Pigeons are highly adaptable and can quickly become accustomed to human presence, especially in urban areas where they have learned to associate humans with food.
If a pigeon appears to be following you, the bird may be simply seeking food. However, it is also worth considering that the pigeon may be a domesticated bird that has lost its way and is seeking human interaction.
Read on to find out why pigeons are following you. This article will cover several possible explanations and provide tips on handling the situation. Let us begin.
What are the Possible Reasons that Pigeons Follow People?
Pigeons are among the most common birds seen almost anywhere in the world, and it is not uncommon to have them follow you around. There are a few possible reasons pigeons follow people; we’ll discuss them below.
One of the most common reasons pigeons follow people is to seek food. They are known for their scavenger behavior and have a keen sense of smell that can help them find food from a distance.
If you are carrying food or have dropped something on the ground, they might follow you around, hoping to get some food.
Pigeons are social creatures and tend to flock together. If you are walking in an area where there is a large group of pigeons, they might follow you out of curiosity. They might be interested in you as a potential companion or just follow you because they feel safer in a group.
During the breeding season, pigeons become territorial and protective of their nests. If you happen to be walking near a nest, they might see you as a threat and follow you around to try and scare you away. They might also try to distract you from their nest so you don’t threaten their eggs or chicks.
Bonding or Imprinting on humans
Pigeons are social animals and can form strong bonds with other pigeons or humans. Hand-reared pigeons may imprint on humans and follow them around, mistaking them for their parents. This behavior is more commonly observed in domesticated pigeons that humans have raised.
Why Are Pigeons Everywhere and Why Are They Following Me Specifically?
Pigeon distribution in urban and rural areas is a result of the species’ adaptability and resourcefulness. Pigeons are highly adaptable birds that thrive in diverse environments. In both urban and rural settings, they find abundant food sources, such as grains and scraps. As for why they seem to specifically follow you, it might be a perceived pattern. Pigeons have the ability to recognize human faces, creating a sense of familiarity or habituation towards certain individuals.
How Can You Get Rid of Pigeon That Is Following You?
If you are getting tired of pigeons following you around, don’t worry, there are ways to discourage them. Here are some things you can try:
- Avoid feeding them: One of the main reasons pigeons follow people is because they have been fed by them before. They will eventually move on to someone else if you stop feeding them.
- Make loud noises: Pigeons don’t like loud and sudden noises. Try clapping your hands, shouting, or using a whistle to scare them off.
- Use deterrents: A few items can be used to discourage pigeons from following you, such as an umbrella, a stick, or a hat. You can also purchase commercial pigeon repellents.
- Change your route: If pigeons follow you on your daily commute, try taking a different route. This will confuse the pigeons, and they will eventually stop following you.
- Keep your distance: If all else fails, try to keep a safe distance from the pigeons. This way, they won’t be able to follow you as easily.
Is it Dangerous for You to Have Pigeons in Touch?
While pigeons may seem harmless and even amusing to some, it is essential to consider if their behavior towards you can be potentially harmful. Here are some aspects to keep in mind:
Pigeons have sharp beaks and claws that can cause physical harm to humans, especially if they feel threatened. While their bites and scratches may not be life-threatening, they can cause infections and other health problems if left untreated.
It is essential to know the potential dangers associated with pigeons, as they are known carriers of several diseases. One of the most severe diseases that pigeons can transmit is salmonella. This bacteria can cause food poisoning, leading to symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Another disease that pigeons can carry is E. coli. This bacteria can cause severe gastrointestinal problems, including cramping, diarrhea, and fever. While most people can recover from E. coli infections on their own, it can be life-threatening for those with compromised immune systems.
In addition to bacterial infections, pigeons can carry fungal diseases, such as histoplasmoisis and cryptococcosis. These can cause severe respiratory issues and be fatal in some cases.
Psychological distress is a common concern among individuals who experience constant animal following. For some people, the presence of large groups of birds can be overwhelming and may trigger feelings of anxiety, fear, or even panic attacks.
This can be particularly challenging for individuals who live or work in areas where pigeons are common, as they may feel trapped and unable to avoid these situations.
It is essential to consider the public perception of having pigeons following you. In some cases, this behavior may be seen as a nuisance or even a sign of mental illness, which can lead to negative consequences for your personal and professional life.
Having pigeons follow you can be a unique and interesting experience, but it’s essential to understand the reasons behind them and how to manage them. Whether it’s because of feeding habits, nesting tendencies, or simply curiosity, they can be harmless companions or potentially problematic pests.
Maintaining a safe distance and avoiding feeding them is crucial to prevent overpopulation and disease transmission. Additionally, keeping public spaces clean and reducing food waste can help minimize the chances of pigeons following you or others.
While engaging with these friendly birds may be tempting, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and health and that of the animals and environment around you.