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Deterring Wood Pigeons & Collared Doves from Garden Bird Feeders

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Old Wednesday 7th March 2012, 20:07   #1
dowheim
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Deterring Wood Pigeons & Collared Doves from Garden Bird Feeders

Hi All,

My 85 year old Nan is very attached to her little garden birds and has always done her bit to keep them fed, however she has recently taken down all of her bird feeders and stopped feeding birds because of the Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves that bully their way to the food, scare off the little birds and make a mess all over her garden in the process. I have noticed that these birds are becoming extremely common in Kent. I also love the little garden birds so I would love to do something about it.

Can anyone make any suggestions about how to deter large birds whilst keeping the little birds fed?

Many Thanks
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Old Wednesday 7th March 2012, 20:32   #2
Swifty49
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Caged feeders perhaps, then the doves will be relegated to ground-feeding on the spillage?
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Old Thursday 8th March 2012, 18:38   #3
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I agree, caged feeders would probably be best.
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Old Thursday 8th March 2012, 18:40   #4
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To stop them hoovering up the spilt food you can get large cages that you set down on the ground to allow small ground feeders to get at the food but keep the bully boys off it.
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Old Saturday 10th March 2012, 07:37   #5
Alby
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Hello Dowheim.

I had a very similar problem with feral pigeons recently. Pigeons are on the increase and are here to stay, so I looked for a way around the problem.
Any food that was put on the ground was ravaged by them. My solution was to use hanging feeders. As for the low to the ground bird tables, I adapted them by adding a roof to them, and drilling holes all around the edge of the tables and glueing cocktail sticks or barbeque sticks into them about 2 inches appart, or a litle more into them.

It looks better and more natural than netting, and the Blackbirds and Thrushes can still get inside. The pigeons still try to get on the table, but so far their attempts have failed. I don't mind the pigeons hoovering up the spilt seed from the feders as this helps to keep rats away.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Alby : Saturday 10th March 2012 at 07:57.
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Old Saturday 10th March 2012, 12:19   #6
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I purchased 2 metal hanging basket frames from the garden centre (about 1.00 each) inverted them and secured my feeder trays inside using cable ties. This allows the smaller birds to feed safely. I still have an open hanger for the larger birds (they have to eat too).
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Old Friday 30th March 2012, 02:03   #7
Mari E
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Caged feeders will deter most pigeons(ok I've seen some really clever ones hang onto it but they're rare), if she had feeder trays that would attract pigeons too so maybe take them off?
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Old Thursday 7th June 2012, 10:59   #8
lin1
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Hello
I am wondering if this will work for you
I had a problem with starlings on my hanging feeders, they were spilling lots of seed,the feeders needing refilling every day

so until I could get a guard ,I hung my feeder from a length of string
and it worked a treat

the starlings couldnt cope with the rapid twirling and no longer attempt to get on the feeders
however the little birds can, and feed happily while being twirled
my pocket is happy too as ive saved money on seed and not having to buy a (cage)

Last edited by lin1 : Thursday 7th June 2012 at 11:16.
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Old Saturday 16th June 2012, 15:12   #9
PatioBirderTx
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I have this SAME problem in Texas pretty much - the doves are taking over, and I'm wondering if it's the type of seed as well.
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Old Saturday 16th June 2012, 20:15   #10
sourton
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I had this problem when I had trays attached to the bottom of the feeders. I took the trays off and I dont get the problem anymore. Now they hang around the floor hoovering up any dropped seed which is ideal. You could also try switching to a seed mix which doesn't have wheat or maize in it.
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Old Friday 29th June 2012, 14:11   #11
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I'm having similar problems but can suggest something that may be worth trying. I've bought a food tray for my feeder which is a plastic dish about 12" wide and a plastic screw which screws into the base of the feeder and holds the tray in place. The idea is that birds drop seeds into the tray and save too much mess under the feeder. Trouble is the pigeons can hang onto it so it's no good.
However, I replaced the tray with a plastic lid from a take-away container. I cut a hole in the middle for the screw. The lid is bendy and won't take the weight of a pigeon but does still act as a tray for the small birds to stand on and throw seeds about.
Pigeons still arrive to clear up but generally don't disturb the smaller birds.
I hope this works for you.
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Old Friday 29th June 2012, 16:47   #12
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Welcome to Birdforum!

That sounds like a clever solution.
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Old Wednesday 26th June 2013, 13:49   #13
elaine.ward
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Wood Pigeon Problem can be sorted

Hi

If you are having problems with wood pigeons, magpies etc eating all the food left for the little birds and scaring them away etc then this may be the answer - it works for me.

By splitting the feeding areas and regulating feeding times, I've trained my pigeons and magpies to come into my garden at a certain time of day (yes this can be done). This time is usually about 5pm and so my little birds have all day to themselves playing and feeding in my garden to their hearts content without being disturbed.

I have two feeding areas. The first one is for my "little birds" and is at the top of my garden near my kitchen window. It is a thin flimsy feeding station (pole with three prongs sticking out of it). The big birds can't hang on it for long (although they will have a go). I have three "squirrel/large bird proof" feeders dangling from it with seeds, nuts, sunflowers etc. Again the big birds struggle with this. The little birds come around all day feeding on it. I do like to shake the seed feeder a little in the morning when I come out because our little Dunnocks poke around on the floor and wont go on the feeder.

The second feeding area is my "big bird" area down the bottom of the garden. Here I have a bird bath / feeder - flat, round etc so the big birds can sit on it, perch on it. This is where I throw my scraps, bread etc on a daily basis so that the big birds can have a feed (they do need to eat too, and need the food more than the little birds really).

