Carlsbad bans feeding pigeons

CARLSBAD N.M. (KRQE) – Saying their dirty and dangerous, a New Mexico town in cracking down on pigeons. Feed them and you can get in trouble.

People in the Cavern City say pigeons are everywhere.

“There are quite a few pigeons here around town and at the different businesses,” said Shayella Yarbrough, Carlsbad resident.

Now the city of Carlsbad has decided to take action. City council approved an ordinance that ban residents from feeding or providing environments that attract pigeons.

“It will help move them away from the city, move them out of the middle of this city. I get calls all the time about people wanting to know how to get rid of pigeons,” said Woods Houghton, Program Director for the Eddy County Extension Office.

The city says the ordinance will help eliminate some of the health risks associated with the bird’s droppings.

Also known as rock pigeons or rock doves, the city classifies them as birds not native to North America.

“They’re called trash birds because they communicate a lot of known diseases to both livestock and humans,” said Houghton.

Now people in Carlsbad caught feeding or harboring the birds could face fines up to $500 or even jail time but the city says it doesn’t want it to come to that. They just want people to stop making the birds feel so at home in Carlsbad

“You know in town it’s definitely a good thing to do, especially around restaurants, areas where there is food preparation for humans,” said Houghton.

A lot of people in town say they will be happy to see the birds gone. “It’s just really unsanitary and not really nice,” said Yarbrough.

The city also says people can still feed native birds and set up birdhouses just not for pigeons. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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