Recently, Kings of Leon canceled an outdoor concert after a pigeon (with very good aim, apparently) in the rafters above the stage managed to poop on band members, including one shot that hit the face of the band’s bassist.

Besides, the "ick-factor," what are the concerns?

Various studies have found potentially nasty microorganisms in pigeon poop, including:

  • E. coli
  • Various microsporidia
  • Various Cryptococcus species
  • Multidrug resistant Staphylococcus spp
  • Salmonella
  • Chlamydophila psittaci
  • Mycobacterium avium complex

The risk of disease is pretty low for most people, and we are potentially exposed to many of those bugs on a daily basis. The risks increase with higher ingested doses (so direct-deposit of poop is a much greater concern that inadvertent contamination of your hands) and in people with compromised immune systems. It’s unlikely but not impossible that someone would get sick from exposure to pigeon feces, and don’t eat poop is a good general philosophy for life.