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9 Smart Ways to Keep Pigeons Away From Bird Feeders

9 Smart Ways to Keep Pigeons Away From Bird Feeders
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Are you one of the many people who love to see birds in your yard? You might enjoy sitting out on your deck and watching the birds.

Many people choose to place bird feeders in their yards to attract more birds to the area. The problem with this is that sometimes you wind up attracting unwanted birds such as pigeons.

If pigeons keep coming to the bird feeders and eating all of the seed, then you likely want to put a stop to this. What should you do to keep pigeons away from bird feeders?

Keep reading to learn how you can keep pigeons from getting into your bird feeders. This will make it so that only the birds that you want to eat the seed in the feeders will be able to do so.

Why You Need to Worry About Pigeons

You might be thinking that you won’t need to worry about pigeons that much. They’re just birds that want to be able to find a meal, too, right?

Well, these birds can be a big problem for the other birds that you want to feed in the area. Pigeons will crowd your yard and wind up eating all of the food out of your bird feeders.

When one pigeon figures out that it can get a free meal in your yard, it’s going to wind up informing the other local pigeons. Soon enough, you’ll have an absurd number of pigeons in your yard eating up all of the birdseed.

You should also know that pigeons are considered to be bully birds. They won’t be nice to other birds that are trying to use your bird feeders.

The pigeons will wind up scaring away the other birds in the area. They’ll effectively box them out and keep them from being able to eat any of the birdseed.

To combat this issue, it’s going to be necessary to take certain steps to secure your feeders. There are quite a few things that you can do that will help you to solve this problem.

Depending on your situation, some of the ideas presented below might be more or less practical. Simply read all of the information and then decide what you want to do to stop pigeons from using your bird feeders.

1 – Simply Use Feeders That the Pigeons Can’t Access

Bird Feeder with Small Lip

Perhaps the best solution to the pigeon problem is to change the type of bird feeders that you’re using. Some bird feeders will allow pigeons to access the birdseed, but others will be too small for them to use.

It’s also true that pigeons are not the most athletic birds in the world. Pigeons are not capable of clinging to a perch and eating upside down.

This means that you could use a feeder that requires birds to hang upside down to access the seed. The pigeons will have to give up and they will move on to look for another source of food.

There are plenty of different bird feeders that you can look into that will help with your pigeon problem. One popular option is to purchase simple tube bird feeders.

Standard tube bird feeders will be way too small for pigeons to be able to use. Their bodies will be too large to fit on the small perches, and they won’t be able to access the birdseed because of the way that the tube feeder is designed.

These types of bird feeders are very common, and they also don’t cost a lot of cash. This option is well worth looking into when you want to keep pigeons from eating all of the birdseed in your feeders.

You could choose to buy a weight-sensitive bird feeder as well. Only small birds will be able to eat the birdseed contained in these types of feeders.

If a larger bird such as a pigeon attempts to perch on the weight-sensitive feeder, then the access to the food will be closed. The bird won’t be able to get to the seed no matter what it does.

This is a good design that helps to keep various types of bully birds at bay. You can use either this option or the tube feeder to keep pigeons from being able to eat the birdseed.

2 – Try to Keep the Ground Clean

Even if the pigeons can’t access the bird feeder, they might still wind up coming around. Sadly, many birds are going to be messy eaters.

Some of the birds that eat at your bird feeders will wind up dropping some birdseed on the ground. This dropped birdseed can wind up attracting pigeons to the yard.

You should try to keep the ground near the bird feeders as clean as you can. Go around and pick up the dropped birdseed and other types of food that will be on the ground.

This should limit the interest of the local pigeons. It might not always be possible to pick up the seed right away, but you can put in the effort to try to keep the yard clean, at the very least.

Pigeons seem to like eating on the ground the best. This is how you’ll find pigeons eating in various parks and other places.

This means that using ground feeders will be a bad idea if you want to keep pigeons at bay. They will devour all of the birdseed in any ground feeders that you set up.

It’s probably a good idea to try to buy bird feeders that won’t make too much of a mess. If you buy a bird feeder that won’t easily dump birdseed on the ground, then it’ll be less likely to attract pigeons.

3 – Pick Foods That Pigeons Don’t Like

Various Types of Bird Food

Take the time to pick out food for the bird feeders very carefully. There are certain types of foods that pigeons won’t like very much.

If you stock your bird feeders with only foods that pigeons don’t like, then they should stay away. There are actually quite a few types of food that pigeons won’t want anything to do with.

