Pigeons in the garden

Some people don't like pigeons in their gardens. There are ethical ways to stop attracting them to your garden and nesting on your roof.

Keeping pigeons out of your garden

The most humane and effective way to discourage pigeons from visiting is to reduce their access to food, as this is often why they will be attracted to a certain place. However, if you feed other birds in your garden, it can be difficult to feed them without feeding pigeons as well.

You could try some of these suggestions:

  • Stop putting food out for birds for a while
  • Dispose of edible litter carefully - secure your bins so the birds can’t access it
  • Move feeders away from perches or use feeders with slippery tops so larger birds are unable to perch as easily
  • Use feeders with narrow feeding holes ideal for smaller birds
  • Use smaller seed mixes, pigeons tend to prefer larger grains
Feral pigeon in the garden

How can I stop pigeons from nesting on buildings?

Pigeons will breed whenever there’s enough food around, so in towns and cities, they can breed all year round. If you’re thinking of setting up humane deterrence measures such as anti-perching devices or netting, make sure this is done when the pigeons aren’t breeding, because their nests are protected by law.

Is it legal to cull pigeons?

Wherever possible, we would always prefer non-lethal solutions and we believe that culls should only be considered if there is a serious problem and non-lethal methods aren’t effective or practical. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, pigeons can’t be killed unless this is done under the terms of licences issued by Natural England or Natural Resources Wales.

Pigeons nesting on the roof

Why do some people dislike pigeons?

Some people consider pigeons a problem when they move into towns and cities. This is partly because they use ledges on buildings to perch, roost and nest and because of the mess they make. Many people also enjoy feeding pigeons, which has led to large flocks gathering in these areas, often seen as a risk to public health and safety.

Pigeon advice