Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pigeons and Bridges

In the aftermath of the Minnesota bridge collapse, this AP article raises questions about the possible effect that the accumulated dung from Rock Pigeons (Columba livia) might have on the structural integrity of bridges across the country. Pigeons commonly use these structures for nesting and roosting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

sure, when all else fails, instead of taking responsiblity for your own faults, actions, or mistakes,or cost cutting to save a buck, you pass the buck and blame to the pigeons! How lame is that? If that's the " reason" these bridge architects are expecting us to believe, then no bridge is safe in America or the world, they'd all be falling down! And why after 200 years of bridges in America & bird nesting, some of the oldest bridges are still standing & safely functioning, it's the Architecs, not the pigeons to blame.

August 23, 2007 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blaming it on the pigeons is just plain ignorant.

What the hell is the matter with you?

August 25, 2007 10:13 AM  
Blogger Larry said...

Evil pigeons did it-yeah that's the ticket-Good to see you're posting again!

August 25, 2007 6:25 PM  
Blogger John Mikes said...

You guys are shooting from the hip. And missing. There is a chance that corrosion caused by pigeon dung is a contributing factor. The primary reasons are probably going to turn out to be poor design and poor maintenance, but the bird crap may factor in. Rock doves liked to nest in the boxes formed by steel plates that tied beams together. The boxes were in poor shape because they were too weak to begin with, and they didn't get any stronger with age and a buildup of shit.

John Mikes

August 28, 2007 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article. And of course maintenance and architecture are to blame. But does that mean that pigeons had nothing to do with it?

After all, the bridge has been there for awhile. I'm sure age, traffic, weather and a whole host of things contributed. If we only blame the people without looking at the stresses the bridge was under, we are in a poor state to prevent its reoccurance.

September 05, 2007 1:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its just like with bird flu...blame it on the ducks.

That type of reasoning is just wrong man....

September 05, 2007 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it hard to believe their dropping could be corrosive enough to damage the integrity of bridges. Even after decades, I couldn't see more than a shallow dent at most.

Great website, I am an artist who love painting birds.

September 19, 2007 10:08 AM  
Blogger Vivika said...

I saw your blog address in the Wall Street Journal this morning... congratulations! Thought you may like to see some of my fabric bird collages on my blog:


September 24, 2007 7:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are a lot of lamp-posts here in the UK that have corroded and been seriously weakened by dog pee. So why not consider all the factors in any structural collapse?

September 26, 2007 7:30 PM  

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