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Flippin' pigeons

For years I have waged a losing war with wood pigeons.  They are dirty flying rats, and yesterday they just about finished off any patience I might have had with them!!  I had set some hanging baskets out to finally harden off before hanging them.  Wood pigeons sat in the middle and proceeded to strip out the entire centre of the planting!! To say that I was angry is probaby the understatment of the year so far.  I hate and destest squirrels too, but at least they have the grace to look quite pretty and  are intelligent so fighting them seems more like a game.  Pigeons however are ugly, destructive and stupid.  Anyone got any way of dicouraging them, which won't discourage the little birds that we so enjoy? 

Lets be honest here, I really just felt like having a rant .............

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  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    I wish, Bookertoo - they drive me potty, too!

    They're so stubborn - we exclude them from the bird table by simply making it too small for them to fit into, but they still insist on sitting around it hopefully - grrrrr!

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    you are so right, then when the little birds drop stuff, as they always do, they pick up the bits - which I wouldn't mind - then destroy anything around for a meter or so - as you say Alina, grrrrrr

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    Perhaps some pointy sticks sticking up in your hanging baskets would deter them a bit. They don't have to be too high and spoil the look of the planting.

    I do mostly agree with previous posts about pigeons but I had a sneaking admiration for one I saw on the TV once which was being pursued by a large bird of prey, was outwitting it by clever flying and finally escaped.

  • BookertooBookertoo Posts: 1,306

    On the TV that would be fine and admirable, as long as it was many miles from my garden!!!! 

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    The sticks are right, Flobear. I keep my broken bamboos and trim them to 12" lengths. Then, when I plant new small plants out, I push one in next to each one. It stops the pigeons trundling over the plants, or getting anywhere near them - works and absolute treat.

  • Laura CorinLaura Corin Posts: 59

    Where do they nest?  We still have pigeons, but many fewer since we took down overgrown leylandii/other conifer hedging last summer.  We found a lot of empty pigeon nests in there - but not small nests - and some of the adults seem to have moved on to nest elsewhere.  

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    Aha, another reason to get rid of the dreaded overgrown leylandii blighting the place. The only pigeon's nest I've ever seen was in the corner of a hotel balcony. It even had a young pigeon in it. Squab, I think, is what they're called.

    Poor Bookertoo, I hope you have some better luck with your pointy sticks in place.

  • The pigeons ate my newly planted cabbages while I was on holiday. In a forgetful moment I'd left them uncovered and gone away. However, if I'd been thinking, I would have placed netting over the cabbages / set up windmills near them or set out strings. In the past I've kept them off my crops by all of the above methods. It works well because they don't like going anywhere that could trap them. However, if you're on an allotment they'll just end up visiting your unprotected neighbours' plots instead.

    Emma

    gardenersworld.com team

  • gardeningfanticgardeningfantic Posts: 1,019

    i also have them in my garden.. and they are a nightmare.. but as i have suet pellets out for other birds they seem to just hang around under those now and leave plants alone.. thou they do keep going into the greenhouse if i leave door open after dusk.. but i do have a very angry blackbird in the garden..always facing upto the pegions and chasing them off.. it is so daft.. the pigeons leg it when he is about...image oh and htey do not like the seagull that is nesting on our flat roof.. they seem to keep even the rooks and cats away.

  • deedee21deedee21 Posts: 9

    Might sound odd but have you considered tying in another (empty) basket on top of your planted ones to form a sort of ball? Your plants will grow through and cover the top one, keep the pigeons off and maybe even become a talking point, too.

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