Yes, pigeons do eat insects.
Although the main diet of pigeons is seeds and grains, they also require other kinds of nutrients for a balanced and healthy diet.
Like worms, other types of insects provide the fats and proteins that pigeons need.
Unlike other types of birds, pigeons don’t eat an awful lot of insects.
Pigeons have their dietary needs imprinted in their genes, which are basically the seeds and grains mentioned above, but like us, they understand the need for other kinds of nourishment.
Pigeons Eat Insects When The Opportunity Presents Itself
Like most animals in the wild, pigeons are opportunistic feeders. Although not enamoured of insects, any easily snatched bug is fair game as a supplement to their diet.
It may be thought that woodland pigeons would eat proportionally more insects than their city-dwelling cousins, but that might not be the case.
Our towns and cities are as full of tiny creatures that crawl or fly as the countryside, but we don’t tend to notice them a lot.
Sharp-eyed pigeons can spot them very well. In rural areas, when it is time for insects to hatch, you can see clouds of them in the air or infestations of them on trees or bushes.
In the towns this doesn’t seem to be noticed but make no mistake, insects are there in abundance if you know where to look.
Pigeons Would Rather Eat Human Food Than Insects
Of course, feral urban-dwelling pigeons have adapted to human food, or that is to say, the leftovers and discards of our fast food and take-away society.
So, you may question the pigeon’s needs for insects.
Why bother eating insects when there are all those other delicacies to be had?
As adaptive as pigeons are, they can’t simply do away with thousands of years of biological instructions and so eat insects that are within easy reach.
Pigeons Don’t Need To Eat Insects
Domesticated pigeons that live in cages or lofts can get the proteins and fats that are contained within insects through the bird feed that their owners provide them.
Caged birds are unlikely to have much access to bugs anyway. Those that live in lofts, such as racing pigeons, are allowed out and so can pick up the odd insect on their free flights.
Whether they like them or not, insects are still part, although small, of the natural diet of pigeons.