Should I be feeding wood pigeons? I kinda like them

I received a bird table as a gift along with a few kilos of bird food. So far the only birds that have taken interest are the two resident wood pigeons (I kinda like them - funny to watch; they ended up with names quite a while ago...); but I've noticed they'll happily eat an entire handful of seed off either of the platforms fairly quickly but thankfully don't seem to take any interest in the hanging feeders - probably because they're getting their fill from the tables.

Is there anything I should know about feeding pigeons? I.e. if I keep putting food out will they essentially move-in and start a family? Will other birds take interest if they're about? As far as I know there's just the two of them.

Feeding them has one advantage of keeping them away from grass seed. I tried one coated with ziram (bitter to birds) but they will literally peck it, shudder and continue hoovering around my lawn. Starlings also like grass seed and make quick work of it - but from what I've found so far they only visit in the Spring. The other birds I've noticed around here are; one very skittish magpie and a few blackbirds.

  • Your Woodies are most likely a pair and probably nest nearby. Ferals will try to eat from hanging feeders, but Woodies usually don't. What is in the long feeder? Most seed eaters will go for sunflower hearts, Sparrows, Finches and so on. Having the feeder close to the bush like you have is a good idea, the birds like to have nearby cover.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)

     

  • You should absolutely be feeding your wood pigeons. I usually find, though, that two quickly become many!

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to monkeycheese:

    Not sure whats in the long feeder (looks like nuts of some variety but haven't got a label) but they are hooked on the seed mix, it's "Dawn Chorus Wild Bird Seed".

    Here's a clearer pic;

    I think other birds are curious about the feeder but haven't stuck around just yet. So far seen one robin near it.

    The pigeons are pretty timid; I come out to put out a bit more for them - they bolt once I'm halfway down the garden with another scoop of seed. I think they're happier for getting some good food since I spotted them playfully chasing each other around the lawn yesterday. I'm curious as to what their genders are.

  • Is one of them doing a rather courtly bow to the other? If that's the case that'll be the male.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • I suspect they are a pair. The bowing is a clue. Also, the males do an aerial display for the females which involves flying upwards and then gliding back down again. Woodies are more skittish than their feral cousins and might take a bit more time to get used to you (if at all). Their presence might be putting off some of the smaller birds. Maybe try hanging the feeder in the bush. The smaller birds might show more interest then.

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)

     

  • Hello, nice to have a pair of pigeons visit your nice feeder. The Robin normally feeds from the ground, but may take from the trays, but not hanging feeders. Maybe throw some seed under or around the bush or on the lawn and see what happens.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • In reply to Catlady:

    Noticed we had three wood pigeons one morning; figured it might be a younger one as it looked more slender. Now there's four of them. Now I'm actually confused if it's two couples visiting or the pigeons are talking about the local food bar.

    Anyway, I ended up making an internet meme about my experiences feeding birds so far;