• Rae Gellel

Entangled for Days in a Heat Wave - Another Victim of Anti-Bird Netting

Last night at around midnight, we received a report about a pigeon trapped in anti-bird netting on a balcony at a block of flats in Abbeywood. This is the third time a pigeon has become tangled in poorly maintained anti-bird netting at this location.

With it being past midnight by the time we arrived, our options were limited. The pigeon was on the third floor balcony and access from the ground, by ladder, was difficult and dangerous enough in the daylight hours, but even more so in the dark. Telescopic hedge clippers were too heavy to use at such a height. There was just no reaching the pigeon, no matter how we tried.


It felt absolutely awful leaving the pigeon tangled overnight, especially as it had likely been trapped in the blazing sun throughout the day already, but the occupants of the balcony directly below said we could access their balcony as soon as the sun rose, so I could at least climb onto it, getting me slightly closer to the pigeon. After a sleepless night, the sun rose and we learned that the residents at the flat below could no longer provide access due to a personal emergency. We tried knocking at the flat that the balcony actually belonged to, but no answer. It seemed hopeless.

We had no option to try accessing the pigeon from the ground again. This time, however, we pulled it off - reaching the balcony below by ladder - a very wobbly and nerve-wracking climb - and then balancing on the balcony while I reached up and clipped around the pigeon.


A resident saw what we were doing and helped out by holding the ladder and stretching out a sheet to catch the pigeon if it fell.


After lots of difficult balancing and snipping, the pigeon was free. Her feathers were horribly frayed from struggling in the netting but she was able to glide to the ground rather than simply plummet.

Fran picked her up, and after 10+ hours trapped in netting in the middle of a heat wave, she was safe. Horribly thirsty, exhausted and sore, but free.



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