How to Catch a Pigeon: Master the Art with These Tips!

Have you ever tried to catch a pigeon? Maybe you want to keep them as pets or you’re trying to relocate them to a safer area. Whatever the reason, catching a pigeon can be a difficult task. These birds are fast, agile, and can easily fly away before you even get close.

But don’t worry, with the right techniques and tools, you can successfully catch a pigeon. In this article, I’ll share with you some tips and tricks on how to catch a pigeon without harming them.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to catch a pigeon safely and effectively. So, let’s get started!

How To Catch Pigeon

About Pigeons

Pigeons may seem like messy creatures, but they are actually intelligent and complex animals. Although they can be a bit disorderly, it’s important to understand that pigeons are more than just pests in your backyard. They have complex social structures and can even recognize themselves in mirrors, a sign of self-awareness.

Pigeons are also used in scientific research to study cognition, navigation, and communication. They have an incredible ability to navigate and find their way home, even over long distances. So before you dismiss these birds as nuisances, take a moment to appreciate their intelligence and adaptability.

They Are Intelligent Creatures

Pigeons possess an amazing ability to recognize themselves in a mirror, a feat that only a few species can accomplish. They possess the ability to distinguish between photographs and recognize various individuals in them.

In fact, some pigeons can even recognize individual letters of the alphabet! This remarkable cognitive ability is a testament to the intelligence of these birds and their ability to adapt to their environment.

They Are True Navigators

Pigeons are incredible navigators with impressive abilities to find their way back to their homes from long distances. They have an internal compass that helps them navigate and remember their route. Pigeons also use the sun or landmarks as guides to help them remember their way home.

They have even been observed changing directions at junctions, showing their remarkable navigational skills. These abilities make pigeons an important part of many cultures and have been used for thousands of years to deliver messages over long distances.

Messy, But Clean

Despite the stereotype of pigeons being dirty and disease-ridden, they are, in fact, relatively clean animals. While they may make a mess in your backyard, there is little evidence to suggest that they are transmitters of disease.

The diseases carried by pigeons usually do not have an impact on humans. So while they may be a nuisance, they are not a significant health risk.

You’ve Caught a Pigeon – Now What?

Dealing with racing or homing pigeons is typically easy. You can contact the owner or the RPRA, or take the pigeon to a vet who can help trace the owner.

However, dealing with wild pigeons can be more challenging. If you find a wild pigeon in need, you can contact the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty and advice line. The response may vary, with some operators advising you to take the pigeon to a vet, while others may be indifferent due to seeing the pigeon as vermin.

How To Catch A Pigeon In Your Backyard

If you’re looking to catch a pigeon in your backyard, a bird trap is the simplest and most effective method. Follow these steps to attract, capture, and either release or keep the pigeons with ease.

Step 1: Choose a Trap Location

If you’re planning on catching pigeons in your backyard, it’s important to choose a convenient location. Look for an area that is easily accessible to both you and the pigeons you want to catch.

To effectively maintain the trap and provide food for the pigeons, it is important to choose a location that is easily accessible and can be checked daily.

Step 2: Place Pigeon Feed

If you’re trying to trap pigeons, it’s important to attract them to the location first. You can do this by placing pigeon food out at least once a day, preferably for a week, to attract as many pigeons as possible. This will increase the likelihood of them being around when you set up your trap.

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In terms of pigeon food, consider using a product that provides balanced dietary nutrition to wild or captive pigeons and doves. Look for options that are enriched with vitamins and minerals and packed in airbags for freshness and to keep insects out. A 3-pound bag should be sufficient to start attracting pigeons to your trap location.

Step 3: Place Trap With Food Inside

To catch pigeons, one can use a trap that suits their needs. It’s important to carefully read the instructions to properly set up and operate the trap door.

To set up the trap, place pigeon feed both inside and outside of the trap’s door. A suggested trap option is the Collapsible Double Door Pigeon Trap.

Step 4: Relocate Pigeons Away From Your Property

After catching pigeons in your trap, it’s important to release them far from your property to prevent them from returning. Select a location that is not in close proximity to other property owners who may not desire to be in that situation either.

Pigeons have the ability to find their way back home from hundreds of miles away, so if they were on your property for a while, they may associate it with a food source and try to return.

To prevent pigeons from returning, it’s a good idea to implement pigeon deterrents. These deterrents will not only keep pigeons away but also prevent other birds from making your property their home. We’ll discuss different types of pigeon deterrents later in this article.

