New York is certainly not the only metropolis to have a problem with pigeons, but it could be the starting point for a definitive one, at least as far as damage to the architectural heritage is concerned. The birds, in fact, perching on the facades, eaves or cornices of buildings, can stain or corrode the materials with which they come into contact (due to their guano).
To date, metal spikes remain the most common form of bird deterrence, but the device recently developed by the company Birdmaster uses a special tightly woven net, stretched so tightly that it is not visible unless you know how to look. The company then mapped the places in New York where pigeons roost the most, subsequently wrapping them in netting to match the colour of the building. An action as elementary as it is total, which once noticed could almost look like an artistic work by the duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
The buildings treated by Birdmaster in the Big Apple already include several monuments: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, Carnegie Hall, the New York Stock Exchange Building, the Statue of Liberty, the Washington Square Arch and, most recently, the Morgan Library. The latter in particular is a historic building, where any changes, including networks, had to be approved by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. This required architectural drawings specifying the exact positioning of the nets, small hooks and wire installed on certain projections. But above all, a guarantee was required that the building could one day be restored to its original condition. This detail means that the strategy used hopes that the birds will break their habit and stop associating the building with the house.