An eagle perched on a bench in Cişmigiu Park, Source: City of Bucharest on Facebook

Bucharest to employ birds of prey to deal with pigeons

Bucharest to employ birds of prey to deal with pigeons

The birds will be specially trained to scare off pigeons from their favourite places in the city’s parks

Pigeons are a major nuisance for any city as they have a certain way of populating public infrastructure. Municipal authorities have tried a myriad of ways to limit the damages they can inflict. These range from conventional methods like spikes to the very cutting edge, such as Brussels and its campaign to lower pigeon fertility rates with contraceptive corn.

Bucharest, however, has decided to use another method to deal with urban birds – introducing birds of prey to the city’s parks. On Thursday, Vice Mayor of the Romanian capital Horia Tomescu announced the project as part of the city’s participatory budget.

The project calls for introducing specially trained birds of prey that will scare off the pigeons in Bucharest’s Cişmigiu Park. This city will launch a pilot test phase with bird trainers to test out the validity of the concept.

Experimental natural interventions

Pigeon overpopulation in cities can have very negative effects on hygiene and can lead to the spreading of avian diseases. Additionally, when the birds pick a gathering place, they can make a big mess which, if left untreated, can accumulate and make for a very unpleasant experience in public spaces.

The project idea in Bucharest came from the city’s participatory budget – a portion of the budget that local authorities allocate for citizen suggestions.

However, while the idea of driving pigeons away with natural predators sounds easy enough, local authorities want to test out how effective it actually is, especially in the long term. Vice Mayor Tomescu was quoted in an official statement, explaining that the city will carry out a study, titled Neighbours with Wings (Vecini cu aripi).

The park area will host birds of prey trained by specialists to scare and drive away the population of pigeons that return to Cişmigiu every day. He continued by pointing out that pigeons create a lot of litter on park alleys, benches and playgrounds. Tomescu also said: "I want to make sure that people can spend their free time in a civilized park, where they can enjoy nature, but also the cleanliness they expect.”



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU