Are you wondering how to make a bird table pigeon proof?
You bought your bird table to attract feathered friends to your garden. Of course, there are some birds you’d rather see than others. While a bird feeder or bird table can be a wonderful lure for stunning wildlife, it’s often ruined by the presence of less favourable visitors, such as pigeons.
Pigeons are a part of nature, but they’re not the kind of birds that you’re keen to see each morning. More often than not, pigeons can deter small birds and other beautiful wildlife from visiting your garden. These greedy birds snatch up excessive amounts of your food and often leave your garden covered in a mess.
So, how do you make a bird table appealing to other smaller birds, but not pigeons?
Why Are Pigeons a Problem?
If you’re new to using a bird feeder or bird table in your garden, you may be wondering why it’s important to keep pigeons away. The simple answer is that they ruin your bird watching experience. Unlike other birds, pigeons have no problem with scarcity. There are more than 1 million pigeons in London alone.
The ‘pig’ part of the name is more descriptive than you might think. These birds eat quickly, and they eat a lot. Usually, you’ll find that your bird feeder or feeding station is totally cleared out before other garden birds get a look in.
While some smaller birds and larger birds may still visit your garden to eat, the presence of pigeons will also mean that you’ll have to spend more on keeping your feeders and wood tables stocked with food. You will often find that little birds prefer to stay away altogether, however, as pigeons can be quite violent and may scare away your visitors.
If the greediness of pigeons and their feeding habits weren’t enough to make you want to get rid of them, how about the fact that one pigeon rarely turns up alone? Pigeons often bring their friends with them to land in your garden, which leads to a huge crowd of pests hanging around your garden. Pigeons don’t just feed and leave. They stick around, covering the ground in droppings, and making a lot of racket.
Though noise and bird poop is common around any bird feeder, pigeons seem to cause more trouble than any other kind of bird – even the bigger breeds.
How Do I Keep Pigeons off My Bird Table?
I’m hoping the birds might be used to their new bird table tomorrow, so I can keep lookout whilst working from home 😄 sometimes it really is the little things 🕊🪶 ooh and my tulips might bloom tomorrow too! 🌷 pic.twitter.com/XJpUixW3Kz
— Charlotte McIntyre (@itsmecharrose) March 31, 2021
The key is finding a balance that can deter pigeons while ensuring that you don’t ruin the bird feeding experience for other wild bird visitors. You may need to keep an eye on the food that you lay out in your feeders and how large birds and pigeons respond to it.
A few options you can try include:
Pigeons are such a problem for the average hanging basket or seed feeders that countless vendors have begun producing feeders that are designed to prevent pigeons. These products are intended to reduce exposure to your food so that pigeons are too large to get in. However, it can scare away other large birds too. A pigeon-proof bird feeder can look a lot like an upturned hanging basket. You can lower the dome or raise it, depending on your needs, and make the seed feeders essentially inaccessible to pigeons.
Aside from unique cage feeders for the ground and windows of your home, you can also try feeding guardians. These attach to the roof of the bird tables you use or around the exterior of the feeder. The idea is that the system will block many pigeons from getting to the feeder and eating all the food. Usually, the guardian system will ensure pigeons can’t land on your feeding table, but smaller wild birds like sparrows and starlings can still stand there.
Oh my, I have a goldcrest on the empty bird table! I can barely breathe! Don't want to disturb it
— Becky Whinnerah (@BeckyWhin) March 28, 2021
Choose the Right Table
Some tables are specifically designed for people who want to banish pigeons and larger birds. These tables have spikes, and cage elements included help to prevent large birds from landing on the tables for too long. However, you will need to be careful to avoid anything that would prevent blackbirds, sparrows and other wild birds from visiting your garden. Spikes can also help prevent squirrels from feeding on the seeds you’ve left out for your feathered visitors.
Don’t Place the Spill Tray Too Close to the Feeder
A lot of homeowners with bird feeding stations in their garden will use a tray around the tables or the feeder to catch falling seed. If you’re using a tray, then you might want to add some spikes that stop fat pigeons from standing too long underneath the seed. If your pigeon has a pole or a tray to stand on or hang onto, this makes it harder to get rid of them.
