Noel Hackelberg, who frequents the Venice Fishing Pier in Sarasota County, said birds were "flopping around falling into the water" Monday after a pest control company hired by nearby restaurant Sharky's put out poison to rid the eatery of its avian problem, WWSB-TV, Sarasota, Fla., reported Friday.
"It's disgusting. There was a mom with a small child and she had to leave because the child was so upset to see what was going on. There was no warning to anybody that this was going to happen," Hackelberg said.
He and other pier-goers estimated about 50 pigeons dropped dead in the area from poisoning.
Sharky's manager Justin Pachota said the restaurant tried several methods of pigeon control in recent months before resorting to poison.
"It is sort of a health risk. You have feathers and pigeon feces that are coming into play. We have had complaints from patrons," he said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said its investigators determined the pest control actions were legal.