Pigeons are voracious eaters and will mob any bird feeder, not giving the chance to other birds to feed.
Not only that, but their constant defecation leaves their droppings all over the place.
Here are a few suggestions you can try to discourage pigeons from emptying your feeder and give the other birds a chance:
1. Avoid Using Ground Feeders
Pigeons are ground feeders, they don’t usually eat on the wing and aren’t that adept at feeding while hovering, as many other birds do.
So don’t use ground feeders.
Either use hanging ones or put the feeder on the top of a pole.
What usually attracts pigeons to a feeder is spilled seed.
Inevitably, other feeding birds do leave spilled feed on the ground and once a pigeon spots this they will land and see the seed in the feeder.
Once one is seen feeding, others will flock around it and in no time at all, it becomes an exclusive pigeon party, denying other birds food.
2. Remove The Bird Feeder Periodically
Discourage pigeons from visiting your garden and emptying the feeders by removing the feeder completely for about a week.
Like all feral birds, pigeons are opportunists.
If they don’t see easy food sources they will try their luck somewhere else.
Of course, this denies the other birds that you are feeding their food, but it may work out better in the long run if the pigeons stay away.
3. Use Decoys & Pigeon Deterrents
Another method of keeping pigeons away is with the use of decoys or scarecrows.
Decoys are replicas of birds of prey that scare off the pigeons.
The replicas need to be moved frequently, as pigeons are intelligent creatures and soon note that they don’t move and therefore are not a danger to them.
What you really need to do is make it uncomfortable or unpleasant for pigeons to visit your garden.
That means concentrating on the obvious perches around your property.
Tree branches, fences, sheds and roofs are all places from which pigeons can perch and observe what is going on in your garden.
4. Pigeon Repellents
Using plastic or metal spikes in prominent places or the use of repellent gel will help you turn away pigeons from your garden and the bird feeder.
You can also choose other humane methods such as noisemakers, water jets and hanging shiny objects, which they don’t like.
5. Use A Pigeon Proof Feeder
Pigeons don’t have much agility when it comes to holding on to surfaces that aren’t flat.
They can grip telephone wires, cables and branches because they can crouch on top of them, but anything that is vertical or inclined at a steep angle they have problems with.
Look online for feeders that are specifically made to be pigeon proof or if you’re a bit crafty, check out the tutorials on YouTube to make a pigeon proof feeder.
6. Use A Feeder That Is Too Small For A Pigeon
To make your bird feeder inaccessible to pigeons don’t use one that has ledges or spokes that they can use to rest on while they feed.
It is better to use one where the feeder tube is covered by a cage.
Although small, pigeons are bigger than the other birds using the feeder.
The openings left by the wire cage are big enough to let the smaller birds reach in and get at the feed, but pigeons and other birds of the same size will find it a stretch to reach the feeding tube.
Also, many of these types of feeders don’t have a lip or ledge from which the pigeons can comfortably feed.
Another innovation is to secure sticks that poke through the whole cage at random angles.
This will impede a pigeon’s access to the cage too.
If you choose to put the feeder on top of a pole, then stack some rocks around the base or a mesh-like chicken wire.
That way pigeons are unlikely to gain access to fallen feed and eventually give up.