Can You Shoot Pigeons In Your Garden

Pigeons are one of the most adorable birds but, if you are tired of having them in your garden what do you do? Below we discuss some of the measures you can take to get rid of pigeons in your garden and also highlight if you can shoot pigeons in your garden.

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Can you shoot pigeons in your garden?

Pigeons are not federally protected birds which means you can shoot them however, there are a few things you need to know before shooting a pigeon. Firstly, there are different types of pigeons and whilst pigeons can be killed, feral pigeons are not supposed to be killed. This is because they are a protected species in some states. Therefore, you need to do your research before shooting it.  Furthermore, in some states it is illegal to possess a BB gun or rifle gun. Therefore, if you are caught shooting a pigeon or the pellet protrudes your garden you will be charged for that. Therefore, you need to ensure that the state in which you reside allows you to own and use a BB gun or rifle gun. Furthermore, you should ensure that you have a license for using the rifle gun so that you do not get in trouble.

Is it illegal to kill and eat pigeons?

Pigeons are not federally protected birds in most states so killing and eating them is not illegal. However, you need to kill the pigeon in a human way and in most cases you should use a rifle gun or set up a trap for the pigeon. Young pigeons are considered game meat in some states and they are actually referred to as squab. So if you are thinking of killing a pigeon and eating the meat you should research if you city accepts that before proceeding.

Why pigeons are not federally protected

A number of birds qualify for protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty, however, this is not the same for pigeons mainly because the reproduce quickly. Adult female pigeons can have up to 2 nests a year and each nest carries at least 9 eggs at a time. Furthermore, pigeons can carry a lot of disease which can be transmitted to humans for example psittacosis and aspergillosis. Therefore, you need to stay away from pigeons and also desist from touching their waste.

How to get rid of pigeons in your garden

Getting rid of pigeons in your garden is not an easy task especially if you have vegetables that have seeds or if you have grains, berries and worms in your garden. However, here are a few things you can try out to help you get rid of pigeons in your garden.

Build a scarecrow

If you are tired of pigeons roaming around your garden and eating your vegetables and fruits then you need to consider building a scarecrow. This will scare away the pigeons and there is a good chance that they will never come back.

Use CDs

If you have old CDs that you no longer take them and use them to create a sparkling reflection that will frighten the pigeons away. You can hang the CDs right around the garden so that the pigeons cannot enter inside.

Put spikes

Spikes help to prevent pigeons from nesting in your garden. So you can put the spikes along the fences, above gutters and even on windowsills. This will help to ensure that the pigeons do not reproduce on your property.

Place decoys

You can place a decoy of a hawk above your property. This will give the pigeons of an illusion that a predator is close by and they will definitely avoid getting into your garden.

Place a netting in your garden

If you want to permanently get rid of pigeons from your garden then you need to consider buying a netting. Place the netting in your garden and it will help to prevent the pigeons from getting inside and eating your fruits and vegetables.

Other methods of killing a pigeon

If you would like to permanently get rid of pigeons in your garden but, you don’t own a rifle gun then you should consider trapping it then euthanizing it or you can poison it. These methods are considered humane in most states and their widely recommended.  Using any other methods except for the ones stated above is considered inhumane even though pigeons are not federally protected birds.

Can I shoot a pigeon in my backyard?

If you are living in a city, then you need to check your local firearms law. This is because some cities prohibit the use of firearms. If you live in the rural areas and you have permit for the firearm then you can definitely shoot a pigeon in your backyard.

Are pigeons considered pests?

Yes pigeons are considered pests mainly because they carry a lot of disease. While these birds might seem innocent, they actually spread diseases to humans and they are considered omnivores which means they eat anything that is at their disposal. In fact, pigeons and rats behave in the same manner, in the sense that they all dig through trash cans and they are all super spreaders of diseases.

Can you hunt pigeons without a license?

While hunting pigeons is allowed because it is not a protect animal you still need a license if you are going to be using a firearm. However, if you are going to be building traps for the pigeons then a license is not a prerequisite.

Can I legally shoot any bird in my backyard?

No, it is not legal to shoot any bird in your backyard. You first need to research about the bird, in some cases it might be a protected species and you can get charged for killing it. Therefore, always embark on research before shooting any bird.


Shooting pigeons is not illegal since they are not federally protected. However, you need to have a license for the firearm which you will be using and you also need to check if the laws in your city allow you to use it.