The Dangers of Pigeons

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 12th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

The fatal diseases that are carried by pigeons and the likelihood of misdiagnosis

Rats with Wings

Pigeons, those statue perching, feces dropping accoutrement to parks and plazas,
are are carriers of thirty different diseases which effect humans.

The diseases pigeons carry don't just make you sick, they can kill you.

They kill you because the diseases are that serious.
They kill you because unless you know you have been exposed
to pigeons and tell the physician s/he will treat you for the more popular maladies.

The most frightening part of pigeon carried diseases is that they are usually mis-diagnoised.

Hence, you have all the symptoms of flu, and get your shot.
But you don't get better.
You die.
You die because the medication you should have gotten is on the shelf.
It is on the shelf because unless advised, very few, if any practitioners
will even think 'pigeon.'

What pigeons carry

Pigeons carry mycotic, (airborne) diseases.
They carry bacterial, and protozoan diseases.
They carry various worms which live in their feces.
They have fleas which carry disease.

In short, they are living biological warfare vectors.

Some people keep pigeons and 'never got sick'.
They may be carriers of the diseases as well.
They may not know that what has been diagnosed as this or that and treated
was gotten via their pigeons.

Pigeons walk in their own feces.
They walk back and forth then perch on your window sill, or patio furniture.
You touch it. You may be now be infected.


Aspergillosis is probably the most well known air borne disease.
It is caused by a fungi which lives saprophytically in pigeon feces.
You don't have to touch the feces. Breathing it in is enough.

This disease poisons the victim’s blood. It causes death.

Cryptococcosis infects the brain.
It is caused by a yeast carried in the intestinal tract of pigeons and
deposited in their feces. As pigeon coops are full of this yeast, inhalation
is likely.

Histoplasmosis is so powerful, and so difficult to detect it was once
considered as a biological warfare agent. It is a pulmonary disease but
extends to the liver, lymph nodes, and spleen.
The organism may disseminate to the blood and bone marrow and is fatal.

Of all the disease this one is most often mistaken for ‘flu’ and treated as such.
This is why so many people die of it.


Erysipeloid most often starts with a cut.
You don't know where you got the cut.
It hurts.
You have the sensation of burning, throbbing pain, and intense itching.
You treat it with whatever you have at home. It does not get better.

Listeriosis is especially dangerous for pregnant women.
It may cause abortions, premature delivery, stillbirths, and death.

Again, one attributes the results to other causes, not to pigeons.

Pasteurella multicida is spread via pigeon droppings or their nasal discharge. The organism can live a month in pigeon manure or three months in a dead pigeon.

Even dead pigeons carry diseases, so dispose of them as haz mat.

Salmonellosis is more than food poisoning. Gastroenteritis is the
most common manifestation. Pigeons spread salmonellae as the bacteria
are left wherever the pigeons defecate. As pigeons walk back and forth
through their mess, they carry the bacteria on their feet.

Many people, especially children get gastoenteritis and do not connect the
fact that there were pigeons in the sandbox, perching on those bars the
child was touching.

One of the scariest is Yersiniosis. It is a plague-like disease and
indistinguishable from appendicitis.
Many unnecessary appendectomies are performed.
A perfectly healthy appendix is removed, and the patient doesn't get better.

This disease can be transmitted by pigeon feces, their eggs, or their ticks.


Toxoplasmosis is attracted to brain tissue.
It can cause mental retardation and death.
Pigeons frequently transmit toxoplasmosis through fecal contamination, respiratory droplets, eye secretions, contact with infected tissue, or through ectoparasites.

It destroys the brain.

Chlamydiosis is another disease which imitates the flu.
There is a respiratory infection with high fever, severe headache, and
generalized aches and pains.

The disease can be transmitted by infected ticks, ingestion, or by inhalation
of dust contaminated with the organism.


There are parasitic worms which live in Pigeon feces.

Schistosomiasis, one of the most prevalent diseases throughout the
world, is caused by a water-borne trematode and pigeons are responsible.

Called bilharzia, bilharziosis or snail fever, although having a low mortality rate, schistosomiasis often is a chronic illness that can damage internal
organs and, in children, impair growth and cognitive development.

It is the second most socioeconomically devastating parasitic disease after
malaria. Pigeons eat the snails that carry this disease and bring it from one
body of water to another.

The dangers of keeping pigeons

What makes keeping pigeons so dangerous is that all the diseases they carry mimic more 'popular' maladies.

Unless the physician is specifically informed that the patient keeps pigeons,
and directs his or her mind to the dangers thereof, (and many are not
particularly aware of pigeon borne diseases), the wrong treatment is dispensed.
It may only be at autopsy where the actual cause be determined.

