Pigeons are fantastic creatures; they are intelligent and complex. However, as a pest control company, we also witness the damage pigeons cause daily. It often results in thousands of pounds of damage and serious risks to public health. All this being said, it doesn’t mean we can’t marvel at these fascinating birds and tell you about five interesting pigeon facts.
1. Feral pigeons are ancestors of the Rock Dove
The Feral Pigeon is a widespread ancestor of the now rare Rock Dove. Most, if not all of our Feral Pigeons have adapted to ‘wild’ life from escaped racing pigeons, domestic pigeons and birds that have escaped from birdhouses etc. However, pure Rock Doves still exist to this day and can be found in the extreme North West of Scotland and Ireland.
Feral pigeons come in many different shades, with some being blue and some being black. Furthermore, feral pigeons can also come in grey and less common colours like red and brown.
Telling them apart can be hard as, technically, they are the same species and look very similar. Your best bet to figure out if you have spotted a rock dove or a feral pigeon is the location you have seen it.
The Feral Pigeon is an abundant British breeding resident with well over one hundred thousand pairs. The Feral Pigeon can be found in all counties and habitat types throughout the UK except for parts of Northern Scotland and Northern Ireland where the genuine Rock Doves still lives; these nest on sea cliffs in desolate places.
2. Feral Pigeons can breed all year
Although feral pigeons are most active with their breeding between March and July, they can actually breed throughout the full year. Pigeons, on average, produce 2-5 broods each year with around two eggs. Due to this, it is common for a small pigeon infestation to turn into a significant one in no time at all. For example, a pair of Feral pigeons can turn into thirty in just three years!
3. Feral Pigeons guano contains over 50 diseases
Over the years, we’ve performed 100’s of pigeon control jobs around London and the southeast of England, and the main reason we’re asked to remove feral pigeons is due to the harmful diseases they carry. Unfortunately, the diseases are no joke. Their droppings contain a range of nasty diseases from Histoplasmosis to Salmonellosis and E.coli.
Most people won’t get massively sick, but vulnerable people with poor immune systems have much higher chances of becoming ill. The risk comes from the droppings (guano), which means if you’ve noticed pigeon guano around your property or home, you should clean up using professional antibacterial products or use our expert pigeon dropping removal services.
Read more helpful information on how to get rid of pigeons.
Learn more about bird control.
4. Feral Pigeons can be used to send messages
You may already be aware, but pigeons are famous for their ability to pass messages before the telephone and internet. In fact, The Police Pigeon Service in Orissa, India, only retired in 2002!
5. They can see themselves in a mirror
The final pigeon fact is that pigeons are among the only birds that can recognise themselves in a mirror. During the research, it was established that a pigeon could tell the difference between itself and another pigeon.