How to keep pigeons away from bird feeders?For some bird watchers’ pigeons can be an unwelcomed guest on bird feeders, pigeons will take advantage of any food available, this can often stop smaller birds being able to feed from the bird feeder. Pigeons can also eat the food on offer much faster compared to smaller birds, leaving bird feeders empty and in need of regular refills. If your garden contains crops or any fruits and vegetables pigeons can also destroy these by eating them. We have a look at a few ways you can keep pigeons away from your bird feeders to allow the smaller birds a chance to feed. If you’re struggling to attract birds to your bird feeder take a look at our article on how to attract birds to a bird feeder.
A bird feeder cage surrounds a feeder with a cage like structure containing holes which only allow smaller birds to access the food. Larger birds simply cannot fit in the holes and therefore are unable to use the bird feeder. These protective cages do help to discourage pigeons from attempting to access the food available in the bird feeder, but they will not discourage them from your garden and from clearing up any fallen seed. They also work well to protect bird feeders from squirrels who are also unable to fit inside the holes and access the bird feeder.
Bird Feeder Cage
Dropped SeedOne of the key attractors to pigeons is dropped seed from bird feeders. Pigeons are attracted to this easy meal and will return once they find a bird feeder that deposits bird seed on the floor and the surrounding areas. Catching fallen seeds in a receptacle that is not easily accessed by pigeons can stop pigeons before they become an issue in the garden. Bird feeder seed catchers can be added to most types of bird feeder, these provide a dish where the fallen seed is collected. They usually sit just under the bird feeder stopping anything reaching the floor where pigeons are most likely to feed from. These seed catchers also help reduce the mess in your garden and reduce the amount of wild bird food wastage and any other potential pests such as rats. If any food does make it to the ground, it’s important to clean it up as best you can and on a regular basis in order to keep your garden safe, clean and free from pests.
Feed Pigeons SeparatelyMany people are happy to feed the pigeons that visit their garden, but they just don’t want them to scare away or discourage other birds from visiting. By providing pigeons with their own food source away from your main bird feeder you can keep them distracted whilst the other species of bird can feed on your bird feeder. To do this we suggest keeping the two feeding sites as far away from each other as possible. Keep your pigeon feeder close to the ground as they prefer to feed at this height and fill it with food that pigeons will love. This includes bread, oatmeal and corn.
Choose Food Pigeons Don’t EnjoyYou might be surprised to learn that pigeons aren’t as keen on certain types of bird food. By selecting these specific types of food pigeons are less likely to hang around your bird feeder.
The foods that pigeons are not so keen on include:
- Nyjer Seed
- Suet Balls
- Sunflower hearts
By following our steps you can stop pigeons from taking food away from the smaller birds. We recommend embracing feeding the pigeons away from the other birds and keeping your garden and the areas surrounding your bird feeder as clean as possible. This will stop any issues with spoilt bird seed or other pests that might be attracted to dropped bird food.