Feral Pigeon (Columbia Livia Domestica)

Also known as city doves, city pigeons, or street pigeons, feral pigeons can often become an annoying pest when they decide to roost near or in your home. These birds are descendants of domesticated pigeons which were originally bred from the wild rock dove, natural inhabitants of seaside cliffs and mountains.

As such, feral pigeons view the ledges of buildings and eaves of roofs to be a good substitute for mountain cliffs and will readily roost there in large numbers. They have become adapted to urban settings extremely well and have since become abundant in cities and towns throughout much of the world.

 

Also known as city doves, city pigeons, or street pigeons, feral pigeons can often become an annoying pest when they decide to roost near or in your home. These birds are descendants of domesticated pigeons which were originally bred from the wild rock dove, natural inhabitants of seaside cliffs and mountains.

As such, feral pigeons view the ledges of buildings and eaves of roofs to be a good substitute for mountain cliffs and will readily roost there in large numbers. They have become adapted to urban settings extremely well and have since become abundant in cities and towns throughout much of the world.

 

Feral pigeons are around the same size as their wild rock dove ancestors but exhibit a far wider range of colors and patterns in comparison. Those that live in more urban areas typically have darker plumage than those that live in rural areas.

Males will typically have more colorful plumage compared to females, as this is one of the ways they attract mates during mating season. In many feral pigeons, you may see stripes or bands of darker color on their wings.

 

As far as size goes, they are slightly larger than a robin. You can recognize them easily by their puffed-out breast and peculiar waddle when they walk. Because of their diets, pigeons’ droppings can sometimes be corrosive and damaging to the building they roost on. Similar to wood pigeons, feral pigeons decide to roost in or around your home, you’ll quickly notice a high concentration of droppings around their nests.

In addition to this, they may also cause damage to eaves and roofing with their beaks and talons as they construct their nests.

Feral Pigeons (Columbia Livia Domestica) AccuRat

How did they come in

 

Feral pigeons are extremely mobile because of their ability to fly. Because of this, they can easily get to high-up areas of your home or nearby buildings to build their nests and roost. They typically only build nests on the outside of buildings, specifically on the eaves or ledges of roofs.

You probably won’t ever see them inside your home or another building, but in some cases, they can enter attics or crawl spaces that have access to your roof. If they do this, you should find a pest control service to carry out a site survey and take care of the bird problem as soon as possible, as their droppings can quickly ruin such spaces and potentially leak into your living areas.

If you suspect feral pigeons have set up shop in your home or somewhere nearby, you will be able to tell fairly quickly. Besides the telltale torrent of droppings, they are also somewhat noisy birds. You should be able to hear them cooing as they roost together, which will let you know for sure that you have a nest of feral pigeons on your hands.

Feral Pigeons (Columbia Livia Domestica) AccuRat

Why Do You See Them Around Your Home and Are They Dangerous? 

As we explained a little earlier, feral pigeons are descendants of the wild rock dove who made their homes on rocky cliff ledges near the sea or in the mountains. As descendants of these birds, modern-day feral pigeons also have the instinct to roost in areas as their ancestors did.

The ledges and eaves of buildings in modern cities are the perfect alternatives to their ancestral roosting places, and they will happily make nests anywhere there is a building. Therefore, you may find feral pigeons around your home, due to their instinct to nest on ledges high above the ground.

In most cases, feral pigeons are perfectly harmless to humans and don’t pose much of a threat. However, over the generations, they have become a perfect vector of multiple human and livestock diseases and water damage. It’s rare that a pigeon will pass a disease on to a human, but it is possible.

Even for people who are forced into close contact with feral pigeons, the health risk is very low. A typical person’s immune system is usually enough to take care of most diseases being carried by a pigeon. It’s best to err on the side of caution, though, so you should try to avoid coming into direct physical contact with them.

Feral pigeons are a common pest found in urban and rural settings alike. While the health risks they pose to humans are relatively low, they should be properly handled if you find them moving into your home. Their droppings can quickly cause damage and pollution to your home and the surrounding area, especially if there is a large population nesting there.

As always, if you find signs of feral pigeons nesting in your home in London or nearby, you should call a qualified pigeon control service to handle the situation and give you advice on suitable pigeon proofing solutions. They will have the proper tools and training to handle these pests in a safe and humane manner.

We hope the information we’ve outlined here has given you awareness enough to be able to address a feral pigeon problem should you ever have one. For all other pest information, remember to check out our other articles to learn more about common house pests. 

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