Pigeons are a ubiquitous sight in urban areas and cities, and they seem to be attracted to all sorts of food. What do pigeons eat? Well, that’s what this post is for!
This guide will talk about the different types of food that make up a pigeon’s diet in the wild and those they can find in urban areas – specifically their favorite foods.
What do Pigeons Eat?
Pigeons are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat anything they find enticing. Pigeons prefer a variety of seeds, grains, corn, nuts and fruits. They will occasionally eat insects if the opportunity presents itself.
What do Pigeons Prefer to Eat?
Pigeons and doves are opportunistic feeders, which means that they eat mostly what is available. They’ll pick out whatever food looks the most appealing to them at any given time.
That being said, it’s safe to assume that their primary source of nutrition will be seeds and grains such as corn and oats, but they will also eat a lot of fruits and berries and occasionally eat insects for a more balanced bird diet.
What do pigeons Eat in the wild?
Wild pigeons are not picky eaters. They will eat almost anything, so if you want to feed pigeons in the wild, all you need is some birdseed, and they’ll come. But what do pigeons eat in the wild? What food can they find on their own?
The natural diet of pigeons includes seeds, fruits, and nuts. Pigeons also like corn, peas, beans (all types), oats, rye grains, and wheat.
Pigeons can find all of these foods both in rural areas as well as gardens. But pigeons also like to eat insects such as grasshoppers and crickets that live in the grass.
What do Pigeons Eat in Urban Areas?
All of the foods that pigeons find in rural areas can be found in urban areas, but other types of food are available to them.
What do Urban Pigeons Eat? Foods like breadcrumbs, popcorn, rice, anything small enough for a pigeon to pick up and eat quickly is something they will enjoy.
Urban Pigeons also love to eat small pieces of meat, cheese, or any salty snack.
Another food that pigeons enjoy is dog and cat food! That’s right – it might seem disgusting, but feeding your pets on the porch at night can attract many wild birds like pigeons who will come for an easy meal (you should only provide the pets outside if they are free from chemicals and poisons, of course).
How to Attract Pigeons to Your backyard?
Several things can be done to attract pigeons.
Step 1: Act like a pigeon.
If you want pigeons to make your yard their home, start acting like one. They like wood and rock ledges on high structures such as apartment buildings and bridges. If you can’t put ledges on your house, hang something pigeons might like that is eye-level for them.
Try providing a birdhouse since Pigeons like communal spaces where they feel safe and protected. If you provide a small shelter for them, they’ll love it and come back every day!
Pigeons also enjoy perching on telephone wires or other high spots where they have good visibility. Make their favorite spot in your yard the same way. Use string to make several parallel lines about 10 feet long and a few inches above the ground.
How do we make string lines? Have one person hold an end while another wraps the string around two stakes (found in most hardware stores) spaced several inches apart.
Step 2: Set up a space for them to eat and poop
If you want to attract pigeons, you’ll also need to provide food and water for them. Bird feeders and small pieces of meat, cheese, and other snacks work great to attract pigeons. Just make sure you don’t give them too much salt!
Water is essential to pigeons, so make sure there’s always clean water available in your garden so the birds can drink whenever they want.
What to feed pigeons?
As mentioned above, wild pigeons will eat almost anything. However, if you want to feed them specifically to attract them to your backyard, then there is a list of things that work great!
These are the best choices for feeding pigeons:
- Oats (uncooked) – can be found in breakfast cereals or even bird feed mixes, but avoid brands containing molasses.
- Peanuts (raw, not salted) – can be bought by weight at any grocery store. Please make sure they are natural and not roasted or salted.
- Sunflower seeds – the larger ones, but any kind will do as long as they are raw and unsalted.
- Rice (brown) – can be cooked and then stored in a dry place to prevent molding. Never cook more than you need!
- Buckwheat (raw) – can also be bought by weight, but make sure to rinse it thoroughly with cold water.
- Wheat (raw) – Like buckwheat, it should be rinsed if bought in bulk and stored in a dry place.
- Corn (on the cob) – avoid buying refrigerated corn; instead, look for it in the freezer section.
- Peas (raw) – make sure to cut them open with scissors, or pigeons will have difficulty removing the shell.
- Birdseed mixes and Pellets (make sure they’re unsalted and not mixed with molasses) – here is where most people go wrong when feeding pigeons; always make sure that any birdseed mix you buy is unsalted and does not contain molasses.
- Some people choose to feed pigeons bread because it’s easy and cheap to get. However, bread is not a healthy choice as it contains little nutritional value and too much salt.
Fruits and Vegetables in a Pigeon’s Diet?
Pigeons eat various fruit, such as apples, pears, plums, and grapes are good for them, although you want to avoid citrus fruits because they are too acidic.