You could stock the bird feeders with suet, striped sunflower, peanuts in the shell, nyjer, or suet. All of these options will be very unappealing to the local pigeon population.

Pigeons will eat a lot of the common things that people put in bird feeders. They especially like the inexpensive birdseed that you can buy that contains cracked corn, milo, and millet.

Many of the songbirds that you want to see in your yard will not go anywhere near this inexpensive type of birdseed. Thus, you should avoid buying that stuff.

Pigeons will flock to eat the inexpensive birdseed. Stick to using the recommended things that pigeons don’t like if possible.

4 – Consider Feeding the Pigeons Separately

Some people actually sort of like pigeons. Others consider them to be dirty and annoying birds that they want nothing to do with.

Only you can decide which side of the fence you’re on when it comes to pigeons. Even so, it could be a good idea to feed the pigeons separately to keep them away from the bird feeders.

There are people who choose to throw out food for the pigeons in a different section of the yard. If you combine this idea with some of the others above, then it should keep the pigeons from bothering the bird feeders too much.

You can feed pigeons inexpensive birdseed and they will like it. Many people also throw out stale pieces of bread for the local pigeons.

Pigeons like to eat food that is on the ground, and this means that you can just toss what you wish to feed them somewhere in the yard. It’s a reliable method that can mitigate issues with pigeons bothering the other birds near the feeders.

This doesn’t mean that feeding the pigeons will always be an ideal choice, though. There could be reasons why you will regret being nice to the pigeons.

Pigeons Can Cause Damage to Your Home

You should know that pigeons can cause damage to your home in several ways. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to feed them or not, but there might be some reasons why you’ll want to hold back on that idea.

Firstly, pigeons have very caustic poop that can damage parts of your home. If they wind up roosting on your roof or your fences, then they can easily damage those spots.

Also, pigeons have very large flocks. If they wind up determining that a spot is beneficial, then your yard could wind up being overrun with pigeons.

They can be noisy and annoying as well. Many people will regret feeding pigeons because of the problems that they will cause in their yards.

It might be more practical to try to keep the pigeons from getting too close to your home. There are plenty of ways that you can go about doing this.

5 – Get Rid of Pigeon Roosting and Nesting Spots

Pigeon on Ledge

If you don’t want pigeons anywhere near your yard, then you should try to get rid of pigeon roosting and nesting spots. This will ensure that they will have to go somewhere else.

The pigeons very well might have found a spot on or near your property where they can roost. There are many common spots where pigeons will roost that you should check.

Pigeons will sometimes roost in barns or garages that they will have access to. You might find them hanging out on windowsills or roofs as well.

You can evict the pigeons from these spots by taking the right steps. One idea is to place bird spikes on the spot where they’re roosting.

The pigeons will leave the roosting location to look for food sometimes. You can place bird spikes on the spot that they like to use so that they won’t be able to use it any longer.

When the pigeons try to land on the roof or windowsill, they will feel minor pain by touching the bird spikes. This won’t truly harm the birds, but it’ll make it so that they will need to find another spot.

You can also use bird gel to keep the birds from being able to land on certain spots. This involves placing the gel on the windowsill, fence, or wherever else the pigeons might be roosting.

If a pigeon tries to land on a surface that contains the gel, then it won’t be able to hold on. It’ll slip off and it’ll have to fly away.

You might also want to make some changes to your home. Installing covers on vents will give the pigeons fewer places where they can establish nests.

It’s also prudent to take the time to cap your chimney. Pigeons have been known to block chimneys with their nests, and you don’t want this to happen.

Capping the chimney prevents the pigeons from being able to access it. Doing this is truly for the best since it’s common for pigeons to get stuck in chimneys and die.

6 – Protect Your Garden

Protecting your garden from pigeons will also be very helpful. If you don’t try to protect the garden, then pigeons will likely come by and try to eat the various veggies and other sources of food.

Thankfully, there are many things you can do to protect your garden from pigeons. One of the easiest things to do is to install bird netting around the garden area.

This type of netting will make it impossible for the birds to get to the garden. You simply need to buy netting that is meant to keep birds from being able to get through.

The netting has to have small enough holes that birds such as pigeons won’t be able to fit in the gaps. It’ll be easy to find what you need and get this job done.

Some people will also need to protect fruit trees and other such things. You can use bird netting to do this as well, but there are other things you can try.

For example, setting up reflective tape will help to keep birds away from the garden area or trees. Birds get scared and confused by reflective surfaces, and it’s easy to hang reflective tape in various locations.

