Have pest problems with pigeons? Learn all about these birds, including the different species of these winged pests you may find near your home or business and your options to capture, trap, and remove pigeons from your property.

  • Pigeons have an average lifespan of around three to four years out in the wild and can live up to 16 years in captivity

  • Pigeons can fly at altitudes up to and beyond 6000 feet at an average speed of 77.6 mph, and the fastest recorded flying speed was 92.5 mph

  • Although some see pigeon droppings as a problem in modern society, a few centuries ago, pigeon guano was seen as extremely valuable as a fertilizer, and armed guards would even stand by dovecotes (pigeon houses) to stop others from taking the droppings

  • Pigeons and humans have lived in close proximity for thousands of years. The first recordings of this date back to Mesopotamia, modern Iraq, in 3000bc

  • Pigeons mate for life and tend to raise two chicks at the same time

  • Pigeons are highly sociable animals. They will often be seen in flocks of 20-30 birds.

  • Pigeons are renowned for their outstanding navigational abilities. They use various skills, such as using the sun as a guide and an internal ‘magnetic compass.’ A study at Oxford University found that they will also use landmarks as signposts and will travel along man-made roads and motorways, even changing direction at junctions.

  • Pigeons are incredibly complex and intelligent animals. They are one of only a small number of species to pass the 'mirror test' – a test of self-recognition. They can also recognize each letter of the human alphabet, differentiate between photographs, and even distinguish different humans within a photograph

  • Pigeons are often seen as extremely smart and can even recognize themselves in a mirror, one of just a handful of other animals to do so

  • Pigeon parasites include many bugs, fleas, ticks, and mites—many of which bite people

  • Pigeons are known to carry or transmit diseases, including histoplasmosis, pseudo-tuberculosis, and salmonella food poisoning

  • The droppings and feathers can contaminate large quantities of livestock feed and food destined for human consumption

  • Pigeon droppings deface and accelerate deterioration of statues, buildings and equipment, and foul areas where people may walk or work

Stemming from the bird family of Columbidae, pigeons are among the most widespread birds on the planet. Two of the most common species of pigeons in North America are the feral pigeon and band-tailed pigeon. Pigeons are known to carry or transmit diseases, including histoplasmosis, pseudo-tuberculosis, and salmonella food poisoning. Pigeon parasites include a number of bugs, fleas, ticks, and mites—many of which bite people.

Feral pigeons are pigeons that are descended from domesticated pigeons that had made it back into the wild. Also called city doves, rock pigeons, rock doves, city pigeons, and street pigeons, they have learned to adapt to urban areas. They are considered a nuisance pest and an invasive species. Feral pigeons can damage buildings and structures because of how acidic their droppings are.

feral pigeon

What You Need To Know About The Feral Pigeon

  • What do feral pigeons look like?

    • Blueish-gray head and neck

    • Neck feathers are commonly iridescent (colors that change depending on what angle you're looking at)

    • Two black stripes near the tips of both wings

    • A black band across its tail

  • What do feral pigeons eat?

    • They’ll scavenge for seeds, berries, food remnants, and event insects

  • Where do feral pigeons live?

    • Non-native populations exists across the United States

    • Generally, congregate to coastal regions; however, feral pigeons have adapted well to urban areas

    • Feral pigeons do not tend to migrate and usually stay near their homes

What You Need To Know About The Feral Pigeon

  • What are the signs of a feral pigeon infestation?

    • Lots of bird noises and calls

    • Droppings

    • Visible damage to structures either from birds making nests or bird droppings

    • Lots of stray material and feathers are common near nesting areas

  • Why do feral pigeons invade my home or business?

    • Availability of food, freshwater, and places for safe breeding

  • How do I get rid of feral pigeons?

    • Contact a pest control professional

    • Attempt to use live traps

    • Utilize different bird deterrents around your property or building, such as bird spikes or reflective

Tips To Prevent The Feral Pigeon Infestations

The band-tailed pigeon is a relative of the rock pigeon. But instead of being an introduced species in North America like other pigeons, the band-tailed pigeon is native to the western region of North America. Band-tailed Pigeons can be found in two separate regions in North America: the arid mountain forests of the Southwest and lush forests along the Pacific Coast. These birds will often travel far for food, managing to fly three miles between nesting and feeding areas on average. The band-tailed pigeon makes deep, slow coo sounds and calls that almost sound owl-like.

band-tailed pigeon

What You Need To Know About Band-Tailed Pigeon

  • What do band-tailed pigeons look like?

    • Pale gray body

    • Dark wingtips

    • Pale tips on the tail

    • White crescent shape on the neck

    • Black-tipped bill

    • Yellow feet

  • What do band-tailed pigeons eat?

    • Mostly nuts, berries, and seeds

    • Will eat plant buds, young leaves, flowers, and sometimes insects

  • Where do band-tailed pigeons live?

    • Found in areas of the American Southwest and Pacific Coast

    • They often roost or make a nest in tall trees such as coniferous or deciduous trees

What You Need To Know About Band-Tailed Pigeon Infestations

  • What are the signs of a band-tailed pigeon infestation?

    • Lots of bird noises and calls

    • See large groups feeding on your property

    • Droppings

    • Visible damage to structures either from birds making nests or bird droppings

    • Lots of stray material and feathers are common near nesting areas

  • Why do band-tailed pigeons invade my home or business?

    • Availability of food, freshwater, and places for safe breeding

  • How do I get rid of band-tailed pigeons?

    • Contact a pest control professional

    • Attempt to use live traps

    • Utilize different bird deterrents around your property or building, such as bird spikes or reflective

Tips To Prevent Band-Tailed Pigeon Infestations

To take care of your pigeon problems, Kness has a full line of control solutions for you to utilize such as:

Feral pigeons are not protected by federal laws, but state and local laws should be checked before reduction control is attempted.

In cases where non-lethal bird deterrent products are either ineffective or not a viable option, a pigeon trap like our Kage-All® Bird Trap is a safe and humane way to catch and hold pigeons. Live-trapping of pigeons can be a very effective method of control.

Various methods are used to dispose of the trapped pigeons, but under no circumstances should they be taken away and released because the pigeon's homing ability will defeat any trapping and release program.

Available from Kness

Kage All® Bird Trap Products Kage All® Bird Trap

Kage-All® Bird Traps humanely capture pest birds such as sparrows and pigeons for later release or relocation without causing harm to the bird. Kage-All® Bird Traps are simple and easy to use and can be used indoors or outdoors.

View Kage-All® Bird Traps