Pigeons are not particularly picky eaters and will eat a variety of foods depending on what is readily available. Primarily they eat seeds, fruits, and some types of vegetation to meet their nutritional needs.
But do pigeons eat plants? Yes, pigeons eat various plants, even though it’s not their favorite diet. Pigeons will occasionally eat plants such as clover, dandelions, lettuce and other small greens. Feeding pigeons plants is a fun and engaging way to connect with these birds and give them a varied and nutritious diet.
However, not all plants are good for their overall health. Let’s discuss all these facts, the benefits of plants and the preparation techniques.
Can You Feed Plants To Pigeons?
Yes. You can feed plants to pigeons. While pigeons are often associated with eating human-provided foods like bread and popcorn, they also have a taste for plants. For one, it’s a great way to give these fascinating urban birds a varied and nutritious diet.
Moreover, providing them with fresh greens can help ensure they’re getting the vitamins and minerals they need. Additionally, feeding pigeons plants can also be a fun and interactive way to connect with these often-overlooked city dwellers.
You’ll be surprised by how quickly they’ll come to associate you with a tasty meal. And you might even find yourself forming a special bond with your feathered friends.
List Of Plants That Pigeons Eat And Those They Do Not Eat
Pigeons are opportunistic feeders and their diet can vary greatly depending on their environment. However, certain plants are known to be a favorite among pigeons, while others are not.
Plants That Pigeons Eat:
- Clover, particularly red clover, is a common lawn weed that is easy to find in urban areas. It has a high protein content and is a good source of vitamins and minerals.
- Dandelions are common weeds that are easy to spot in gardens and parks, and their leaves and flowers are a great source of vitamin A and potassium.
- Lettuce, especially the darker varieties that are high in nutrients.
- Fruits and berries.
- Seeds, including sunflower seeds.
- Some vegetables like carrots, sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, and broccoli.
Plants That Pigeons Do Not Eat Or Avoid:
- Poisonous plants, such as nightshade, foxglove, and oleander.
- Plants with tough or bitter leaves, such as cacti and aloe vera.
- Some types of flowers, such as roses and tulips.
- Some types of shrubs and trees, such as juniper and pine.
- Plants treated with pesticides or herbicides.
Do Pigeons Like Plants?
Yes. It is likely that pigeons might like plants, but it’s not their preferred food. Pigeons are not picky but rather opportunistic feeders when it comes to food. Hence, they will take advantage of whatever food sources are available to them.
Health Benefits For Pigeons Eating Plants
Pigeons, like all birds, require a balanced diet to maintain good health. While they are not exclusively herbivorous, incorporating plants into their diet can provide a variety of health benefits.
- Eating a variety of plants can provide pigeons with important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients can support overall health. That includes maintaining a strong immune system, healthy vision, and strong bones.
- Plants are also a good source of dietary fiber, which can help support healthy digestion and prevent constipation. Additionally, many plants contain compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, this can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
- Incorporating plants into the diet of pigeons can also benefit the environment. Eating a plant-based diet can reduce the demand for meat and other animal-based food sources. However, this can assist in reducing the environmental impact of food production.
- Eating plants can also help reduce waste, as many plant-based food sources are considered “waste” products that would otherwise be discarded.
How Much Plants Should Pigeons Eat?
The specific amount of plants that a pigeon should eat can vary depending on the individual bird’s size, age, and overall health. Besides, food availability in the local environment can also affect a pigeon’s diet.
How Do You Prepare Plants For Pigeons?
Here are some general guidelines for preparing plants for pigeons:
Make sure the plants are fresh and clean. Rinse them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
Chop or shred the plants if necessary. Pigeons can have trouble eating larger leaves or stalks, so it may be helpful to chop or shred the plants to make them easier to eat.
Provide a variety of different types of plants. Pigeons need a balanced diet, so it’s important to provide them with a variety of different plants to ensure that they receive all the necessary nutrients.
Avoid feeding pigeons plants that are toxic to them. Some plants can be harmful to pigeons, so it’s important to research which plants are safe to feed them.
Provide water. Pigeons need access to clean water to drink, so ensure to provide a fresh water supply for them at all times.
Serve the plants in a clean and accessible location for the pigeons.
Keep an eye on the pigeons to ensure they are eating; if not, re-evaluate the type of plants being offered.
Can You Feed Plants To Baby Pigeons? If So, How?
No. Feeding plants to baby pigeons (squabs) is not recommended, as their nutritional needs are different from adult ones. Baby pigeons require a diet that is high in protein and fat, and plants do not provide enough of these essential nutrients.
Therefore, the best way to feed baby pigeons is to provide a commercial pigeon milk formula, which is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of squabs. This formula can be fed with a syringe or a special feeder designed for baby pigeons.
However, the formula should be fed at regular intervals, usually every 2-3 hours. This continues until the squabs are fully feathered and ready to be weaned onto a diet of seeds, plants and grains.
Video Of A Pigeon Eating Plants
Below is the video of a feral pigeon feeding on grass.
How Do You Go About Feeding Pigeons Plants?
The best approach is to start small and gradually increase the greens you provide. A handful of lettuce or clover can be a good starting point.
Accordingly, you can gradually increase the amount with time as the pigeons become more accustomed to the food. Be sure to also provide them with water as well, especially in hot weather.
Some questions that people also ask about pigeons eating plants.
Pigeons hate the aroma of cinnamon plants because naturally, pigeons do not like highly scented plants. They do not also like bitter plants or those with thorns.
Some plants that attract pigeons include; cornflowers, aster, daisy, marigold, coneflower and sunflowers.
Overall, pigeons can benefit from eating plants as part of a balanced diet. Incorporating a variety of plants can provide important nutrients and support their overall health. This also reduces the environmental impact of food production.
Nevertheless, it’s also important to note that feeding pigeon plants should not be considered a replacement for their natural diet and should only be done in moderation. Moreover, being aware of local regulations on feeding wild birds is vital as well.