It is essential to wash fruits and veggies to remove any pesticides or chemicals and cut them into manageable pieces before feeding pigeons.
Beware of giving pigeons fruit seeds (avocado pits are a good example, but any fruit with seeds will have high chances of being poisonous to them).
More about those Bird Pellets
Pigeons can eat a variety of pellets. However, while pigeons may enjoy eating these pellets, they cannot be fed to them in large amounts or for extended periods. This is because some types of food should not be in a pigeon’s diet regularly.
Pigeon pellets are available for sale at many pet stores or through online retailers such as Amazon. Bird Pellets can be fed to your pigeon in moderation, along with all of the other foods that pigeons eat.
It is important to note that the more pellets you give wild pigeons, the less likely they are to consume their regular diet consisting of seeds, fruits, and vegetables. To avoid this behavior, only feed them a tiny amount of pellets each day. This should be a perfect amount to satisfy their hunger.
The pellets that pigeons eat should be given as a treat instead of their primary source of food. Pellets are not the best option for helping pigeons maintain a balanced diet because they lack many essential nutrients, including protein and fiber. However, you can supplement this with seeds, fruits, or vegetables like those mentioned above.
Food pigeons won’t eat
Pigeons don’t like citrus fruits such as oranges or lemons. They also dislike bananas because it’s difficult for them to open a banana skin with their beaks and because the texture is unpleasant.
Another food pigeons won’t eat is onion or garlic. Both of these foods will make a pigeon sick, and they know it, so you should never try feeding pigeons garlic bread if you want the birds to stick around!
Pigeons also don’t like greasy or oily foods such as french fries, but again, they will eat anything if it’s easy to get!
Here is a list of some things not to feed pigeons:
- Dough: Dough can expand in a bird’s stomach and cause bloating, killing the animal. Other baked goods such as bread and cakes should be avoided as well.
- Salt: Like dough, salt can also cause bloating and lead to the pigeon’s death.
- Garbage: Garbage is not healthy for pigeons because it could contain glass or metal pieces that can cut their stomachs and cause infections. Also, waste tends to be very low in nutritional value, which means it’s not usually worth it for the animal to eat.
- Alcohol, Drugs, or Medication: Like garbage, these items are also harmful to the pigeon because they contain chemicals that could be poisonous to them.
- Tobacco: If fed in large amounts, tobacco can potentially kill a pigeon. Tobacco contains nicotine, which is used as a pesticide on plants to keep away pests.
- Chocolate: Chocolate is toxic for a vast range of animals due to its caffeine and theobromine content.
- Onions, Garlic, Leeks: These foods in large amounts can potentially lead to hemolytic anemia in pigeons.
- Sugarless candies or chewing gum: These are not easily digestible by pigeons because they lack the necessary dietary fiber, which means that these foods can potentially kill them.
- Fatty foods: Fatty foods like cheese (and other dairy products), fried or oily food items should be avoided because although they are healthy for humans, fats are not easily digested by animals.
- Spicy foods: Spicy food items like curry should be avoided because they can cause stomach irritation and, again, pigeons have a hard time digesting them.
- Alcoholic beverages: These contain ethanol which is poisonous to birds in large amounts.
- Milk: This is because milk contains lactose which pigeons cannot digest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Pigeons eat rice?
Yes, pigeons can eat rice, and it’s an excellent food for them.
Can Pigeons eat bread?
Bread is not suitable for pigeons, but they will still try to eat it if they encounter some!
Why don’t pigeons like eating bananas or onions?
Pigeons don’t like the texture, and either of these foods will make them sick – so you should never try to feed it to pigeons!
Are there any pigeon-friendly vegetables?
Yes: most green leafy veggies are great for birds. They also love corn, peas, an
How much food do Pigeons eat?
Pigeons need to eat about ¾ of their body weight every day. So, for example, if a pigeon weighs 800g it will have to eat at least 600g of food daily!
So, What do Pigeons eat?
Pigeons are opportunistic feeders with a wide variety of dietary needs and preferences. They typically eat seeds, grains, fruits, and insects in the wild but will eat anything they can find.
If you want to feed pigeons, it’s essential to ensure they get the right kind of food. Avoid giving them foods that could be harmful, such as onions, garlic, leeks, sugarless candy or chewing gum, salty snacks, and fatty foods.
Fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, corn, and peas are healthy for pigeons. Rice is usually a safe bet too!
If you have any experience feeding pigeons and observing them in the wild, let us know! We would love to hear from you about your experiences so that we can share them with our readers. Learning is a shared experience!
Remember to check our other blog posts for more information about birds and nature. Also, remember to share this article with your friends, family, and fellow bird lovers!