Woodpigeons stage a coo

Last year the British Trust for Ornithology did a survey and found out that in many parts of Britain woodpigeons now outnumber the feral variety by two to one.

In 2008 woodpigeons were the fourth most frequent visitor to birdtables.

I’ve seen for myself first hand how woodpigeons can take over a bird table.  The smaller birds don’t stand a change and it is so annoying to see such a big fat bird try and eat all the birdtable food at once.

I live in the countryside and years ago woodpigeons never visited the bird table.  It was a shy bird.  We must be seeing survival in action.  The woodpigeon has learnt where there are easy pickings.

Large birds taking all the food off the bird table is one reason why I nearly stopped putting bird food out.  At one point last year it seemed I was only feeding pigeons, crows, rookd (and a squirrel).

Instead I bought a meshed ground feeder.  I’ve enjoyed waching the smaller birds flit in and out without a care in thew world.

My ground feeder in 2009

My ground feeder in 2008

Not sure if you can still buy that type of meshed ground feeder but HERE IS A MESHED WIRE COVER FOR SALE  – JUST CLICK HERE TO SEE IT

The only problem is that blackbirds and thrushes cannot get in through the small mesh.  I can’t open the meshed feeder door as the pigeons poke their beaks in.

Another way to deter woodpidgeons is to buy bird seed mixes that do not contain many cereal grains.  These types of bird feed are unattractive to woodpigeons.

One way and another the pigeons are living side by side with us in the towns, cities and countryside.

Wonder if anyone else is seeing more woodpigeons in 2009. Let me know if you are.

5 thoughts on “Woodpigeons stage a coo

  1. lynda

    I have lots of pigeons feeding on my table, but no small birds, do the pigeons scare them off, I want to feed the birds but not attract a gang of pigeons and I have even had a pair of magpies who I think have been looking for water. would a ground feeding cage be better?

  2. trish Post author

    Hi Lynda, I have put an article about your comment. I thought I’d show what things I’ve done to keep large birds off because I have the same problem. But to answer your question I think pigeons and all large birds scare the smaller birds away. Another thing is that large birds eat so much bird food in such a short time. A ground feeding cage or, maybe any hanging feeder should help. I use both. I like the caged feeder because I get a better view of the birds that visit! Today I’ve had robins, blue tits, sparrows and one or two thrushes poking their beaks through the wire mesh. Hope you have time to read my notes about what I’m doing to keep big birds away.

  3. neil

    I did stop feeding the birds some time ago due to the wood pigeons taking the bulk of the food, the mess they leave and the noise they make. I’ve since relented of course and limit the food to small bird type only but the wood pigeons still gather below the feeders to take the scraps. I like the cage idea and i don’t think it would take much effort to adapt my wood pigeon trap to keep them out and allow the smaller birds in to feed. I’ll also position the cage below the feeders to prevent wood pigeons taking the scraps. Love birds, hate wood pigeons.

  4. trish Post author

    Hi, Seems you have had similar thoughts to me. It’s the smaller birds that need the energy in winter and they seem to be at the lower end of the food chain when there is bird food about.
    I have changed the way i put bird food out. I’ve had to. I use bird feeders and the meshed cage. I do put some food out onto a bird table and in dishes on the ground – blackbirds and thrushes come to the garden and love the cheese I put out. There is no way they could get into the meshed feeder or feed at the hanging feeders so I keep putting some food out in the open. Let me know how you get on. Trisha

  5. lynda

    Hello, thanks for the reply,unfortunately I’m not seeing any small birds even on the hanging feeders that the pigeons cant hang on, Meantime I have’nt put any food out on the small holder that the pigeons can land on, so maybe they will give up?.

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