updated 3/26/2007 6:40:56 PM ET 2007-03-26T22:40:56

Local officials are trying to scare away a large flock of pigeons before the birds drive away tourists in the historic mining town of Virginia City.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

The pigeons that roost on the roof of the small town's visitor center pose a health hazard as well as a threat to the tourist experience, said Susan Sutton, executive director of the Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority.

"It's a potential health hazard to have pigeon feces everywhere," she told the Nevada Appeal. "Because we rely on the tourist trade, it's also a real problem to have pigeon feces everywhere visitors step."

Storey County Commissioner Greg "Bum" Hess said the pigeons also are eating small particles off the roof of the historic Crystal Bar, which houses the visitor center.

To shoo the birds away, officials are considering a plan to place speakers on the roof that transmit a high-pitched sound that pigeons don't like.

Officials also are seeking cooperation from local residents accused of causing the flock to grow by feeding the birds.

Hess said feeding of pigeons should be covered under the county's nuisance ordinance, and Sheriff Jim Miller agreed to contact residents believed to be responsible.

County Manager Pat Whiten said he would contact state health officials concerning possible enforcement efforts.

County commissioners will consider solutions at their next meeting.

Located about 25 miles southeast of Reno, Virginia City became a major 19th century city after discovery of one of the world's richest silver veins there. Its wealth paved the way for Nevada's statehood and helped build San Francisco.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments