Simon Walker's picture

Feral Pigeons at War

Observed: 13th November 2012 By: Simon WalkerSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in BirdsSimon Walker’s reputation in Birds
Pigeons, feral, at war, Franklin Gardens, 2012-11-13 002
Pigeons, feral, at war, Franklin Gardens, 2012-11-13 004
Pigeons, feral, at war, Franklin Gardens, 2012-11-13 006

I've got a real problem with feral pigeons on my feeders. They go through a feederful of food a day and would eat nore, given the chance. They chase off other birds, and only give way to the black squirrels.
I've got a feeder that's surrounded by a wire ball, but they sit on top of it. I tried removing the tray at the bottom of the feeders, but then they batter themselves against them; I've even found blood on them. I don't wish them harm, so I'm stumped really.
They fight amongst themselves, as you can see.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


hfraser02026's picture

I think pigeons establish

I think pigeons establish similar social hierarchies to hens, when left to their own devices; pecking orders and such. Maybe they are not so much fighting over the food nut fighting to be the ruler of the roost and get first pick of the food. At any rate it sounds like they will continue to fight through the winter.Maybe you can distract them with a decoy of some sort?

Perdika's picture

Try the kind of feeder which has a cage outside

Seemed to work for us! At any rate, we don't get them in the garden any more.

Simon Walker's picture

That's the one...

... that the buggers sit on the top of! Grr!

navajo's picture

I have had a similar problem .. it could be the food

I used to get lots of doves and pigeons, they were moving in (doves are very easy to tame). They like corn, so I changed the feed to one that is inevitably a bit more expensive but has no or little corn. Buying in large sacks is the most economical (unsurprisingly). The no-mess sort are usually lighter in corn. Farmer's co-operatives and places like that are usually a good place to use; garden centres, etc. tend to be pricier.

I now have one or two doves/pigeons at any one time and they do not regard me as their keeper, also there is not enough competition for fighting to break out.

Hope this helps.

Simon Walker's picture

Thank You,

I'm doing pretty much all you suggest already. I fear I inherited a flock of pigeons when the people a few doors away stopped feeding - they'd had enough of them. Now they all come here!
This morning I had a black squirrel trying to get into the caged feeder whilst a flipping pigeon was sitting on the top of it...



Fenwickfield's picture


What about a pigeon pie sorry not much help I have the same problem with pheasants but they cannot get on feeders I have an area were I put cheap high grain mix scattered on the ground and the more expensive stuff in the feeders this works as the pheasant's,rooks and crows eat that and the smaller birds get the more deluxe grub.I buy mine from a pet food warehouse all seed has a quality mark on it from I buy in bags of 15kg to 25kg and it is so much cheaper.


Simon Walker's picture

Good Idea

But my wife would object, I fear. I'll ask her : "Can we eat those pigeons?" "No". I suspected as much ;-).
I buy 25kg bags of seed. Truth be told, it's not the cost I mind, it's the way they exclude other birds.
I was foolish enough to think, "If I put up another feeder, then the other birds can use that." Nope. More pigeons.