Backyard Chirper

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Humane ways to keep pigeons away from your yard and bird feeders

In light of news that disgruntled New Yorkers have resorted to poisoning pigeons in makeshift feeders to scare them away, I thought it’d be a good idea to post on some humane ways to get deter pigeons from invading your yard and feeder.

Although pigeons are obviously birds too, they aren’t always desirable and are seen as pests. If your yard, more specifically your feeder, is being targeted and tormented by flocks of hungry pigeons, here are some humane things you can do to keep them away.

1. Keep your yard clean

Pigeons are attracted to messy areas where food is plentiful. If you have a feeder, other birds tend to knock seed onto the floor and if you don’t pick it up, it could be a hotspot for pigeons.

2. Make food difficult for them to get

Pigeons love to forage on the ground, so in certain areas with high populations of pigeons, ground feeders are essentially pigeon feeders. Consider doing away with the ground feeder and getting a hanging feeder with small perches and access points. This keeps larger birds out, but allows smaller songbirds to eat.

3. Set up a bird of prey statue

Pigeons are frightened by birds of prey like hawks and owls, which is why fake birds of prey are effective in keeping them away. Just be aware that other birds might also be scared of the statues.

4. Get rid of perches

You’ve likely seen spikes along perches once popular for pigeons. Taking away places for them to perch on, such as along fences or on the roof, will force them to go elsewhere.

5. Try an electronic repellent

This method takes recordings of distressed pigeons and plays it loudly as a warning for other pigeons that the area is dangerous. The devices have mixed reviews and tend to be noisy, but it’s worth a try if there are a lot of pigeons.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.


  1. I have 1 feeder and was ground feeding too b/c the sparrow had 10÷ chick’s, must be 50 total, some doves, scarlet finches, cardinal family,, & 5 pigeons at first. 3 squirrels. Now 13 pigeons show up & can’t ground feed, stubborn pigeon gets up on feeder and no madder how many times I tell her to get down, she jumps back up! Loud noise will send them flying then I get to give cut up pea nuts to “our crew.”

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