How to Get Rid of Pigeons at a Bird Feeder

Pigeons are unwelcome pests at bird feeders.
Pigeons are unwelcome pests at bird feeders. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Often referred to as “rats with wings,” pigeons are unwanted pests in urban neighborhoods. Birdwatchers in these neighborhoods are discouraged when pigeons frequent their feeders, intimidating smaller, more desirable songbirds. In addition to bullying other birds, pigeons cause messes on garden walkways and nearby patios. You can adapt your bird feeder to keep pigeons out while inviting more desirable birds.

Things You'll Need

  • Broom
  • Pole-mounted birdfeeder
  • Stovepipe baffle
  • Screen or large rocks

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Sweep up all birdseed from the ground. Remove ground feeders and cease feeding the birds for a week. Pigeons will go elsewhere and will stop associating your yard with food.

Install a pole-mounted bird feeder, preferably one with a cage enclosure that prevents pigeons from accessing the food inside. Remove any trays or disks around the feeder, which may provide a perching spot for pigeons. If using a tray as a squirrel baffle, replace it with a stovepipe baffle. Stovepipe baffles are available at hardware stores and block out predators without inviting pigeons.

Place a screen or large rocks on the ground under the feeder to prevent pigeons from accessing fallen seeds.

Replace mixed seed with foods that pigeons don’t like, such as shelled sunflower seeds, thistle seeds or suet.


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