Picked on pigeon


We have a wood pigeon who regularly visits our garden for food. He has become quite friendly with the whole family and now eats out of our hand and sits with us. We have a problem with magpies in our neighbourhood- the blighters are everywhere and very intimidating to most other birds. I know think they are attacking the pigeon- saw this the other day- and when he came for breakfast this morning he is looking very dishevelled. Are they picking on him because of us??

  • Sadly, attacks on one animal (bird in this case) to another can happen; it is usually down to territorial disputes as they consider the other bird an intruder into their area or it can be over a food source which they want to protect. I'm guessing even if the food you were offering the pigeon wasn't there the magpies might still "attack" the pigeon but having said this, don't think too badly of any bird even the magpies as they are using instinctive behaviour which happens in the natural world. Birds are known to attack even their own species occasionally, I've seen it with robins, Jays, Crows, Blue Tits, etc, again, it can be down to protecting a food source, a territory or at breeding time it can be to secure a mate. I know and fully understand that you enjoy hand feeding this wild bird but if it is being attacked regularly then you may be better to let the woodpigeon hunt for its own food and maybe move on. Once again, don't feel anger towards the magpies, even woodpigeons (wing slap) one another at times, they are only doing what is natural behaviour in many cases.


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    As Hazel says it is down to territory.

    Nature can be very harsh at times to itself, its all about survival plus, if a species sees a weakness in another of its own or another species, it is natures way of keeping the blood line strong, even though it seems so harsh.

    Enjoy what you see, watch and you'll find it fascinating, but sometimes harsh.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • It could well be down to bullying but if the bird is looking dishevelled could it be that he has mites in its feathers ? although after watching our resident Jackdaws taking over the whole feeding area some territorial disputes are most likely.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • A few winters back I watched a single woodie keep a crow and a pair of maggies (acting in unison) off the seed it was eating. It had a slight height advantage as the seed was on a raised tray. The corvids gave up and went away until the woodie had finished,