Pigeons are common in urban areas, and people often encounter them in parks and other public spaces. While these birds may seem harmless, they have been known to bite people occasionally.
Pigeons are known to bite as a means of self-defense or if they perceive you as a threat. They may also mistake your fingers or clothing for food and bite in an attempt to obtain it.
In this article, I will explore why pigeons bite, how to avoid it, and what to do if you are bitten by one.
Reasons for Pigeons Biting
If you’re wondering why pigeons bite, here are a few reasons these peaceful birds may become aggressive.
Pigeons are territorial creatures and can become quite aggressive if they feel their space is invaded. This is especially true during the mating season, when they may be more protective of their nesting areas.
- Pigeons may bite if they feel that someone is invading their territory
- They may become especially aggressive during the mating season
- Pigeons are more likely to bite if they feel trapped or cornered
Another reason why pigeons may bite is food aggression. These birds are natural scavengers, and if they see food, they may become very aggressive in their efforts to obtain it.
- Pigeons may bite if they see food and feel that they need to defend it
- They may become especially aggressive if they are hungry or if food is scarce
- Pigeons are more likely to bite if they see other birds or animals getting food and feel left out
During the mating season, pigeons may become particularly aggressive. This is because they are very protective of their mates and nesting areas.
- Pigeons may bite if they feel that their mate or nesting area is in danger
- They may try to intimidate other birds or animals that they perceive as a threat
- Pigeons are likely to continue to be aggressive until their eggs hatch and their offspring are safe
Factors that affect Pigeon Behavior
Pigeons are fascinating creatures found all over the world. Although they are usually harmless, they can sometimes bite. Understanding the factors that affect pigeons’ behavior can help explain why they sometimes become aggressive.
Human behavior can significantly impact pigeon behavior, either positively or negatively.
- Feeding pigeons excessively can lead to overpopulation and aggressive behavior. Pigeons can become dependent on handouts, which can cause fights over food and territorial aggression.
- Aggressive behavior towards pigeons, such as chasing or throwing objects at them, can make them fearful and more likely to bite as a defense mechanism.
- Neglecting the cleanliness of an area can attract pigeons, providing them with a place to land and roost, leading to territorial behavior and aggression.
Environmental factors can also affect pigeon behavior.
- Pigeons are sensitive to their surroundings, and changes in their environment, such as construction or changes to their roosting areas, can cause stress and aggression.
- The availability of food and water sources can affect pigeon behavior. For example, during dry periods, pigeons may become more aggressive in their search for food and water.
- The presence of predators, such as cats or birds of prey, can also affect pigeon behavior. Pigeons may become more alert and defensive in such situations, which can lead to aggression.
Prevention and Control of Pigeon Biting
Pigeon biting or pecking can be a challenging issue to address, especially in urban areas where pigeon populations are abundant. Pigeon biting can occur for various reasons, including territorial aggression, food competition, or stress. Here are some strategies for preventing and controlling pigeon biting:
Before implementing any preventive measures, it’s essential to consider the legalities surrounding the control of pigeons. In some areas, harming or killing pigeons may be illegal, and there may be restrictions on the control methods used.
Before taking any action, research the laws and regulations in your area and consult with a local professional if necessary.
DIY Prevention & Control Methods
If you’re dealing with pesky pigeons, here are some simple DIY methods that may help prevent biting and other nuisance behaviors:
- Remove all food sources: pigeons are attracted to areas where they can find food. Clean up any spills or crumbs and keep trash cans securely closed.
- Install bird spikes: these can be purchased online or at a hardware store and are designed to prevent birds from landing on surfaces.
- Use noise deterrents: pigeons are sensitive to sound and can be scared away by loud noises. You can use devices such as ultrasonic bird repellers or simply clap your hands loudly when you see them perching.
- Implement visual deterrents: pigeons are also sensitive to visual cues and may avoid areas with objects they perceive as potential threats. You can hang CDs, reflective tape, or even scarecrow figurines to keep them away.
Professional Pigeon Control Methods
Sometimes, DIY methods may not be enough to prevent or control pigeon biting. If you’re dealing with a large infestation or more aggressive birds, calling in a professional pigeon control service may be necessary.
- Netting involves using a net system to physically block pigeons from accessing a particular area.
- Trapping and relocation: pigeons can be safely trapped and relocated to areas where they won’t threaten humans.
- Bird shock systems: these systems use a mild electrical shock to deter birds from landing and perching.
What to do If a Pigeon Bite you?
If a pigeon bites you, taking prompt steps to clean and care for the wound to prevent infection and promote healing is essential. While pigeon bites are generally not severe, any animal bite carries the risk of infection. Here’s what to do if a pigeon bites you:
Wash the Wound
Immediately wash the wound gently with soap and warm water for at least five minutes. This will help remove dirt, bacteria, or pigeon saliva from the wound.
After thoroughly cleaning the wound, apply an over-the-counter antiseptic solution, like hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol, to help disinfect it. This can reduce the risk of infection.
If the bite wound is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or sterile gauze until the bleeding stops. Elevating the affected area can also help reduce bleeding.
Apply an Antibiotic Ointment
After cleaning and disinfecting the wound, apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection. This can also keep the wound moist, which promotes healing.
Cover the Wound
Use a sterile adhesive bandage or a clean, non-stick dressing to cover the wound. This will help protect it from further contamination and prevent friction.
Watch for Signs of Infection
Monitor the wound for signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, pain, warmth, or pus. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.
Update Tetanus Vaccination
If your tetanus vaccination is not up-to-date or you are unsure about your vaccination status, consider contacting your healthcare provider. Like other animal bites, Pigeon bites carry a risk of tetanus infection, and a tetanus booster shot may be necessary.
Seek Medical Attention
Sometimes, pigeon bites may not seem serious initially but can lead to complications if not treated properly. If you experience severe pain, significant bleeding, or signs of infection, or if the bite is deep, it’s advisable to seek medical attention promptly.
Your healthcare provider can assess the wound and recommend additional treatment, such as a tetanus shot or antibiotics.
Report the Incident
Suppose the pigeon bite occurred in a public place or due to negligence (e.g., improper control measures in a public area). In that case, you may want to report the incident to local authorities or property management to prevent future incidents.
Pigeons are a beloved part of many urban environments and can be fascinating. However, being bitten by a pigeon can be painful and lead to infections or other health concerns.
Remember that pigeons are wild animals; even those raised in captivity can retain their instincts. If a pigeon bites you, it’s best to step back and assess your surroundings.