Pigeons just know. How many times do you see them perched between bird spikes or, as in this case, within talon’s reach of a fake owl? I appreciate the cleverness that is “pigeon” and when I saw this juxtaposition, I had to freeze-frame it.
Owls can be effective for a time . . . or for even longer periods if the owls are removed then replaced, confusing the pigeon about the owl’s viability.
Some cities have found ingenious ways to manage pigeon populations humanely — drawing pigeons to feeding and nesting areas built especially for them. And by reducing food supplies elsewhere in town. I posted about this a few weeks ago in Changing Our Cultural Views of Pigeons.