuck Batts, plant general manager] reached what might seem a logical solution -- pigeon-cide. Most of us would agree that it has a certain blunt logic. And so workers, following what is considered by animal control officers and pest control companies to be an acceptable practice, were sent with pellet rifles about six or eight months ago to thin the ranks, Batts said.

"It was not a pretty sight.

"There were dead birds falling from the sky, wounded birds flopping on the ground and blood everywhere. The workers complained."

No shit Sherlock! The mind boggles at the image of a dead pigeon or three landing on one's head.

"Still, no one wanted a daily shootout at the sewage plant. Batts says the pigeon hunters switched to "catch cages,'' which raised a whole new set of problems.

"It's pretty easy to trap pigeons. Then comes the question of what to do with them," says Bill Quarles, executive director of Biointegral Resource Center, a nonprofit pest management program. "At that point, it either gets messy or not, depending.'' Unfortunately, the sewage workers went with messy."

Well, they are sewage workers, ya' know.

"So now what?

"Some communities use hawks…Galan, a trained Harris hawk, is one of the birds that patrols New York's Central Park. Unfortunately, there have been some problems with the raptors. Last year, one of the New York hawks mistook a Chihuahua for lunch. The dog's owner, not expecting the pet to be attacked from above by a flesh-eating bird of prey--even if it was a city employee--was not happy. That's the problem, says [Bill Quarles, executive director of Biointegral Resource Center].

"You're sitting at a bench, eating your lunch and Whap!" he says. "Blood and feathers everywhere.''

"Besides, killing pigeons is no way to solve the problem. They might not be the brightest birds on the branch, but they have reproduction down to a science…

"But Quarles says the best approach is to find the pigeons' food source and eliminate it. Take away their food and water and the pigeons will move on to become someone else's problem. And they are going to be someone else's problem. For some reason, this has been a banner year for pigeons. No one knows why.

"Maybe,'' Quarles suggests, "we don't have enough cats.'' There is a pause. "That was a joke,'' he says."

A sad joke. Maybe what we really have is a bunch of fat fe-lyings lounging on recliners instead of pulling their not-inconsiderable weight.

Of course there is an upside to that--they're creating jobs for humans.

"In January, Key West officials agreed to pay Armando Parra Sr. $20 for each nuisance chicken he caught until Sept. 30. His limit was 900 birds. Parra, a barber and self-taught bird catcher, had rounded up 542 chickens, a quarter of the estimated population roaming about in the city. But, on July 23, Parra turned in his city-issued traps and said he was going freelance.

"I just thought it was a better idea if I went out on my own," he said.

Damn! Why was I never told there were jobs like that out there?

"Parra said the city issued "chicken lists" telling him which poultry to capture. He said the birds' wanderings made his job impossible. "You either catch them or you don't," Parra said. "This thing about getting designated chickens in designated areas, that's impossible."
"The fowl flap drew national attention, which may have backfired on those who wanted the birds off the streets. "They have become like a mascot. They are a symbol of Key West now," said Katha Sheehan, owner of The Chicken Store, which sells fowl-related paraphernalia."

So we have pigeon poop in San Francisco and chicken shit in Key West (not to mention the rats in Portland). You might wanna' take that information into account when you plan your next vacation jaunt.

And put those lazy fe-lyings to work already!

posted by Harrison at 6:25 PM


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3:10 PM  

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