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UES Building is Death Trap for Pigeons (UPDATED with Statement from Landlord)

  Last modified on February 15th, 2024
normandie court pigeons

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If you’ve already read this article, we’ve included a new statement from Normandie Court at the bottom. 

A building on the Upper East Side has come under fire after its outdoor netting, intended to deter pigeons, has ended up trapping and killing them instead.

The netting was installed below the scaffolding outside Normandie Court at 225 East 95th Street (between Second and Third avenues). The scaffolding was installed back in 2020, and birds quickly found it to be such a comfortable roost that the sheer volume of their droppings prompted a Health Department Violation.

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To put a stop to the rain of terror, the building installed the net.

However, lately, the nets don’t seem to be keeping the birds out, only in, with deadly results. Since the netting was installed, it has developed a series of holes, which the building claims are man-made. These holes restored access to the scaffolding, where the birds continued roosting (and leaving droppings). But recently, those holes have been sealed up – trapping and tangling the birds inside and leaving them to starve and die of thirst.

Animal advocates have rallied to the birds’ cause, forming groups to search the scaffolding and rescue the imprisoned avians.

“They’re making nests up here and the babies get caught,” one of those advocates, Pyul Horbel, told CBS News.

Sonia Izak, a neighbor and longtime animal rescuer, told Patch that she “heard babies in their nest crying for their parents.” Barbara Langlois, a special education teacher and bird activist told that outlet that “One of the pigeons [she] rescued” died in her hands.

But activist efforts are paying off. Since November, nearly twenty birds have been brought to the Wild Bird Fund where they are being cared for and nursed back to health.

“The solution seems pretty simple,” said a spokesperson for the Fund. “Open the netting and let them out…Allowing pigeons to starve to death, choke while trying to escape or die of stress is willful cruelty.”

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“We understand the desire to keep pigeons from nesting or roosting on a building, but the methods used must be humane,” the organization said in a statement. “Netting can create more problems than it solves and ages poorly. We’d encourage the building management to find a better solution.”

They may need to find those solutions soon. A city inspector went to Normandie Court and found that the building’s approved plans for the sidewalk shed did not include the netting. That means the DOB is expected to issue violations to the building’s management company, Ogden Cap Properties.

After publishing this article, we received the following statement from a press representative of Normandie Court:

Early this morning, in an effort to deal expeditiously and humanely with the nesting pigeons at Normandie Court, the building directed experienced professionals from US Bird Control to safely remove the pigeons from the netting area at Normandie Court.

With careful control measures, US Bird Control successfully retrieved and released approximately14 pigeons. The building plans to continue monitoring the situation, along with US Bird Control and take necessary action to remove any new birds. Our primary objective is to ensure that the protective netting continues to effectively keep birds and people safe.
Impeding the process of safely removing the birds is that some well-intentioned people continue to leave birdseed in the area, which only attracts more birds and exposes them to potential harm. Also individuals have been observed cutting holes in the netting which, again while likely well-intentioned, also encourages additional birds to enter and nest.
It is our hope that people will stop leaving birdseed and cutting the netting and allow the building, working with professionals, to resolve this issue in a diligent and humane manner. By doing so, we can ensure the safety and well-being of both the birds and the people.


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  1. t-bo February 14, 2024

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