Maybe Austin city officials should spend more time reading newspapers. The Associated Press reported in September, 2006, about poisoned pigeons in Texarkana, Texas, and also about a similar pigeon control effort in July, 2006, in Schenectady, N.Y., that "led to a hazardous materials incident" similar to the one in Austin on Monday.
From the Associated Press wire on Sept. 13, 2006:
TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) — Poisoned pigeons began nose-diving into pavement and dying on downtown sidewalks, marring the city’s annual festival.
Authorities cleaned up more than 25 sick or dead birds that apparently had eaten poisoned corn from the roof of a nearby bank branch.
… the bank hired an exterminator to handle its pigeon problem after a bird entered the bank and defecated on a customer. The company hired, Anti-Pest Co. Inc. of Shreveport, La., said its goal with the treated corn was to sicken pigeons so they would leave the rooftop. Death was sometimes an unfortunate side effect, company president Jarrod Horton said.
A similar pigeon control effort at a hospital in Schenectady, N.Y., led to a hazardous materials incident in July. Emergency workers spent hours searching the hospital grounds and putting dead birds in red hazardous-waste bags after an exterminator used a pesticide to get rid of pigeons on the roof. Fire Chief Robert Farstad had described the scene as birds "coming down like dive bombers."