What Are Pigeons Good For? 5 Things

Pigeons are often stigmatized, they’re routinely described as “rats with wings” and are thought of as dirty birds that are a nuisance.

However despite being thought of by many as vermin pigeons actually contribute some important things to the world. Here are 5 good things that pigeons do for the world and us:

1. They Help Disperse Seeds

Pigeons help to disperse seeds and fertilize the ground by defecating on it, which some trees need in order for their fruit to grow.

Due to the vast numbers of pigeons they have a significant impact on seed dispersal and are likely responsible for far more of the flora in our cityscapes than we realise.

2. They Help Control Insect Populations

Pigeons are omnivores, this means they can survive on both plant and animal based foods.

While the best food for them is seeds and grains they will happily eat insects too given the chance.

do pigeons eat insects

Insects can be far more irritating than pigeons, thankfully they play an important part in the diet of many animals.

City pigeons aren’t any different in this regard and their varied diets include plenty of bugs which, given the number of pigeons, means that pigeons contribute a lot to keeping the numbers of pesky insects down.

If there were no pigeons in our cities there would be a whole lot more bugs flying in our faces and through our windows!

3. They Remove Food Waste From Our Streets

If you ever accidentally drop a sandwich, burger or any food type in your local city center it will only be a few seconds until a swarm of pigeons (possibly seagulls too depending on where you live) descend on it and make it disappear.

City pigeons will eat pretty much anything. Having pigeons clean up our food waste means that there is less left for rats to consume.

pigeons eating human food waste

While some people would argue that pigeons are just as bad as rats the truth is pigeons rarely ever sneak into your homes, kitchens, offices or businesses or eat through your cupboards and cause your restaurant to get closed down down due to a rat infestation.

In our opinion a plethora of pigeons is far more preferable to an overabundance of rats!

4. They Make Great Pets

Pigeons make great pets.

Unlike many other birds that people keep as pets, such as parrots and cockatiels, pigeons make small cooing and chuckling sounds, rather than the loud, harsh squawks that other bird species make.

Pigeons are attractive birds so they’re nice to look at. They are docile and friendly and enjoy interacting with humans and other pigeons.

pigeon and man hand

You will enjoy spending time with your pet pigeon and it will enjoy sitting on your shoulder or talking back and forth with you.

Food is relatively inexpensive and your pigeons won’t need a lot of toys and other accessories.

A constant water supply, a perch and cage and few things to play with are all they need to be happy.

5. They Can Be Used For Homing

One of the most incredible things about pigeons is their sense of navigation.

With a bit of training pigeons can find their way back home from well over 500 miles away.

homing pigeon in flight

In fact the greatest long-distance flight recorded by a pigeon is one that started at Arras in France and ended in Saigon, Vietnam back in 1931, the total distance was 7,200 miles and it took 24 days.

The pigeons incredible homing ability has also been used to send vital messages during WW1, WW2 and throughout history.


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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