If you are keeping or thinking of keeping pigeons, sewer rats and
rattlesnakes are safer.


Aspergillosis, Bacterial, Cryptococcosis, Diseases, Histoplasmosis, Mycotic, Pigeons, Protozoan

Meet the author

author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
12th Sep 2010 (#)

My wife and I keep pet pigeons. We only have 2 and they have a large aviary. I think people are more likely to get sick if they do not keep their birds in sanitary conditions and over crowd them, which we never do.
Good info.. and a bit scary.

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author avatar kaylar
12th Sep 2010 (#)

my neighbour died. He never believed it was the pigeons he kept...all over the place. Horrible dirty, nasty sick looking pigeons

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author avatar lucia anna
12th Sep 2010 (#)

Very useful article

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author avatar kaylar
12th Sep 2010 (#)

thank you, lucia anna

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
15th Sep 2010 (#)

I for sure do not have sickly looking birds and they are well cared for - big space for only 2 birds. For sure if your birds are over crowded and have illness then its a risk.. bird owners, and all pet owners, need to be responsible and realize this is what could happen if they are neglectful.

I revisited this because I wanted to put it on facebook and SU

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author avatar Tmay
25th May 2014 (#)

We live in an apartment where there are quite a lot of doves that perch in the trees. A couple of weeks ago, our apartment manager had the AC unit replaced in our apartment. Soon after, my husband thought he heard a dove in our ceiling. But the past two days, I hear it all the time and I think it is in the AC duct. Since the AC was replaced, my husband has gotten progressively worse in terms of respiratory distress. He also has developed a rash on his chest that will not go away. Could this be caused by all these wild doves that live right outside (and I suspect, in our ductwork) our door?
I know this will sound ignorant to most of you, but my husband's symptoms are nearly identical to the symptoms listed on other websites about this topic.

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author avatar kaylar
15th Sep 2010 (#)

One has to be conscious of the diseases, so if one gets sick one can tell the doctor; "I keep pigeons".

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author avatar Vince hay
19th Sep 2010 (#)

Have you ever heard so much rubbish in all your life yes town pigeons and wood pigeons might carry disease but racing pigeons and other types like tumblers and rollers are well looked after in lofts cleaned and flown daily dogs and cats carry more diseases LOL

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author avatar kaylar
8th Aug 2011 (#)

Yah. I don't know if you are a pigeon, but to dispute medical facts; that goes beyond the usual stupidity.

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author avatar Michael
23rd Sep 2010 (#)

And where is the medical evidence to back up these claims? If the pigeons are so horrible why are not doves and quail? I have quail and dove in town every day. Dove season just opened and so far nobody has died from eating a "town" dove.. It is Biblically classed in the family of clean birds. Pigeons don't eat trash and garbage as some my think. I work in the pest control industry and have never heard of anyone croaking from a pigeon. A kid down the street shot 49 of them and reported to me that they are dang tasty. Back up your talk with some facts please..

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author avatar kaylar
8th Aug 2011 (#)

You can keep pigeons in your house for my part. Many people die of diseases carried by pigeons, unless their is an autopsy their cause of death with be misattributed

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author avatar Jeff barnfield
25th Sep 2010 (#)

The rats with wings title is extremely unjust,sure street pigeons may deserve such a title,but racing&show pigeons do not.What about seagulls? far worse scavengers than pigeons will ever be..
Keep a clean pigeon loft and you will have have healthy pigeons.Always wash your hands after handling any bird or animal for that matter.The scare mongering could apply to any domesticated animal.
Dogs and cats can cause serious illnesses in humans too!.Leave the poor old pigeon alone!

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author avatar kaylar
8th Aug 2011 (#)

I think I made it pretty clear the pigeons I am talking about.

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author avatar Alexis
24th Jan 2011 (#)

I am a mycologist (fungi specialist) and I can assure you that much of the information written in this article is incorrectly accusing pigeons for being the carriers of fungal and protozoan diseases. This person has no scientific clue where they mycota originate from as they are naturally airborne, for instance, aspergillus can be found in the air of your own kitchen as the spores exist everywhere. Our body inhales them daily and it is easily controlled by the immune system. Pigeon feces on buildings are not the cause of these diseases in humans. Pigeons have been tested and we did not find enough growth on their feces to cause significant symptoms in humans.

As a result, this article is just plain false.

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author avatar kaylar
8th Aug 2011 (#)

I dispute your qualifications and those of your duals. Isn't it amazing that four 'different' users all have the same syntax?
The same grammatical errors, the same defense of pigeons who have been proven, time and again to be the carriers of disease.

