Some people love them but pigeons eat twice their own weight of food each day and there’s not a lot you can do about it. What goes for pigeons apply to all bird pests.
Every living thing has its place on the planet, its own niche. But that doesn’t mean a particular pest has a right to live at our expense and just as my rows of green beans appear, all green in the earth, or my lettuces push their little heads from the soil great flocks of pigeons arrive for a free meal.
Pigeons make great eating, but I wouldn’t bother with the town-bred flying-rat, smelling of engine oil and railway bridges. And in the town actually killing these birds becomes a little difficult because you can’t take them with a shotgun and an air rifle will just as easily attract the attentions of the police.
Pigeons are intelligent birds. They send out scouts to take note of the predators on the ground and they carefully pick out the best crops to eat first. Their brains are carefully attuned to movement and they can differentiate between friendly movement, that of a feeding pigeon and the unfriendly movement of a peregrine or a cat.
A lot of research has gone into decoys. A pigeon is not that bothered by the huge representations of birds of prey. It might look good to a human, but not to a pigeon. Neither are they that bothered by scarecrows or little men made from pots. But flashes of light and high pitch noises scare them. CD’s dangled from twigs are as effective as anything.
Unlike many animals they have come to associate loud bangs with death and consequently blank cartridges are used – but not on a small plot.
Short of keeping your own peregrine falcon, which would be illegal, the only other way of protecting your crops from pigeons is to cover them up. You have to remember that this is a lazy bird, who prefers to walk rather than fly, so don’t expect them to simply land on your crop. Make sure that any defences you have, be it netting, twigs or wires, protect from the ground up.
Dangling CD’s make an excellent pigeon deterrent.
A lone pigeon is a scout, hiding somewhere will be a dozen of his friends ready to follow him onto my lettuces.
Make sure your protection goes to ground level.
The pot man is not much of a problem to pigeons.
Scarecrows like this impressive owl was probably great fun to build but usually make little difference to the feeding of the pigeons.Some people love them but pigeons eat twice their own weight of food each day and there’s not a lot you can do about it. [ratings]