Pigeons are one of the most common birds found in urban centers. Their chubby bodies and tiny beaks are cute, and the shades of green and pink on their necks are beautiful.
However, while spotting these cute and beautiful birds flying about on roadsides is fascinating, finding them on one’s balcony can be equally annoying.
Pigeons are one of the most stubborn and clever birds. They have adapted to human society’s progression better than any other bird.
While humans have had a hand in raising pigeons in cities for racing, pigeons have also managed to nest and breed in spaces where humans didn’t want them.
A common example of the latter is pigeons nesting in balconies of apartments and homes.
Why Do Pigeons Nest in Balconies?
Pigeons’ natural habitat is rocky plateaus. In the rocky regions, pigeons nest on crevices between the rocks.
They like to build their nests in such places from where they can observe and keep a watchful eye for predators.
Balconies in homes and especially apartments provide a similar setting to pigeons.
With shelter over their head and on their sides and an open view of the sky, balconies provide a similar place as pigeons enjoy in their natural habitat.
Now that you know why pigeons choose balconies and ledges, read on to find what you can do to keep pigeons from choosing your balcony:
What to Do if Pigeons Nest on Your Balcony?
There are various ways to deal with pigeons nesting or trying to nest on a balcony. Let’s take a look at each of them in detail:
Throw Away the Nest
The easiest way to deal with pigeons nesting on your balcony is to throw away the nest.
However, you may not be able to remove the pigeon nest if the pigeons nesting on your balcony has already laid eggs.
Pigeon eggs are delicate, and while it is not illegal to throw them away, it requires a cold heart.
If you can’t bring yourself to throw away pigeon eggs or babies – that’s okay! You’ll only need to wait a few weeks.
Pigeon eggs hatch in two to three weeks, and it only takes another three to four weeks for baby pigeons to fly away.
Baby pigeons that fly away from the nest don’t return. However, pigeon couples may try to lay more eggs once their kids have flown away.
They may also try to lay more eggs while the baby pigeons are still in the nest. In the former case, you can throw away the nest before the pigeon couple lays another set of eggs.
In the latter situation, frequently visit the balcony so the mother pigeon doesn’t get enough time to lay the eggs.
Move the Nest Someplace Else
If you don’t want pigeon eggs hatching or baby pigeons living on your balcony, you can move the nest someplace else.
However, the new location of the nest must be close to the site chosen by the pigeon couple.
For example, you can move the nest to the roof on the top-most floor.
Alternatively, a nearby ledger would also work.
Moving the nest to a nearby place is important as it would help the pigeon couple find their eggs or children and continue caring for them.
You can also move the nest to an open space to shoo away pigeons. Since pigeons don’t like nesting in the open, they will be forced to leave.
Keep Your Balcony Tidy
Pigeons are less likely to be chosen by a nest to build an open space balcony.
Remember, pigeons require a sheltered space to build their nest; an open balcony wouldn’t provide that and keep pigeons away.
You can utilize this tip even if pigeons have already created a nest on your patio.
For example, removing the items from the balcony that provide a sheltered environment to pigeons can make them doubt their choice of space for nesting.
Moreover, shelves for garden walls and décor or AC units are more likely to be chosen by pigeons.
While removing such items from the balcony may not be possible, making changes to them to prevent pigeons from nesting can help.
For example, you can place packed, empty boxes over the AC unit to keep the pigeons from building a nest on top.
Similarly, covering the shelves entirely with various décor objects and plants would leave no space for pigeons to build a nest.
In short, the less cluttered your balcony will appear, the smaller the chances of attracting pigeons will be.
If the pigeons have nested on your balcony, throw away or move the nest to cover these spaces.
Moreover, cleaning the balcony every day as pigeons try to return can make them give up soon.
Make sure you also keep the balcony as dry as possible.
Humid conditions attract pigeons as they consider it a sign of the presence of a water body nearby.
Keep Your Balcony Occupied
Pigeons are less likely to build a nest in balconies which humans frequently visit.
