Pigeon Predators

Pigeon is a common bird around the world, along with a dove. These two birds are related to each other and live side by side. A pigeon's willingness to eat virtually any type of food he finds makes him a common sight in urban areas. Pigeons are natural scavengers and hang about near groups of people and outdoor eateries in hopes of catching the scraps that fall to the floor. From miniscule crumbs to larger portions, almost nothing is off-limits to the pigeon. 

Even in large numbers, pigeons prefer to avoid confrontation, and they feed themselves accordingly. These birds generally stay in large, open areas when looking for food, like town squares, landfills, parks and playgrounds. This affords them high visibility and an easy escape should an apparent threat come near. In urban areas, those threats may include cats, rats and birds of prey like the peregrine falcon.

Many unique and unusual predators pose threats to birds. While some of these predators are more likely to kill and consume pigeons only rarely or accidentally, they have still been recorded as preying on pigeons. 

There are many species that predate on pigeons. Birds of prey, such as peregrine falcons and sparrowhawks, are the main ones, however, domestic cats, foxes, rats, corvids, snakes and dogs can all do their fair share of harm.

Below are some of the predators of pigeons:


Of course, many will state that most domestic cats dont kill to eat anymore and therefore are cruel, however, cats are still a predator species. They may not have the need to kill for food, but most cats definitely have the urge to hunt. It is in their DNA. Simply domesticating a species doesnt necessarily change that. However, for some reason cats often get off lightly when they kill birds.


Although, it can be distressing to see a sparrowhawk capture a bird or find the remains it has left behind. Sparrowhawks tend to take fledgings or sick, old, injured and weak adult birds, therefore keeping the populations of other species healthy. It rely on the element of surprise and as such will often follow a regular route to get close to potential prey. Sparrowhawks will kill racing pigeons and can cause injury or disruption to flocks.


It's true, of course, that many of the things that eat pigeons also hunt and scavenge for other animals. There are instances, however, of pigeons constituting the primary food source for urban predators. The peregrine falcons and red-tailed hawks for instance, prey upon all manner of birds, including starlings, blackbirds, flickers, and blue jays but their diets consist primarily of pigeon.


While birds face many outrageous predators, the most dangerous predatory threat to them is also one of the most creative and insidious: humans. While poaching and hunting are dangerous, even more threatening to birds are all the artificial threats that humans create, including habitat loss through development and agriculture, Toxic contamination from pollution, lead, pesticides , and other chemical use.

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