Now this is the important part. The woodpigeons and magpies will only tend to swoop down into the garden when they can see bread is out. It took me a while to work out, but basically when the breads there, the pigeons are there. If the breads not there, they don't bother coming down. So now I only put my bread out every day around 5pm and this is when my woodpigeons and magpies descend. But by 5pm my little robins, tits, finches have had a lovely day/feed in the garden before the big guns have arrived.

The wood pigeons and magpies seem to have quite good manners too when they arrive and after they have eaten all the bread, they wander up the garden to hoover up any seeds and bits left over from the small birds during the day. (It is great that they do this, because it stops the rats).

There has been times after 5pm when my pigeons and magpies arrive that the little birds brave the onslaught and stick around too. I have got photos of 7 different species of bird on the photo feeding in my garden at one time.

Hope this helps anybody out there who has a problem.
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Old Wednesday 26th June 2013, 15:00   #14
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I have a large Elderberry bush about six feet from my kitchen window. Everything I want to keep for the little'uns is hung in there and the bigger birds can't get in or rest on most of the thin branches.

As above, the Woodies are reduced to hanging around begging for scraps underneath, and clearing the path in the process.

Bread & pastry are thrown down the lawn for all to share.
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Old Monday 3rd December 2018, 12:20   #15
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I apologize for bumping this an old thread, just some suggestions that I hope helps

I have had the same problem this year but with Wood Pigeons. There used to be a pair of Collared Doves which visited our bird table occasionally and I was amused to see them struggle to get under the roof as it is only a small table, only room for one Collared Dove at a time!

About eight weeks ago, a pair of stonking fat Wood Pigeons came down in the garden for the seed and mealworm crumble on the ground. At first, I didn't mind but that soon changed when they hoovered up every last morsel then somehow managed to get on the bird table and polished that lot off too. :evil: Within a week, they were coming several times a day and eating everything, then they brought their friends...another pair...who joined in the feast. Any amount of window banging, opening the patio doors, hand clapping etc. etc. just sent them temporarily up onto the roof opposite. My neighbour wasn't very happy, as her washing got pooped on several times but strangely enough, mine never got hit!

I know many people who uses an ultrasonic bird repeller like all this types https://homerepairgeek.com/home-pest...f-pigeons.html to keep seagulls off of his pier and it works like a charm. The downside is that you have to listen to the sound of it every 15 minutes or so. It sounds like a rabbit in distress call to me and some people find it quite annoying.

They suddenly stopped coming and when my neighbour told me her son was upset to find two dead pigeons in the street not far from us, I went to have a look. They were Wood Pigeons and had obviously been shot.
The other pair haven't been to visit so whether they suffered the same fate, I don't know. I do know it isn't costing me as much in bird food!
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Old Tuesday 4th December 2018, 11:35   #16
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Most of my feeders are made to be squirrel proof, which means they are also larger bird proof as well. My more accessible feeder, at the top of a baffled 8 foot pole was regularly raided by squirrels because they could climb trees or the house and jump on it from above, but I finally found a way to elevate it on a double platform in a spot where they no longer could, successfully feeding blue jays and cardinals and similar size birds for a short while until it was discovered by rock pigeons or if you will the common city variety. A flock of over a score were soon showing up and spending much of the day generally despoiling things and really annoying the neighbours and I felt obliged to take the feeder down again, the pigeons took over a month to stop showing up despite being chased off whenever I saw them... and I am defeated.

A related anecdote: about 6 weeks ago I saw a solitary pigeon with a strangely all-white head in the yard and rushed it off, then only a few days later an astounding birding report came out that a white crowned pigeon from the Everglades was in my frozen northern area and I couldn't help but wonder... thankfully my white headed bird showed up again and it was the ordinary urban vermin variety. But I vowed to be a little more careful in the future.
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Old Friday 7th December 2018, 21:44   #17
Pavel_D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elaine.ward View Post
Hi

If you are having problems with wood pigeons, magpies etc eating all the food left for the little birds and scaring them away etc then this may be the answer - it works for me.

By splitting the feeding areas and regulating feeding times, I've trained my pigeons and magpies to come into my garden at a certain time of day (yes this can be done). This time is usually about 5pm and so my little birds have all day to themselves playing and feeding in my garden to their hearts content without being disturbed.

I have two feeding areas. The first one is for my "little birds" and is at the top of my garden near my kitchen window. It is a thin flimsy feeding station (pole with three prongs sticking out of it). The big birds can't hang on it for long (although they will have a go). I have three "squirrel/large bird proof" feeders dangling from it with seeds, nuts, sunflowers etc. Again the big birds struggle with this. The little birds come around all day feeding on it. I do like to shake the seed feeder a little in the morning when I come out because our little Dunnocks poke around on the floor and wont go on the feeder.

The second feeding area is my "big bird" area down the bottom of the garden. Here I have a bird bath / feeder - flat, round etc so the big birds can sit on it, perch on it. This is where I throw my scraps, bread etc on a daily basis so that the big birds can have a feed (they do need to eat too, and need the food more than the little birds really).

Now this is the important part. The woodpigeons and magpies will only tend to swoop down into the garden when they can see bread is out. It took me a while to work out, but basically when the breads there, the pigeons are there. If the breads not there, they don't bother coming down. So now I only put my bread out every day around 5pm and this is when my woodpigeons and magpies descend. But by 5pm my little robins, tits, finches have had a lovely day/feed in the garden before the big guns have arrived.

The wood pigeons and magpies seem to have quite good manners too when they arrive and after they have eaten all the bread, they wander up the garden to hoover up any seeds and bits left over from the small birds during the day. (It is great that they do this, because it stops the rats).

There has been times after 5pm when my pigeons and magpies arrive that the little birds brave the onslaught and stick around too. I have got photos of 7 different species of bird on the photo feeding in my garden at one time.

Hope this helps anybody out there who has a problem.
I really like your approach.
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