How to Keep Pigeons Away From Your Bird Feeder

Attracting wild birds is one of the pleasures of having a garden and there are many types of bird feeders that are a practical and artistic accessory. The main problem for most people is that bird feeders attract pigeons. 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 defecating leaves their droppings all over the place.

how to keep pigeons away from your bird feeder

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 it 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 the use of decoys or scarecrows.

Decoys are replicas of birds of prey that scare off 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.

an owl decoy

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.

pigeon on roof

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.

a pigeon proof feeder

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.

Recommended Pigeon-Proof Feeders

The Squirrel Buster

Although called the Squirrel Buster, this feeder is equally a deterrent to pigeons. Highly rated, over 3.5 million have been sold, a testament to its success as a feeder that attracts smaller wild birds like tits and finches. It has built-in perches, a special closure mechanism and a ventilation system to keep the feed fresh.

Gardman Heavy Duty Bird Feeder

The cage effect is a natural deterrent to pigeons and being heavy duty, it will also withstand those heavier birds including blackbirds, magpies and crows that do attempt to be a bit acrobatic and hang on a feeder to get to the goodies in the tube. This feeder has a good rating for a nice, affordable price.

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.

a small bird 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. 

7. Use a Pigeon-Proof Bird Table

Most bird tables are constructed with open sides. This is so that not only can the birds easily come and go, but it enables you to watch them while they use the table.

The problem if you want a large table to attract lots of birds, is it will be accessible to pigeons and they will eat any food you stock the table with.

Anti Pigeon bird tables are also quite expensive. For example: Riverside Woodcraft Bird Table.

You can however make your own pigeon-proof bird table or buy a less expensive model and adapt it.

Ways to prevent pigeons using your bird table:

Chicken wire: Surround your table with chicken wire, leaving one side with a hinge so you can open and close it. the holes between the wires should be large enough to allow small wild birds through, locking bigger birds out.

Mesh surround: Create a fence by making a lattice with wires or strings. Ideally, the spaces should be around 4-5cms square.

Bird spikes: These should be stuck into the table far enough apart to not deter little birds but prevent pigeons from landing.

Cage: If your table is open, you can add a cage. This can be a hanging basket. You need to secure the cage to the table and the food should be placed as close to the centre as possible to prevent pigeons from sticking their heads through the gaps to reach it.

8. Call-In The Pigeon Control Specialists

If you’ve tried everything in our list and pigeons are still dominating your bird feeder then it is worth getting professional help.

If you’ve got a serious pigeon problem the best solution is to get professional help, click the relevant image below (U.S or UK) to find a pigeon control specialist near you:

Also Read:
How To Keep Pigeons Away
How To Keep Pigeons Away From Your Balcony
How To Keep Pigeons Away From Your Plants
How To Get Rid Of Pigeons From Trees


Dan has been fascinated with pigeons since his youth when he used to feed them breadcrumbs at the local park. With a background in SEO Dan noticed a few years ago that there were very few websites around dedicated to his favorite bird so he set out to change that by starting Pigeonpedia.

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