Step Five (Option Two): Keep the Pigeon as a Pet

Pigeons can make great pets as long as you have a manageable number and proper housing for them.

Pigeons may have a reputation for being unruly in groups, but they can be quite friendly and even affectionate with their owners.

When keeping pigeons as pets, it’s important to provide them with a clean and safe living space. This can be accomplished by building or purchasing a suitable coop or aviary.

It’s also important to provide your pigeons with a healthy diet, consisting of a mix of grains, seeds, and vegetables.

Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to ensure your pigeons stay healthy and free from disease.

Overall, pigeons can be a rewarding and enjoyable pet for those willing to put in the time and effort to care for them properly.

Keeping A Pigeon As A Pet

If you’ve decided to keep a captured pigeon as a pet, it’s important to provide proper care to ensure their well-being.

Whether you choose to house your pigeons indoors or outdoors, it’s important to provide them with plenty of space for exercise. For indoor birds, let them fly outside the cage periodically throughout the day, making sure there are no potential hazards and that other pets are in separate rooms. For outdoor birds, ensure that they have sufficient space to fly and exercise.

To keep your pigeons healthy, it’s important to feed them a balanced diet that includes pelleted feeds, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Avoid feeding them a seed-only diet that can result in a calcium deficiency. Some good food choices for your pigeons include apples, pears, berries, spinach, kale, broccoli, and carrots.

It is important to provide pigeons with access to fresh and clean water, in addition to a balanced diet. Keep their food and water areas cleaned every day to ensure their health and happiness.

How To Prevent Pigeons From Coming Into Your Backyard

To prevent pigeons from nesting on your property, it’s important to take proactive measures. Since pigeons have an internal compass, it’s possible that they could return even if they’ve flown away. To discourage them from coming back, there are a few things you can do.

Keep Your Backyard Clean

Pigeons are attracted to human waste and food scraps, so it’s important to properly dispose of any food scraps or trash in your backyard to prevent them from roosting by your home. Keeping your property clean and free of vegetation can also help deter pigeons from sticking around.

If you have a garden, pigeons may see it as a 24-hour buffet. To keep them out, you can use pigeon netting to create a barrier between your crops and the pigeons. Bird repellent can also be used to make pigeons uncomfortable near your garden without harming them.

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Visual repellants such as shiny objects or statues shaped as predators can also be effective in scaring pigeons away from your garden. By taking these steps, you can protect your garden and discourage pigeons from making your backyard their home.

Keep Pigeons From Roosting

Dealing with roosting pigeons can be a challenge, but there are steps you can take to prevent them from taking up residence on your property.

First, if you already have roosting pigeons, it’s important to safely remove them. The step-by-step guide above can help you do so. Once they’re gone, you can take steps to discourage them from returning.

Fencing or netting around the areas where they were roosting can be effective, as can placing netting or wire around other potential roosting spots like trees or barn rafters.

Sheet metal can also be used to cover ledges and other potential roosting spots at an angle, making it difficult for the pigeons to roost effectively.

Finally, bird strips with small spikes can be placed around the perimeter of your building to keep pigeons from gathering and roosting. This method is a practical and ethical way to deter pigeons from nesting on your property while also being cost-effective.

Use a “Scare Pigeon”

If you’re dealing with a pigeon problem, there are options available to keep them away that are similar to a scarecrow. Fake owls and model hawks are effective options for scaring pigeons away, but for the best results, choose something that can move.

A kite with a model hawk can be used to deceive pigeons into believing there is a predator in the vicinity as it moves through the sky.

If you prefer a stationary option, be sure to move it around your property periodically. Pigeons can become accustomed to a model owl or other stationary object and may ignore it if it remains in the same place for too long.

How to Catch a Pigeon Safely Without Hurting It

With 18 million feral pigeons in the UK, it’s no surprise that humans have frequent interactions with these birds. There may be situations where you need to pick up a pigeon, but it can be challenging to do so safely. Here are some tips to help you catch a pigeon safely.

1. Approach the pigeon slowly and calmly, without making sudden movements or loud noises that could startle it.

2. Use a towel or cloth to gently cover the pigeon’s head, which will calm it down and make it easier to handle.

3. Once you have covered the pigeon’s head, use your other hand to carefully pick it up, supporting its body and wings.

4. Hold the pigeon firmly but gently, ensuring that you don’t squeeze it too tightly or put pressure on its wings.

5. If you need to transport the pigeon, place it in a secure and well-ventilated container, such as a cardboard box with air holes.

