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Pigeon problem at courthouse under control

The number of pigeons in the area surrounding the Washington County Courthouse has diminished greatly since the USDA Wildlife Services Division began treating the population problem in January.
Under a joint contract with the county and the Town of Jonesborough, USDA agents placed toxicant-treated bait on the roofs of buildings the pigeons frequent in downtown Jonesborough and in identified feeding sites.
The treatment process took approximately five weeks to complete, during which time agents monitored the population and kept an eye out for migratory or endangered birds.
“USDA sat across the street for 10 hours every day to make sure other birds were not taking the bait,” Washington County Purchasing Director Willie Shrewsbury said.
Shrewsbury estimated the population has been reduced by 75 to 80 percent as a result of the treatment.
The removal of the 24 louvers on the back of the courthouse building likely will help reduce the population even more.
“The louvers are a major roosting site,” he said.
Shrewsbury said the crew from Elkin-Rowe, Inc., of Johnson City, has finished removing the steel from the former jail in the courthouse.
They will now begin cutting off the steel louvers, and should have the project completed in the next couple of weeks.