Pigeons

General biology of pigeons:

Appearance: Dark, blue-ish grey head, neck, and chest with glossy yellow/green/reddish purple iridescence along neck and wing feathers. Eye is orange/red/gold with a pale inner ring and blue-grey skin around it. Bill is grey-black with off-white area at base, and feet are purple-red.

Behavior: Feeds in flocks, fairly social.

Diet: Forages on ground, walking. Sometimes forages in trees/shrubs. Mostly eats seeds. In cities they will eat breadcrumbs, popcorn etc. Outside of cities, they will eat waste grain, grass seed, berries, acorns, worms/insects etc.

Habitat: Most common in cities, but can be anywhere (farms, cliffs, bridges etc.). In their native range, they nested along coasts and inland mountains.

Nesting: May mate for life. In cities, nests are on window ledges, barn lofts, rain gutters, etc. Pairs may return to the same site repeatedly. Broods are usually 1-2 eggs, and a pair may have 5+ broods/year.

Migration: Not migratory, have homing ability if displaced though.

Issues caused by pigeons:

Uric acid in feces is highly corrosive and causes damage to metals and other substrates it sits on for long periods

Debris can build up and cause gutters to block and flood and damage roofs. 

Droppings are full of bacteria. 

Unsightly amounts of feces.

How to manage issues with pigeons:

Stop feeding them, intentionally or otherwise.

Clean up food dropped and dispose of garbage

Time bird feeders differently to try to discourage pigeons from your backyard, and keep seed off the ground.

Alter any flat spaces around your home and business

  • Bird wire
  • Wood/metal sheathing
  • Netting

Use pigeon birth control, such as OvoControl® P

 

 

Sources: The Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology bird guide, Humane Society of the United States, Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, Birdbusters.com