What Do Pigeons Eat in the Wild?


wild pigeon

The diet of feral pigeons is very different to urban pigeons.

Urban pigeons have a man-made banquet while pigeons who live in the countryside are at the vagary of what Mother Nature provides, finding food for themselves.

Urban pigeons have all the goodies that our consumer society produces.

Their range of food resources is quite wide, given what we drop or throw away, so what about their country cousins that haven’t been tempted to take up urban city life?

Although there are towns, villages and hamlets within the rural areas, the human food waste that city pigeons love to scavenge isn’t abundant.

So, what do feral pigeons eat when they are deprived of burgers, pizzas and other kinds of lovely fast food?

Most likely they don’t feel the lack of it.

They eat the food that nature has blessed them with.

So, what do these poor pigeons eat without access to kebabs and Chinese fried rice?


Also Read: Best Pigeon Food


1. Seeds

pigeons eating seed

Pigeons are adaptive and are happy to take advantage of what their environment offers them.

It is known that city pigeons have adapted to urban life and the resources of human habitation, but the rural wild pigeons are basically left with what nature provides for them.

This will depend on where they live or their flight range.

Some countryside areas have sparse human populations and the environment is wild.

In others there are large swathes of intense cultivation.

The basic food source of most of these pigeons is seeds.

Although they eat many kinds of seeds, grass seeds are the most prevalent, as grass can be found almost everywhere.

Also, it must be remembered that grass itself has many various kinds, depending on location.

Wildflower seeds are another abundant source of food.

So, the exact kind of seeds that pigeons feed on will differ from place to place.

2. Grains

pigeons eating

Grain is an umbrella term that includes many different kinds of cultivated plants for human and animal consumption.

Most are planted and harvested by farmers and other agriculturists, but some also grow naturally in the wild.

Feral pigeons are lucky to have access to both.

These grains include wheat, barley, corn and millet, just to name a few.

Of course, pigeons inhabit most of the globe, so the wild or cultivated plants that they have to feed on depends on factors like country, area and legacy cultivations within their natural territories.

Also, different species of pigeons may eat different varieties.

Both grains and seeds can be considered their most basic and natural type of food.

3. Other Resources

Pigeons will eat vegetables of various kinds.

They will also eat fruits. It is said that pigeons do tend to eat different types of berries during the mating season.

This may be a hormonal preference of females, as is common in pregnant women.

They are also known to eat insects like worms and spiders.

Snails are another food that is believed to be connected with the breeding cycle.

In Conclusion

Feral pigeons, like most wild species, have their alimentary preferences, due to their evolution but they are opportunists too.

The urban dwellers have adapted nicely to mankind’s development of the cities and so too have the feral pigeons with man’s agricultural expansion.   

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