Neighbours feeding pigeons

Neighbour Feeding Pigeons? What Can You Do

Have you ever looked out your window, to find your morning view includes a flock of pigeons congregating in your neighbour’s garden or on the roof? It might not bother you at first, but the reality of living next door to somebody who is attracting pigeons can start to sink in. The constant noise, mess, and not to mention the risk of damage to your property is enough to make you question how to handle the situation delicately.

We know it’s a tricky subject! On one hand, you have your neighbour, who might find joy in feeding these birds, seeing them as harmless visitors. On the other hand, there’s you, possibly concerned about the health and cleanliness implications, as well as the sheer number of pigeons turning your shared space into their hangout spot. Before tensions fly higher than the pigeons themselves, it’s worth knowing whether there is anything you can do about it, and if so, how to explore some tactful approaches to address the situation.

Below, we will go into further detail about how to deal with a neighbour who is feeding pigeons, the right way.

The Problems with Feeding Pigeons

There are a number of problems which arise when pigeons are fed. One of the major issues that can quickly raise its head is pigeon overpopulation. This is not just about the inconvenience of bird droppings on your way out the door. The concerns go much deeper, impacting health and sanitation in ways that might not be immediately visible.

First off, pigeons are carriers of a variety of pathogens and parasites that can be harmful to humans. We’re talking about more than just an unsightly mess; these birds can spread diseases such as histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis through their droppings.

On top of the health hazards associated with pigeons, there is also the issue of cleanliness. Pigeon excrement is corrosive and can damage buildings and cars, as well as inviting other vermin like rats and flies, making sanitation worse. Moreover, when there are lots of pigeons in a given area, they will defecate excessively thus worsening these challenges. It is a vicious circle that can quickly get out of hand if left unattended.

In essence, while feeding pigeons might seem like a harmless act of kindness by a neighbour, the reality is it can contribute to a larger problem that affects everyone in the near vicinity.

Is Feeding Pigeons Illegal in the UK?

The legality of feeding pigeons in the UK isn’t as straightforward as a simple yes or no answer—it varies significantly depending on where you are. While there is no nationwide law against feeding pigeons, many local councils have taken measures to control this activity due to the problems it can cause. For instance, cities like London have specific areas where feeding pigeons is prohibited, backed by by-laws that can lead to fines for individuals caught in the act.

Take Trafalgar Square, for example, a place once famous for its flocks of pigeons being fed by tourists. The city introduced a by-law banning the feeding of pigeons in this area to alleviate the issues caused by overpopulation. Now, it’s a much less pigeon-dense area compared to what it was in the past.

Local authorities are empowered to introduce these kinds of regulations if they believe that pigeon feeding is causing a nuisance or health hazard. This means that, while a neighbour might not be breaking a national law by feeding pigeons, they could very well be going against local regulations. If you’re unsure about the rules in your area, it’s a good idea to check with your local council. They often have this information readily available on their websites, providing clarity on what is and isn’t allowed in your locality.

So, while it is not strictly against the law in the UK to feed pigeons, some local councils do have the authority to pass their individual laws to prevent pigeon overpopulation.

Next-door neighbour feeding pigeons

Dealing With a Neighbour Feeding Pigeons if Not Breaking the Law

Even if your neighbour isn’t breaking any local laws by feeding pigeons, it’s still possible to address your concerns in a friendly and constructive way. Open, honest communication is often the best first step. Take the opportunity to chat with your neighbour about the impact their pigeon feeding is having. It’s important to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding, avoiding any blame. Your neighbour may not be aware of the problems it’s causing, and a gentle discussion could lead to a compromise that suits you both.

Here are a few tips on how to approach this situation:

  • Pick the Right Moment: Choose a time to talk when your neighbour is not busy or in a hurry. This shows that you respect their time, and they’re more likely to listen.
  • Be Positive and Understanding: Start the conversation on a positive note, making it clear you value living beside them and you understand that feeding pigeons brings them joy.
  • Present the Facts: Gently explain the issues caused by feeding pigeons, such as health risks and damage to property. It can be helpful to have some facts or articles to share that explain these consequences.
  • Suggest Alternatives: Discuss alternative foods that are less likely to attract pigeons or suggest other wildlife that could be fed instead, which might not cause similar issues.
  • Offer to Help Find Solutions: Whether it’s sourcing bird feed that doesn’t attract pigeons or helping install a bird feeder for smaller birds, showing you’re willing to help can be a great way to build rapport and find a middle ground.
  • Stay Respectful and Listen: Remember, the goal is to come to an agreement that works for both of you, so it’s important to listen to their perspective as well.


