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Pigeons perch and nest on ledges, roofs, window sills, under bridges. They are highly sociable animals, often found in flocks, feeding by day and roosting by night.


The problem

Bird droppings are unsightly and their acid corrodes stonework and damages buildings. Droppings on pavements can become slippery when wet and pose a hazard to passing pedestrians.

Many problems arise when neighbours feed birds, which can attract lots of pigeons. There are no laws the council can use to stop people feeding birds, except if a large amount of unsuitable food is being put down, this could be deemed to be a litter offence.

Health hazard

Many people express concern that pigeons pose a health hazard to humans, but this fear is generally unfounded and exaggerated.

Pigeons, like other birds, can suffer from some diseases that can also affect humans. However, with the exception of people whose jobs or hobbies bring them into close contact with large numbers of birds or their droppings, the actual risk of disease transmission from casual contact is negligible.

Nevertheless, it is important to employ good hygiene practices, like washing your hands thoroughly after contact with pigeons or their droppings, to prevent breathing in or ingesting any matter which could cause illness.

Can we help

There is no law available to stop a person from feeding wild birds except the law relating to litter, if large quantities of food are being put down in a public place.

We may be able to take action in serious cases, where rotting food is accumulating, or where the feeding can be shown to be the cause of an infestation of rats or mice.

If your neighbour is a tenant, such behaviour, especially on communal grounds, may be covered by tenancy rules. You should contact the housing officer or Landlord to inquire.

Birds, their nests and eggs are protected by law, and it is illegal to destroy or interfere with them except under licence. Even where their destruction is licensed, non-lethal methods must be considered first, and many killing methods are outlawed. Lethal methods should always be left to pest control professionals.

We do not provide any pest control services for dealing with pigeons, but if they are roosting on a building or structure we are able serve a notice on the owner to take action and remove the nuisance.

What can you do

If the feeding is simply causing nuisance from droppings etc, it is a private matter between neighbours. Try approaching your neighbour to explain the problems that are causing, removing the food source will not cause the birds to starve. They will simply seek food elsewhere and reduce their breeding naturally.

If you have taken steps to reduce pigeon infestation and it's still a problem, please contact our Customer Contact Centre.

Make your building pigeon proof

Pigeons enter buildings to get food, to build nests or simply to roost and shelter.

The birds can get in through any opening if big enough. Total proofing against all birds can only be guaranteed by the closure of all openings bigger than 20mm in diameter. Pigeon proofing includes simple tasks like sealing gaps under eaves and replacing missing roof tiles.

Action to control the food supply is essential if we are to reduce the number of pigeons.  The general public can help by disposing of unwanted food responsibly and not feeding the pigeons.  Businesses can help by disposing carefully of their leftover food.  The council will play its part by ensuring litterbin's are regularly emptied and refuse is collected promptly. Hillingdon does not cull pigeons or offer building proofing services to private property owners but believes that pigeon numbers can be reduced naturally if the food supply provided for them by humans is reduced. 

We believe that most people who feed pigeons will want to stop once they realise the problems it creates.

Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 09 Apr 2018 at 09:02