Do Pigeons Eat Baby Birds?

Pigeons can be a bit aggressive at times when trying to steal your food.

However, as bold as they may seem, pigeons are actually mostly herbivores and won’t eat meat or baby birds.

There have been stories of pigeons eating baby birds, but it is an incredibly rare occurrence, and you won’t find this happening as a general rule.

We will go into more detail about this

Here’s what you’re going to discover in this article

  • Will pigeons eat baby birds? (answered in detail)
  • Do pigeons attack baby birds?
  • Are pigeons harmful to other birds?
  • Can a pigeon kill another pigeon?

Will Pigeons Eat Baby Birds? (Answered In Detail) 

When most people think of pigeons, they think of them as pests that will eat anything.

The image of having pigeons swarm around you as you try to eat will be familiar to most people around the world.

Pigeons are herbivores, and their diet mainly consists of grains and seeds.

Generally speaking, meat is not at all a part of their diet.

Pigeon beaks are designed specifically for crushing seeds, and they have no teeth.

So it would be difficult for these birds to eat meat and grind them enough to go through their digestive tract.

However, it is worth noting that pigeons are considered scavengers that will even pick at garbage in search of food.

This means that given the opportunity, there is a possibility that a pigeon might eat meat and even baby birds if considered edible enough!

It would be an incredibly rare occurrence to see a pigeon eat a baby bird, and you won’t often see wild pigeons go out of their way to kill a baby bird.

But due to their scavenger mindset, this possibility cannot be ruled out completely.

It is also possible for a particular pigeon to learn the behavior that baby birds are a food source, and this knowledge can be passed on to the rest of the flock. 

So pigeons don’t eat baby birds

But what about attack?

Do pigeons attack baby birds?

Let’s find out

Do Pigeons Attack Baby Birds?

Although as a general consensus, adult pigeons won’t eat their young, this doesn’t mean they won’t attack them.

At times, adult pigeons will kill their own young.

This fairly rare behavior is called scalping.

Pigeons are generally attentive parents, but there are a few reasons why scalping may occur:

  • The baby is ill – Just like many other species, pigeons may kill an ill baby bird so that it doesn’t waste resources if a bird is likely to die. This gives the stronger birds are better likelihood of survival.
  • The baby has fallen from the nest – If a baby has fallen from its nest, it’s likely that the parent will kill it so as to avoid attracting predators to the nest.
  • The baby wandered into the wrong nest – Pigeons are incredibly territorial birds, so if a baby bird that is not their own wanders into their nest, they may kill it.

Are Pigeons Harmful To Other Birds?

Pigeons won’t generally attack other birds. Birds tend to coexist pretty well in the wild and in urban areas too.

Pigeons aren’t birds of prey, so they won’t instinctively try to attack another bird for this reason.

However, if a pigeon attacks or gets into a confrontation with another bird, this will likely be due to one of 2 reasons:

  1. Food
  2. Territory

Pigeons can be bullies when it comes to food.

They don’t play nice with other birds and they will rarely scavenge alone.

This means an entire flock may take over another bird’s food if they want to.

And they can become aggressive when protecting their food.

Food competition is quite common and even two pigeons of the same species will fight over food sometimes!

Pigeons will also fight and attack other birds when it comes to their territory.

It is important for these birds to protect their nests from intruders.

If another bird encroaches on a pigeon’s territory, it is common to see the pigeon become agitated and attack the intruder to protect its home.

Pigeons will often attack using their beaks and wings to scare the other birds away.

Can a Pigeon Kill Another Pigeon?

Pigeons are generally peaceful birds that won’t attack or kill another bird.

However, there are always exceptions to the rule, and there have been instances where pigeons have killed other pigeons.

Pigeons have weak beaks that aren’t very suited to attacking and tearing flesh, so a single pigeon will have a very hard time killing another pigeon.

In spite of that, these birds can team up together to kill another single pigeon.

A group of pigeons will sometimes kill a pigeon if it is injured or sick.

They will do this as a survival tool as the sick pigeon will draw attention from predators.

For the good of the flock, the group of pigeons will attack the sick pigeon by pecking at it and trampling it.

Oftentimes, the pigeon may still be alive after the attack, but it won’t last too much longer afterward.

Here’s a related article which I think you’ll find interesting

Where do pigeons go to die?

Do Pigeons Attack Other Birds Nests?

Pigeons won’t go and attack another birds nest

There is no reason for them to do so

As we already know, they don’t eat baby birds, so attacking a nest would not make sense at all

Yes, if there nest is being attacked, I’m sure they would fight back

But a pigeon won’t just go to a random birds nest and attack it

Birds that are raptors such as Hawks, Eagles, Falcons would do this as they would eat baby birds

Wrapping Up

Pigeons normally survive on a diet of grains and seeds.

However, these birds are also classified as scavengers, so they will often eat other things that are thrown their way.

As pigeons have weak beaks, they won’t generally eat tougher things like meat or even other birds.

However, there have been rare occurrences when this has happened.

Pigeons are also known to attack other birds when it comes to protecting their food and territory.

Although these birds might not look too dangerous, they will do their best to protect their flock.

These articles about pigeons I’m sure you’ll find interesting so make sure do check them out

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Pigeons kissing

Why do pigeons fly into windows?

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