Navigating the delicate situation of a neighbour feeding pigeons requires tact and patience, but with the right approach, it’s possible to resolve the issue amicably.

Mitigating Pigeon Damage to Solar Panels Due to Neighbourly Feeding

The issue of neighbours feeding pigeons not only exacerbates local pigeon populations and associated health risks but can also have direct, damaging effects on your property, specifically if you have solar panels installed. Pigeons, attracted by the food, often seek shelter nearby and solar panels offer the perfect location. Due to their droppings being highly acidic, can lead to significant damage to the solar panels themselves, reducing their efficiency and lifespan. Also, the nesting materials can obstruct airflow and create hot spots, further diminishing the effectiveness and durability of your solar setup, so getting rid of pigeons may be a necessity.

Addressing this particular problem necessitates a multi-faceted approach. Here are several practical steps you can take:

  • Install Pigeon Proofing and Deterrent Methods: Professional pest control services can install netting or spikes around your solar panels, deterring pigeons from nesting.
  • Talk to Your Neighbour: Once again, engaging in a constructive conversation with your neighbour is key. Sharing specific concerns about how pigeon feeding is directly impacting your property may encourage them to reconsider their actions or at least compromise on feeding locations and methods.
  • Regular Maintenance: Keep your solar panels clean and inspect them regularly for signs of pigeon damage or nesting. Early intervention can prevent long-term damage.

How To Act if a Neighbour Ignores Your Concerns About Them Feeding Pigeons

If a neighbour continues to feed pigeons despite your concerns, there are several actions you can consider to address the situation further:

  • Document the Issue: Keep a record of instances when the neighbour feeds the pigeons, including dates, times, and any resulting problems. This documentation can be useful if you need to escalate the situation.
  • Contact Your Local Council: Inform your local council about the issue, especially if there are by-laws against feeding pigeons in your area. Provide them with your documentation to help build a case.
  • Seek Mediation Services: Look into mediation services that can help resolve disputes between neighbours. Some councils offer these services for free or at a low cost.
  • Talk to Other Neighbours: Sometimes, there is strength in numbers. If other neighbours share your concerns, consider approaching the individual as a group (while still aiming to be respectful and constructive).
  • Install Deterrents on Your Property: While you cannot control your neighbour’s actions, you can make your own property less attractive to pigeons. Consider bird spikes, netting, or other humane deterrents.
  • Legal Advice: As a last resort, seek legal advice to understand your rights and any potential legal actions you can take. A solicitor can provide guidance on whether you have a case for nuisance or any other legal remedy.


It’s crucial to maintain a calm and respectful approach throughout these actions to avoid escalating tensions further.

Need Help?

Dealing with the issue of a neighbour feeding pigeons can be a nuanced and sensitive matter that requires patience, and sometimes inventive solutions. While direct conversation and homemade deterrents can offer some reprieve, these measures may not always yield the lasting results you’re hoping for, especially in cases where neighbours persist with their feeding habits or when the pigeon population becomes unmanageable.

For those struggling to find a resolution, or in situations where the impact on your property – such as damage to solar panels or the general discomfort caused by increased pigeon presence – becomes too significant to ignore, seeking professional assistance can be the most effective course of action. At Hawkeye Bird Control we provide bird control solutions to deter pigeons in a humane and lasting manner. Our expertise extends to a range of effective deterrents, from spikes and netting to more advanced options designed to protect your property that don’t cause any harm to the birds.

Opting for professional pigeon control services can ultimately save time and money, and leave you knowing that your property is protected against the damages and health problems associated with pigeons.

For anyone facing challenges with pigeons due to neighbours’ feeding habits, reaching out to us can be a positive step towards regaining a sense of comfort and enjoyment in your outdoor space. It may also be worth encouraging a neighbour to contact us to assist them in a way to be more courteous of your demands.

Should you find yourself in need of pigeon management, do not hesitate to speak with a member of our team for advice, assessment, and implementation of effective bird control measures. We have dealt with situations like yours, many times before and fully understand the complexities it brings.

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