Feral pigeons are descendants of the rock dove of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Pigeons were first brought to the United States as domestic birds in 1606 and are now present in virtually every U.S. city.
Pigeons earn the label of a pest when they conflict with human activities or present health problems. Pigeon droppings deface and accelerate deterioration of statues, buildings, and equipment.
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House sparrows were introduced from England into the United States in 1850. There are many naturally occurring species of sparrows also in the U.S., but they are not considered pests in or around buildings.
The house sparrow is a small but stocky bird 5.5 to 6.5 inches in length. The male can be distinguished from all common native sparrows by its black throat and upper breast and ash gray crown. It also has a chestnut colored cape extending from the eyes along the side and back of the neck.
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