Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Pigeon problem

by Diane - April 1st, 2012.
Filed under: allotment.

Pigeons will eat everything you plant if you’re not careful – they love cabbagey type plants and can make cabbages unusable.

How to keep them away? We’ve tried netting but they can get through this by just sitting on the netting until it gets to the plant. They don’t mind most bird scarers. I’ve been told balloons with eyes painted on can help.

A sparrowhawk can help although most people don’t have one on hand! We are lucky to have a pair nesting in a nearby building and have seen the sparrowhawk feasting on a pigeon in our garden. It’s a bit gory to watch though!

Can you shoot pigeons?

Woodpigeon shooting is controlled by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in Britain and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 in Northern Ireland. Woodpigeons may be killed or taken by authorised persons at all times. It is strictly prohibited to use any sound recording or live bird as a decoy. Currently woodpigeon shooting continues under an open general licence issued by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions for England and Wales, the Scottish Office Agriculture, Environment and Fisheries Department for Scotland and the Environment and Heritage Service for N. Ireland. No individual application is required for any licence.
In Britain the shooting of Collared Doves (Streptopelia decaocto) and the feral pigeon (Columba livia) is also permitted all year round but the Stock Dove (Columba oenas), Rock Dove (Columba livia) and Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) are all protected species and may not be shot at any time. In N. Ireland the Collared Dove is protected and no pigeons can be shot either at night or on Sundays. The legality of shooting pigeons in Scotland on Sundays remains unclear.
The Stock Dove is often mistakenly called the ‘Blue Rock’ and great care must be taken as these birds often fly with woodpigeons and come readily to decoys.
The feral pigeon is a direct descendent of the Rock Dove (which is usually only found on western coasts), and will be mainly seen close to urban areas.

Note: wild-living, former racing and homing pigeons often fly with feral pigeons but these birds are strictly protected. Whilst they normally have leg rings to show their ownership, identification in the field can be difficult so, if in doubt, do not shoot.”