Remember to always wash your hands thoroughly after handling pigeons or any other wild animals to avoid the risk of disease transmission.

How to Catch a Pigeon in Your House (or any enclosed Space)

Remaining calm is crucial when dealing with a trapped pigeon. Stress can hinder your ability to handle the bird safely and effectively.

Encouraging the bird to leave on its own is the best option. If possible, open a window and door in the room and give the pigeon easy access to escape. Leave the room and wait for the bird to leave before re-entering.

If catching the bird is necessary, wait until it settles on a surface before attempting to trap it. Use a receptacle that is large enough to avoid damaging the bird’s wings or head. If a pigeon becomes trapped, it is recommended to carefully transport it outside and set it free.

How to Catch a Pigeon Outdoors

If you need to catch a pigeon, it’s important to do so in a humane way, especially if the bird is injured and needs medical attention. However, catching pigeons is not a common practice as they are often considered pests and people prefer to deter them.

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Catching with Bare Hands:

While some people claim that it’s possible to catch a pigeon with bare hands, it’s only feasible if the bird has limited mobility and cannot fly away. It’s important to approach the bird slowly and calmly to avoid causing further injury or distress. If the pigeon is able to fly, it’s best to use other methods to catch it.

Humane Methods:

To catch a pigeon humanely, you can use a bird net or trap. These tools allow you to catch the bird without causing harm and can be used to transport the pigeon to an animal care facility. It’s important to handle the bird gently to avoid causing further injury or stress. Once caught, the pigeon should be taken to a professional for medical attention.

Catch a pigeon with a net

Catching a bird or pigeon requires careful consideration to ensure the safety and well-being of the animal. Using a fine-meshed net with a padded rim is essential to avoid entangling the bird’s feet and beak. However, it’s crucial to wait until the bird has landed before attempting to catch it with a net.

Luring a pigeon with food is a more practical solution. Baiting a cage trap with food is an effective way to capture a pigeon, but it may take time for the bird to learn that food will be available regularly. Another option is to lay down food and pick up the desired pigeon while it is feeding, provided you can get close enough.

If all else fails, throwing a lightweight fabric item over the pigeon can prevent it from flying away, allowing you to pick it up safely. Remember to handle the bird carefully and release it back into the wild as soon as possible.

How to Catch a Homing Pigeon

Homing and racing pigeons are not pests, but rather pets for some owners. They are easily identifiable by the ring around one leg. If you come across a racing pigeon on its journey and want to offer it a rest stop, provide food and water but avoid feeding it bread. Crushed cornflakes are a good alternative. It is recommended not to leave food and water out for more than 48 hours to avoid deterring the bird from its migration.

If the pigeon does not continue, catch it and contact the owner using the details on the leg ring. If the bird is injured and the owner’s details are not available, contact the Royal Pigeon Racing Association. Homing and racing pigeons are more accustomed to being handled than wild pigeons, but if you’re not confident in catching one, use a lightweight fabric item to trap it.

Why Would You Want to Catch a Pigeon?

The method you use to catch a pigeon will depend on the reason for catching it. If it’s a pigeon that has flown into your home, it may just need to be released back outside. However, if the pigeon is sick, injured, or in danger, it may need to be caught and taken to a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitation center.

Recognizing the signs of distress in a confined pigeon is important. Flapping about, defecating, and dive-bombing are all signs of a pigeon in distress. On the other hand, signs of a sick or dying pigeon include difficulty flying, little movement, fluffed or dirty feathers, visible wounds, rapid breathing, drooping wings, tilted head, limping, swollen or dull eyes, and excessive drinking.

Deciding whether or not to catch a pigeon is a personal choice, but if you do, it’s important to do so in a humane way. Consider calling a professional or seeking advice from a veterinarian or wildlife expert.


Catching pigeons may seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques and a little patience, it can be done. Whether you’re trying to get rid of pesky birds or just want to try your hand at a new hobby, these tips will help you on your way to becoming a pigeon-catching pro.

So get out there and start catching those birds!

Kathy Gonzales

I'm an author of I have kept pigeons as pets for over 20 years and have written several articles. Here in this blog, I cover topics such as how to care for pigeons, what to feed them, and how to keep them healthy.