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Feeding the Pigeons

Updated on April 23, 2014

New York City Pigeon


Pigeons in History

Pigeons have been around for quite some time. They have served a useful purpose before in the wars by carrying messages. They are still listed on the website for the army in the United States as being working for the country. The pigeons will return to their home. They are supposed to be able to use magnetic currents for flight. They will also go ahead and deliver messages through lots of trouble.

They have lived among people in the cities for thousands of years. They were written about in the Middle East 3000 years ago.

San Francisco


Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco


Pigeons in the United States

Pigeons appear in all the major cities of the world. The cities have to for the most part, find some way to deal with them. In some cities feeding them is not allowed. Others find different methods of stopping them from over population. Some try to make different areas pigeon proof. People can protest these methods. A lot of people still do decide to feed them. The laws do change a lot as policies change.

New York City - New York is quite famous for having pigeons. You are not supposed to feed the pigeons. There are people that still do it. They are supposed to have a coop program where they treat the eggs so they don't hatch.

They do have an organization that people made to help pigeons that are hurt Many people there care about the pigeons. There are people on both sides of the debate.

One of the problems is that the pigeons can be trapped and taken to Pennsylvania for a shooting event there. Many do not want that happening. The Humane Society was attempting to put a stop to it. The reason was them being taken over state lines.

Los Angeles - Los Angeles has had a no feeding law. They had also been discussing coops to get the population to decline that they probably use now. People still feed them. San Pedro was supposed to stop quite a lot with plastic owls.

San Francisco - You are not supposed to feed the pigeons in San Francisco. There can be a fine for doing it. From what I have read, they are not allowed to be shot at. It does depend if it is your property or not.

Pigeon Feeder

Girl in Australia
Girl in Australia | Source

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy | Source

Milan, Italy

Feeding in Milan, Italy
Feeding in Milan, Italy | Source

Pigeons in London

1968 - They used to have tins of food for them you could buy.
1968 - They used to have tins of food for them you could buy. | Source

Pigeons in Europe

London - Pigeon feeding used to go on all the time in Trafalgar Square. It was a great draw for tourists. There were complaints and then there was no feeding. They had people paid to shoot the pigeons. But that did not work out.

There were many people that wanted to be able to feed the pigeons and did not like it. Now the latest I have seen is that they are allowed to feed the pigeons once a day in the evening at 7:30 pm. It should all be checked for the correct information.

I just heard on the news that one man with a mail order business is frustrated with the royal mail service and that he is now using pigeons to deliver his orders.

Paris - Paris also has people that like feeding the pigeons. They have a program with pigeon coops and they take the eggs. The public can resent it. You are not allowed to feed the pigeons.

Rome - Rome had a lot of people feeding them in the square. The tourists would pay for the pigeon feed there. It is still going on as far as I can tell. Venice has no feeding going on in some parts.


Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square | Source



Kyoto, Japan


Tokyo, Japan

It looks like pigeons are not allowed to be fed in Tokyo anymore either. There was a blog from a Japanese man telling how they used to get feed for the pigeons from the temples. It looks as if they do not want them doing that.

A Primal Need

Feeding the pigeons seems to fill a primal need in some people. Many people like feeding the birds. But to have the pigeons all flocking over and wanting to be fed instills something else in some people. A lot of older people are supposed to like feeding them. Kids like feeding them also. Young people can likewise like feeding the pigeons.

It is supposed to be caused by people wanting to be close to nature. The pigeons are the only birds in the city that many people see. They are always there and people get used to them. It is a sort of attention that some people need. People can get lonely and the pigeons can fulfill a need to connect to something. Others can just love animals. Seeing the pigeons flying off can give us all hope in life. The same can go of course, for seagulls and other birds.

Others are not that nice and just call them flying rats. To some they are just something to be gotten rid of. They see them as being spreading disease. That is supposed to be something that does not really happen in that manner.

Pigeons Can Count

A New Zealand university did a study on pigeons in 2011 that they say proved that pigeons could count. The article was from the Los Angeles Times.

Solving the Pigeon Problem

Not feeding the pigeons takes the numbers down. It is really better for the pigeons that way. Otherwise, they multiply too much and there are problems. Abandoned buildings are taken over by pigeons and then they need to be gotten rid of.

The pigeons are not really that hungry. They like to get the grains they can have in the cities. It is easier for them if they can get the food from people.

Maybe it is a good idea to set some type of limits on feeding them as they are doing in London now.

A Change of Heart

A man wrote on one of the forums that he had not cared very much about pigeons before. He was in favor of having them removed from his building. They were going to get rid of the pigeons. But they let them go outside so that they were not going to just be killed. When the pigeon couple was going outside he said that the male paused to comfort the female before leaving with his wing. He said that it touched him to see that. Pigeons do mate for life they say.

Pigeon Fans

Mike Tyson - Many people know that he had pigeons as a pet when he was younger. It was the inspiration for him getting into fighting. A bully killed one of his pets and it was the first time he fought and found out he could do it.

The Queen of England, Elizabeth II - Her majesty likes pigeons. It may be better for the prince not to shoot them besides the others.

Picasso - The painter was said to like them. He named his daughter with the Spanish name for pigeon.

Darwin - Darwin liked them. I think it was to study them as they had proved to be fascinating to him.

Walt Disney - He had white pigeons.


Elvis Presley

Marlon Brando

Yul Bryner - He had fancy breeds at his home.

See the link for more names.

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    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I was always wondering why cities attracted pigeons. I live in New York and used to work in New York City. I found your article about them quite interesting.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I love pigeons and don't understand people's hatred towards them. There is no excuse for maltreatment. It would seem that we'd be able to come up with some humane method of controlling their population or incentivizing people to humanely get involved with decreasing their numbers.

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