Wood pigeons are one of the most common birds found in gardens and woodlands across the UK. They are a medium-sized bird with a plump body and a distinctive white patch on their neck. If you enjoy observing these beautiful birds and want to attract them to your garden, it’s important to know what wood pigeons eat. In this article, we’ll discuss the diet of wood pigeons and provide you with some tips on how to feed them.
Natural Diet of Wood Pigeons
Wood pigeons are primarily herbivores, which means they mainly feed on plant material. Their natural diet consists of a variety of fruits, seeds, and grains. They also eat leaves, shoots, and flowers. Some of the common fruits that wood pigeons eat include apples, pears, berries, and plums. They also enjoy eating seeds from sunflowers, hemp, and wheat. Additionally, wood pigeons feed on grains like barley, oats, and maize.
Supplemental Feeding for Wood Pigeons
If you want to attract wood pigeons to your garden, you can provide supplemental feeding. It’s important to note that supplemental feeding should only be used to supplement their natural diet and not replace it entirely. Here are some foods that you can provide to wood pigeons:
- Birdseed mix: You can buy a birdseed mix that contains a variety of seeds and grains that wood pigeons enjoy.
- Fruits: Wood pigeons love fruits like apples, pears, berries, and plums. You can cut them into small pieces and put them out in a dish.
- Nuts: Wood pigeons also enjoy nuts like peanuts and hazelnuts.
- Vegetables: You can provide vegetables like peas, sweetcorn, and chopped lettuce.
- Bread: You can provide bread, but it’s important to avoid feeding them too much bread as it lacks the essential nutrients that they need.
How to Feed Wood Pigeons
Feeding wood pigeons is easy, and you can do it from your garden or balcony. Here are some tips on how to feed wood pigeons:
- Provide food in a dish or on a bird table: You can provide food in a dish or on a bird table. Make sure to keep the dish or bird table clean and replace the food daily.
- Offer food at ground level: Wood pigeons prefer to feed on the ground, so you can scatter food on the ground for them.
- Avoid feeding them on the balcony railing: Feeding wood pigeons on the balcony railing is not recommended as it can cause accidents and injuries.
- Avoid overfeeding: It’s important to avoid overfeeding wood pigeons as this can cause them to become dependent on human food and can lead to health problems.
Foods to Avoid Feeding Wood Pigeons
Wood pigeons, like any bird, have specific dietary requirements to stay healthy. While it’s tempting to feed them scraps or leftovers from your own meals, there are some foods that you should avoid giving them. Here are some of the foods to avoid feeding wood pigeons:
- Bread: Although wood pigeons may be attracted to bread, it’s not a good food for them. Bread lacks the essential nutrients that wood pigeons need and can cause health problems if they eat too much of it. It can also lead to an imbalance in their diet and may make them less likely to seek out the foods they need to stay healthy.
- Processed foods: Processed foods such as chips, candy, or fast food are not nutritious and can cause health problems for wood pigeons. These foods may also contain additives or preservatives that can be harmful to birds.
- Chocolate: Chocolate contains theobromine, a substance that is toxic to birds. Even a small amount of chocolate can cause illness or death in wood pigeons.
- Avocado: Avocado contains persin, a toxic substance that can cause illness or death in birds. Although wood pigeons are less sensitive to persin than some other birds, it’s still best to avoid feeding them avocados.
- Salty or fatty foods: Wood pigeons need a balanced diet to stay healthy, and too much salt or fat can upset this balance. Avoid feeding them salty or fatty foods such as potato chips or fried foods.
- Milk or dairy products: Wood pigeons are lactose intolerant, which means they can’t digest milk or dairy products. Feeding them these foods can cause digestive problems and other health issues.
It’s important to note that wood pigeons are wild birds and should be allowed to find their own food in the wild whenever possible. If you do choose to feed them, make sure to provide foods that are safe and nutritious for them, and avoid the foods listed above.
Are you interested in feeding street pigeons? Discover safe and nutritious foods for them in our article Feeding Street Pigeons: What Foods Are Safe and Nutritious for Them.