Big Garden Birdwatch 2019 - Feral Pigeons - only 16.1% of gardens!

Looking at the Big Garden Birdwatch results for 2019, I was surprised to see that feral pigeons were observed in only 16.1% of gardens in England.

In my South London garden, they are regular all-day 'hooverers' of every type of bird food that falls to the floor.

Any thoughts?

  • Definitely fewer of them around here this past winter - South of Scotland.
  • I get Collared Doves and Woodpigeons in my garden but no Feral Pigeons.

    My Flickr photos

  • A significant number of participants are rural and suburban. In my years, I've never had a feral pigeon in the garden.
    16.1% of gardens actually means 16.1% of participants' gardens. Got to say, I think that seems high, which now I've typed it, suggests quite a few participants are urban.
  • Although urban, I only had Collared Doves and Woodpigeons for years but recently the ferals have expanded their territory, although they spend more time on the roof than in the garden. Having said that, isn't the majority of UK population urban, which might suggest 16% is low after all. However, even if true, there could be many explanations, including that BGBW entrants are not as urban on average as the rest of the population, but that's why they ask the questions about location of the garden. That's also the danger of taking stats out of context. I think what is really relevant is the year on year trend, especially for similar locations.


    Nige   Flickr

  • Is it possible that some people failed to include them?

    Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos

    (One bush does not shelter two Robins)

    Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)


  • I see plenty around the local towns but never in my quarry!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • We live in Somerset near the coast, we have quite a few feral pigeons visit our garden daily. We have a few feeders 2 of which overhang the lawn, the food rejected and ejected by the smaller birds from the feeders are soon cleaned up by them and the starlings.
  • I have loads of feral pigeons on my birdfeeder every day of the year, although I have more Goldfinches than any other bird. But I’m not short of feral pigeons in my garden, although I live in urban Gateshead near to Newcastle Upon Tyne, so that's probably why I have loads of those birds.