Virginia City pigeon-feeding ban proposed |

Virginia City pigeon-feeding ban proposed

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Though a private contractor has been trapping and removing pigeons from Virginia City, Storey County commissioners could go a step further and make feeding the birds illegal.

The commission will vote Tuesday on a proposed ordinance that would outlaw feeding nondomesticated pigeons in any part of Virginia City or Gold Hill.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.

The proposed ordinance is one more attempt to get rid of the flocks of pigeons that roost in the historic buildings and leave their droppings on the boardwalk.

Susan Sutton, executive director of the Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority, said her board had contracted with Gary Herrod, of Reno, who has caged and removed more than 100 pigeons.

“We were looking for a humane solution to the problem and that was to cage the pigeons,” she said, adding that once trapped, the birds are taken to a reserve.

“It was brought up to my board as a tourism and health-related issue,” she said.

She said the number of birds behind the visitors center dropped drastically, but now more seem to be around.

Some local residents had been feeding the pigeons, but later agreed to stop, though the birds still flock behind the visitors center.

Storey County administrative officer Marilou Walling said the ordinance, if passed, will go into effect in two weeks.

If you go

WHAT: Storey County Commission meeting

WHEN: 2 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: District Courtroom, Storey County Courthouse, B St. Virginia City

CALL: 847-0968

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.