These birds are regarded as the most important bird pests of the urban environment. Their significance will vary from country to country and other species will, from time to time, cause problems in towns and cities.
The Feral Pigeon (Columba livra).
This is the number one urban pest bird throughout the world. Descended from birds which were originally domesticated for food, these birds have reverted to their wild state, but now live in close proximity to Man. Much loved by the general public, they are responsible for most of the bird fouling of buildings in towns and the transmission of bird diseases to humans such as ornithosis.
The Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
This can be a major problem in certain localities and of no significance in others. The problem occurs when large numbers (can be tens of thousands) gather for night roosting. The noise, smell and extensive fouling caused by these congregations can be horrendous. Fungi associated with the dried guano can give rise to serious human disease problems.
The Herring Gull (Larus arqentatus)
These large, aggressive birds are causing an increasingly significant problem due to their recent use of buildings as sites for breeding colonies. The noise, mess and smell associated with such sites can cause serious distress to those in the buildings concerned.
The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
This is a major problem for the food industry, with populations becoming established inside warehouse and retail premises. These “flying mice” gain entry through very small holes and then damage and foul stored food and are extremely difficult to deal with.