Just don’t put the bird feeders near this area. You don’t want the other birds to feel as if they can’t get near the bird feeders.

The bird feeders should be on the opposite side of the yard from your garden area. This ensures that everything will go fine.

7 – Ultrasonic Repellent Devices

Ultrasonic repellant devices can be useful to deter bats from your porch

Ultrasonic repellent devices will be pretty good at getting pigeons to stay away. Many people use these devices to keep birds from getting on their balconies and making a mess.

You can use these devices to keep birds away from your garden or your home as well. Simply place the device near the area that you’re trying to protect.

The downside to this is that it can also scare away other birds. If you don’t have a large yard, then this might be a poor idea.

If the bird feeders are too close to the device, then the ultrasonic repellent device will likely keep the other birds from wanting to use the feeders. For this reason, it’s only practical to use the repellent device if you have a lot of distance between your home or garden area and the bird feeders.

Regardless, it’s good to know that these devices exist. People use ultrasonic repellent devices to keep many types of birds and animals at bay.

Some of these devices are even powered by solar energy. You can just stake the device into the ground and it’ll continue to work so long as it has access to sunlight.

8 – Trapping the Pigeons

Have you thought about trapping the pigeons that have been coming onto your property? Lots of people choose to go this route.

The basic idea is that you place pigeon traps in various spots around your yard. It’s best to put them in places where you know the pigeons like to hang out.

Eventually, the pigeon will spring the trap and it’ll get caught. If you have several traps, then you’ll be able to trap many of the pigeons.

When the pigeons are safely in the traps, you’ll then be able to drive them away from your home and release them. It’s recommended to drive at least five miles away from your home if you choose to do this.

Keep in mind that the laws might prevent you from being able to do this in certain areas. Depending on where you live, there might be laws against trapping birds and other types of animals.

You’ll just want to look things up before proceeding. Otherwise, you could wind up getting yourself into trouble.

Realistically, trapping the pigeons won’t be the most practical choice anyway. You likely won’t be able to get rid of all of the pigeons and there’s a likelihood that some pigeons will just come back.

9 – Use Decoys to Scare the Pigeons

Owl Decoy in Tree

Using decoys to scare the pigeons might work out. It’s possible to buy various types of decoys that will cause pigeons to want to stay away from certain areas.

One of the most common types of decoys that people like to use is the owl decoy. Owls are predators and pigeons are going to be scared of them.

You should be able to purchase owl decoys at reasonable prices. When you have what you need, you’ll just need to position the decoys near your home.

Of course, pigeons can and will get used to the decoys eventually. You can try to keep the decoy trick working by moving the decoys around, though.

If the owls can’t get used to the position of the decoys, then they will be less likely to catch on to your rouse. Try moving the owls around every so often to keep the pigeons guessing.

Hawk decoys can also be effective if you can’t find any owl decoys in your area. It’s a method that is worth trying because of how easy it is to set things up.

Final Thoughts

Pigeons are certainly annoying birds that will bother other birds in the area. They’ll flock to your yard and eat all of the birdseed in your bird feeders if you don’t take the right precautions.

The best thing to do is to use bird feeders that the pigeons can’t use. Tube feeders might be the most practical type of feeder to get the job done since only small birds will be able to fit on the perches.

Weight-sensitive bird feeders can also work very nicely. These feeders will close off access to the food when a heavy bird tries to perch on it.

You can also try to stock the bird feeders with foods that won’t appeal to pigeons. Pick the foods carefully and the pigeons might just go away due to not being interested in the contents of the bird feeders.

Sometimes you might need to scare the pigeons away from your property, too. If the pigeons are roosting on or near your property, then you can try to keep them away by using different methods.

Eliminate nesting spots such as uncovered vents and uncapped chimneys. Place bird spikes on fences, rails, and roofs where the pigeons might be roosting.

Protect your garden area by installing bird netting. Try to keep the yard clean so that the pigeons won’t have food to scavenge.

You might even want to try using decoys or reflective tape to keep the pigeons from going near your home. It’ll keep the pigeons from damaging parts of your home.

If you take all of these steps, then you’ll be in a good position to not have to deal with pigeons so much. Hopefully, you’ll be able to just attract the birds that you want to see in your yard to the bird feeders moving forward.

Let your friends and family know what you learned about dealing with pigeons today. These birds can be a big problem for so many people, and it’s certainly beneficial to understand how to keep them at bay.

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