This page is where we will be answering questions and addressing concerns raised about the pigeon relocation and management project. We are taking concerns raised by the community seriously. Please note, at the point where they might conflict, the safety of Coshocton Downtown and the health of the community supersede our curiosity.
1. Why are we moving pigeons into downtown Coshocton where they will poop on people’s heads and cars?
The plan is not to move pigeons INTO downtown Coshocton but rather to relocate pigeons from current downtown roosts.
Pigeons, according to researchers Johnson and Janinga, “typically use roofs for sunning, nooks and crannies for roosting and parks, garbage dumps or grain storage facilities for foraging.”
Once we find the downtown nooks and crannies where pigeons are currently making a mess of things, we plan to move them to the back portion of the PARK space where they can poop all they want around their roost with the only effect being the lot gets a layer of fertilizer.
We don’t expect the pigeons will change their sunning or foraging habits. Which means the public is no more in danger of being pooped on by pigeons after we give them a new roost than it is now.
2. Are we comfortable exposing children who go to preschool downtown to histoplasmosis (aka Ohio River Valley Fever?)
No. And we consider this to be a very serious issue.
It is pretty hard to imagine a mushroom (or any other organism from the fungi kingdom) growing in a sun exposed sand and gravel PARK lot where we plan to install the pigeon loft. Below is the hard data.
Drawing data from Section IV of Histoplasma Capsulatum, Pathogen Safety Data Sheet:
“Moist soils at temperatures between 18-37ºC [64-98.6ºF] can support the growth of the fungus.” And “Histoplasma capsulatum spores and yeast cells are inactivated when held at temperatures above 40ºC [140ºF].” WE’RE SURMISING THE SAND GETS TOO HOT TO GROW THE FUNGUS.
“Dry conditions also facilitate the inactivation of spores.” CERTAINLY DRY IS A FIT DESCRIPTION OF THE SPACE, SAND AND GRAVEL DO NOT HOLD WATER.
“Histoplasma capsulatum is found primarily in nitrogen rich soils with a ph ranging between 5-10.” THE PH LEVEL OFTHE LOT MEASURES AT 8. SO IT IS HIGH NOW. THE ADDITION OF THE NITROGEN RICH GUANO MAY WELL PUSH IT ABOVE HOSPITABLE LEVELS.
We are developing a plan to intermittently test the poop/soil around the loft once it is installed and inhabited to verify the absence of any fungal contaminants. If a test turns up positive, we will remove the pigeons, loft and contaminated soil.