Other Ways to Deter Pigeons From Your Table
Finding the right solution when you want to keep pigeons away from your feeding table or platform can seem pretty difficult at first. Although there are many solutions out there, pigeons could still find various ways to sneak into your garden and get fat. The same goes for other unwanted wildlife, like squirrels. Squirrels often take advantage of easy-to-access feeders.
If the options mentioned above didn’t work, you might find that hanging a cage of chicken wire around the roof of the table can prevent unwanted intruders. Leaving an opening on one side that’s small enough for smaller wild birds will help to deter unwanted pests. Just make sure that the wire isn’t sharp enough to hurt any birds or catch their wings.
You can also make a fence around the wood or stone of the feeder to keep pigeons from eating all your food. Several strings or wires hung from the top of the bird table at various intervals should serve a similar purpose to chicken wire. It is one of the best ideas for getting rid of pigeons, but hanging wire around your table won’t look very attractive.
You could also think about using bird spikes for removing the squirrel and pigeon presence from your garden, but spikes will never look great on any of your feeders, pole areas, or platform feeders. Many people also find that they’re nervous about hanging spikes or placing spikes on the ground around a feeder. You could end up injuring wildlife that only visited to get a bite to eat.
Placing spikes on your roof might be a good alternative to placing them on any feeders or ground platforms because pigeons will often wait on the roof to see when you put your food out.
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How Do I Get Rid of Pigeons but Not Other Birds?
If you’re concerned about making your bird feeders look less attractive with pigeon proof bird solutions, then you could always try a more peaceful resolution. Filling your bird feeders with the kind of food that pigeons would rather avoid may help keep pigeons away. Pigeons love junk food and cheaper seed, unlike smaller birds which are more likely to look for high-quality seeds.
Upgrading the bird food that you use on your bird tables and hanging feeders could help you to attract a better quality of the bird. However, there’s no guarantee that this will create a pigeon proof bird feeder. You may find that you attract more small birds, but you also give your pigeons a better meal.
Ultimately, there’s no guaranteed solution for creating a pigeon proof bird feeder on the market today. Sometimes, if you want to invest in bird feeders, you’ll need to accept that all bird species will want to visit your garden. The more hanging feeders and bird feeders you have, the more kinds of wildlife you’ll attract. If nothing you can try will keep pigeons away from your bird feeders, you might need to embrace the occasional visitation of pigeons.
With a little luck, having pigeons in your garden won’t stop other wild bird breeds from visiting your bird feeders too. Remember, sometimes, using different kinds of spikes and hanging feeders to get rid of pigeons could also mean that you deter bigger birds from coming to your feeder too. It might not be worthwhile if you’re just slightly annoyed by the pigeons.
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Pigeons Are Persistent Birds
Having a bird feeder that you can fill with bird food each day is a great way to attract garden birds that liven up your home. However, you can’t always guarantee which garden birds you’ll attract. Sometimes you will discover smaller birds among your foliage. However, it’s difficult to welcome every wild bird to your garden while keeping pigeons away from your bird feeder too.
Sticking to higher feeder options and staying away from the ground feeder or low feeder tables can help keep the pigeons away by making it harder for them to get their food. Pigeons like the idea of having easy access to feed, so a ground feed station is perfect for them. However, even if you add your feed to a hanging system or perch the table on a high pole, this doesn’t mean pigeons will stop eating your feed entirely.
No matter how hard you search for solutions and pole extenders to stop pigeons from eating your food, there’s always a chance they’ll find a way to access your land.
There are a couple of wood pigeons that come our garden to feed off our bird table. If there is no food out, they start on my winter veggies. I am the victim of a pigeon extortion racket…
— Tenacious Dave (@DaveTenacious) April 7, 2021
Attract the Right Birds
Learning how to make a bird table pigeon proof means bird watching becomes more enjoyable for you. Don’t forget that there are always simple and humane options available in your efforts to deter the greedy birds.
Have pigeons been a problem for you? How did you deal with them? Let us know below.