Therefore, the easiest way to shoo pigeons away from your balcony and keep them away is to utilize the space more often.
You can make the most of your balcony in various ways:
- Start a small garden
- Add a hot tub
- Put up a hammock
- Set up a small dining space
- Add a lounge chair with an umbrella
- Turn it into a kids’ play area
- Create a reading nook
- Set up a portable bar or coffee station
- Turn it into an outdoor yoga/workout space
- Place your pet’s litter tray
- Turn it into your pet’s play area
- Add some lights to utilize the space anytime you want
The above methods won’t just help keep the pigeons away but will also make you, your family, and your pet enjoy the space more.
The frequent presence of pets on the balcony will significantly help.
Don’t Allow Pigeons to Perch
Pigeons like to perch close to their nests to watch predators. So places where pigeons can’t perch disqualify pigeons as suitable places to nest.
If pigeons have already built a nest in your balcony or are trying to build one, you can make them go away by adding a thin wire above your balcony railing.
The thickness of the wire matters greatly as that would drive away the pigeons.
A thin and strong wire works best in this situation since pigeons can be stubborn and destructive.
Here’s how you can add a wire above your railing in five easy steps:
- Mark the center of the railing on both ends
- Using the center point, add a nail two to three inches above the fence on both sides
- Wrap and tie the wire on one side
- Keep the wire taut as you bring it to the other end of the railing
- Wrap and tie the loose end of the wire around the second nail
The wire will make it impossible for the pigeon to stand on the railing.
Pigeons also won’t be able to stand to the wire as they require a greater amount of space to comfortably perch.
You can keep an eye on pigeons after adding the wire. Once you find that they have failed to perch, remove or move their nest from your balcony.
Pigeons will likely not return or abandon your balcony after trying to perch a few more times.
Make You Balcony Shine
One of the cheapest methods to shoo pigeons away and keep them from visiting again is decorating your balcony with some shiny material.
The only drawback of this method includes making your balcony look unpleasant and repeating this method every few weeks.
However, it is an easy solution and worth a try if you find other methods tedious.
The method is simple and includes taking cheap, shiny material and installing it on your balcony. You can use:
- Shiny gift wrap paper
- Glittered pages
- Old CDs
- Paper or plastic pinwheels
The shinier the object, the more effective it would be. Once you have acquired any of the above things, you will need to install them on your balcony so that it is visible to anyone.
For example, you can make a string of CDs and hang it by a hook or nail from the balcony ceiling.
Install the objects in a way that they move or flutter in the wind. Since pigeons are excellent observers, any object stops being a threat to them after a few weeks.
Hence you will need to keep rotating the things on your balcony.
You will need to change the shiny object more frequently if there’s a pigeon nest on your patio or if you have just removed one.
Add Pigeon Netting
You are not the only person tired of shooing pigeons away and cleaning up their feces from all over your balcony. Pigeons are a common problem among people with balconies.
Pigeon netting, also called bird netting, is a strong nylon petting for those who want an easy solution to the pigeon problem.
But while this solution is more effective than any others, it can be costly. High-quality pigeon netting and installation can cost you a couple of hundred bucks.
Moreover, you will need to maintain the pigeon netting and replace it depending on how stubborn the pigeons are in your area.
Many people try to install pigeon netting on their own. While it is cheaper to DIY pigeon netting installation, it doesn’t provide a long-term solution.
Poorly installed pigeon netting will not only fail to keep pigeons away but might result in them getting tangled up in the net and making a mess on your balcony.
Tangled pigeons may even die. Hence, it’s best to pay a professional and ensure an effective job rather than risking getting your patio more messed up than ever.
You can also add bird spikes on your balcony railing if you don’t want to cover the entire balcony. You will need to keep your balcony neat if you use bird spikes.
What NOT to Do if Pigeons Nest on Your Balcony?
Please avoid harming the pigeons. It is illegal and inhumane to hurt pigeons. Seek help from local bird protection or animal protection agency if you can’t get rid of pigeons on your balcony.