Pest Birds: Feral Pigeon

Large numbers of pigeons exist in all major cities across our nation.

The feral pigeon is the number one urban pest bird.
The pigeon is not a native bird. Feral Pigeons are descendants of domestic homing pigeons brought over from Europe and released here in the 1600's. They were domesticated from the wild rock doves from the sea cliffs of Europe by the Romans over two thousand years ago.

Several traits have allowed them to dominate the urban landscape. Because of their history, pigeons are not afraid of people; they roost and nest readily in man-made structures.

The standard pigeon has a short neck with a small head.

Their short legs with the level front and hind toes allow them to perch on branches as well as walk on flat surfaces. Pigeons stand about 12-15 inches high and weigh about 16 ounces.

They are generally a blue-grey color. But can range from all grey to white or brown as well.

Pigeons have a widely varied diet and readily feed on seeds, corn, and grains. They have adapted well to human food and feed often on our scraps or trash. Pigeons will often perch themselves where they have a good view of a dumpster.

Although pigeons will feed all day long, their most active feeding time is in the morning. They spend many hours loafing on nice sunny rooftops, ledges and other areas. Pigeons roost at night.

Pigeons are monogamous and mate for life.
A pigeon nest usually consists of a few stiff twigs and some of their own droppings to stop the eggs from rolling around.

The female will lay 2 or 3 eggs at a time and generally have 3 to 4 broods per season.
Although a wild pigeon can live 15 years or longer, the average life span under urban conditions is about 3-4 years.

Pigeon Damage

The design of our urban buildings assures the pigeon an abundance of shelter.

Pigeon droppings deface structures and foul areas where people live, work, and play.

Signs are favorite nesting and roosting locations.

Feathers, nesting materials, and droppings can clog drains, air ducts, and heating or cooling units.

Pigeon droppings have long been associated with many diseases.

Pigeons carry a number of ectoparasites that bite humans.

Nationwide Bird Control

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