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author avatar Svdollface
7th Jan 2013 (#)

HERE'S a different "syntax" for you- u don't know what u r talking about. Zoonotic diseases - those passed from animal to human n back r very rare n treated with antibiotics. Yes pigeons poop everywhere n that is gross but u r more likely to get sick from ur dog or cat than a rarandom pigeon.

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author avatar Mike
23rd Mar 2013 (#)

THANK YOU for setting the record straight based on SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH as oppose to old housewife myths!

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author avatar MICHELLE
17th Sep 2011 (#)

thanks for the informative article, I totally agree this article

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author avatar Heygrape
8th Oct 2011 (#)

My young chihuahua died Monday. I had begged the neighbor to stop getting free bread and feeding the pigeons for 1 1/2 years. Both of my dogs have been taking turns being sick and throwing up everything including water. It finally killed my little young chihuahua on 10/3/11. She got into the pigeon poop in my yard that those filthy birds dropped there, went straight to her pancreus, and KILLED HER! I'm finding a new home for my little Yorkie so my neighbor doesn't kill her off too. She's been sick too. Animal control won't help. Police won't help. Owner of the house won't help. My little blue chihuahua was a $3,000 show dog. Add a $850. vet bill. She was only 7. My heart is breaking I hurt so bad. People, PLEASE! STOP FEEDING THESE FILTHY BEASTS!!

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author avatar Cheryl
28th Nov 2011 (#)

My son rented an apartment and it has drop ceilings. After moving in we found that there are pigeons living in the drop ceiling, the landlord was aware & did nothing. My grandson was dx with slight asthma & has to use a nebulizer twice a day now. No breathing problems till after living in apartment. My son has since moved out but this landlord continues to rent the apt & do nothing about the pigeons.

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author avatar Scary
28th Jan 2012 (#)

This a Scary Site. All Animals carry disease. Even Humans....

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author avatar Larry
28th Sep 2012 (#)

We used to shoot pigeons off our silo on our farm. We bred rottweilers and our female ate some of the dead ones and got a disease that made her abort her pregnancies from then on. Our vet even told us that was probably the cause.

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author avatar kaylar
18th Jun 2013 (#)

One of the tragic facts is that unless one is aware of these diseases they will attribute them to other causes.

As the Duals above, with their blather have attempted to dispute clear facts, one wonders why.

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author avatar Jeanette
28th Jun 2013 (#)

Now I am worried. Tuesday there was a pigeon in the yard at work that was missing tail feathers and had a injuried wing. It could flap the wing but not take flight. We felt bad for it so brought it home. We were going to rehab it then let it go when it grew it's feathers back. We put it in one of the cat carriers to keep our cats from killing it. It slept all evening and all night. My husband decided to take it to a park with other pigeons where it would be free and not caged up. Tonight before going to bed he started complaining about having a bad headache. He took a shower, laid down, now he said his throat feels sore. Should he go to the ER??

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author avatar Michaela
3rd Dec 2013 (#)

ER? Seriously...
First, pigeon slept all day and all night. That means that it is not OK and you should not release it. Take it to the vet.
Second, pigeons are not a danger to human health.
I've cared for 20 injured or sick pigeons and I am still alive. You should read this:

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author avatar Michelle
2nd Sep 2013 (#)

I am really worried that my cat has got sick as a direct result of a relatively new flock of pigeons using my garden. He had a big infection but vets not sure what, this was two weeks ago & he's still bad. Does anyone know if it could be them ?

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author avatar Mahmood
6th Sep 2013 (#)

Thanks good information. What about Cats + Dogs they carry diseases aswel?

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author avatar Wally
9th Dec 2013 (#)

My family has been into racing pigeons ever since I was born. My grandfather had pigeons all his life and as kids we used to bag up the manure and sell it for pocket money. None of us ever got sick from breathing the dust or from keeping pet pigeons. I,m now 47 and have been around pigeons all my life. My father is 70 and my granfather died a few years ago at 83 after having pigeons all his life even keeping sick ones in the house while they got well. What a crock this article is, I've never ever heard of pigeons making anyone sick. Anyway what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

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author avatar kaylar
19th Feb 2014 (#)

Recently, the Lock Up at Central Police Station in Kingston has had to be closed due to the infestation of pigeons and the sickenss of many inmates.

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author avatar Saki
10th Apr 2014 (#)

I have pigeons as pet since my childhood. And i am still alive. Yes birds may carry disease's. But again anything can happen in this world and you cant predict it. Just keep them healthy n with timely medication

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author avatar Andy
30th Apr 2014 (#)

When there is doubt over whether or not Pigeons are vermin - don't keep them; an analogy would be smoking whether or not you get cancer from it, play safe stop smoking!

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