Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons?

Yes, it is generally illegal to kill pigeons without a permit. Pigeons are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits the killing of migratory birds without proper authorization.

However, there may be exceptions to this rule, such as if a pigeon is causing property damage. It is important to check your local laws and regulations regarding pigeon control. Violating these laws can result in heavy fines and potential jail time.

Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons

Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In The United States?

No, it is not illegal to kill pigeons in the United States. Many cities have programs in place to control the pigeon population, such as New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene offering free services to trap and remove pigeons.

These programs are in place to manage the pigeon population and reduce the potential health and safety risks associated with large numbers of pigeons in urban areas. As such, individuals and organizations are permitted to take necessary measures to control the pigeon population in their area.

However, it is important to follow any local regulations or guidelines regarding the humane treatment of animals and the safe disposal of pigeon carcasses.

1. Can You Shoot Pigeons in Las Vegas?

No, it is illegal to shoot pigeons within the city limits of Las Vegas, Nevada. State and federal laws prohibit hunting or shooting wild birds, including pigeons, without a valid license.

Using an air rifle for this purpose is also illegal as it is considered a firearm under state law. Furthermore, it is against Nevada law to possess wildlife with the intent of killing it or using it for bait. Anyone planning to shoot pigeons or any other wild bird with an air rifle in Las Vegas must have a valid license and permission from local authorities.

It is also important to consider the safety of others when using an air rifle and to follow all local laws and regulations regarding firearms. It is essential to be aware of the laws surrounding shooting pigeons with an air rifle and always best to consult local authorities or the state to ensure compliance with the law.

2. Where Are You Allowed to Shoot Pigeons With an Air Rifle in the USA?

In the USA, the legality of shooting pigeons with an air rifle depends on your location and the specific laws in that area. Pigeon hunting is often illegal in urban and suburban areas to protect migratory birds.

Additionally, laws regarding the use of firearms vary from state to state. However, if you are using a gun that does not kill pigeons and only use it to keep them away from your area, you are likely not violating any laws. In rural areas, with permission from the landowner, shooting pigeons with an air rifle may be allowed as long as all applicable wildlife regulations are followed.

However, in places like Las Vegas, it is illegal to hunt any animals without prior authorization from the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). It’s important to be aware that some species may also be prohibited from being hunted at certain times.

3. Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In California?

The band-tailed pigeon is the only type of pigeon that is illegal to hunt and eat in California without a special hunting license. This is because band-tailed pigeons are considered migratory birds, and according to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it is illegal to kill them.

However, the California state government allows hunters to take only two band-tailed pigeons per year with a special hunting license. It is legal to hunt and eat other types of pigeons, such as the Rock dove, Mourning dove, Eurasian colored dove, and Diamond dove, as long as the hunter has a regular hunting license.

Despite the legality, locals generally do not encourage the eating of pigeon meat. Various fancy restaurants in the city offer pigeon meat, but the consumption of pigeon meat is not widely accepted by the community.

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4. Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In California?

It is not illegal to hunt and eat pigeons in California, except for the band-tailed pigeon. There is a nine-day season twice a year for hunting local pigeons, and the state government allows residents to kill all species of pigeons with the appropriate license issued by local authorities.

However, the band-tailed pigeon is an exception. Due to its status as a migratory bird under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it is not allowed to hunt and eat band-tailed pigeons without a hunting license and a special permit.

This is because the act prohibits the killing of migratory birds without a permit, and doing so can result in fines and jail time. Therefore, while it is legal to hunt and eat pigeons in California, individuals must obtain the required licenses and permits, particularly for band-tailed pigeons, to comply with state and federal regulations.

5. Can You Hunt Rock Pigeons In California?

Yes, you can hunt rock pigeons in California. This species of feral pigeons is not protected by the local government, so it is legal to hunt and kill them on your property without a license.

However, if hunting rock pigeons outside your property or on public property, you will need a hunting license. Rock pigeons are common in California, particularly in urban areas, and are considered to be a pest due to their high population. State authorities and locals encourage hunting rock pigeons to control their numbers and eliminate annoyance.

However, it is important to note that eating rock pigeons is unsafe, as local food authorities have declared it to be so. This makes the hunting of rock pigeons more about population control and nuisance management rather than for consumption.

6. When Can You Shoot Pigeons In California?

In California, you can shoot pigeons throughout the year, as the state authorities are lenient towards farmers and property owners. However, the peak breeding times for pigeons are in spring and fall, making the best hunting months between August and December.

In California, there are two nine-day pigeon hunting seasons split by time and location. The September hunting season occurs in the northern zone, and the December hunting season is in the southern zone. During these hunting seasons, licensed hunters can shoot pigeons in designated areas.

Outside of these designated hunting seasons, property owners are allowed to shoot pigeons on their property, with or without a license, if the birds are causing annoyance or damaging property. This leniency allows for control of the pigeon population and the protection of crops.

7. Can I Shoot Pigeons For Food In California?

Yes, you can shoot pigeons for food in California. However, it is important to note that it is not safe to eat wild pigeons in the state as they carry infectious diseases that can be lethal for humans.

While the state encourages hunting pigeons, food authorities do not entertain the idea of eating and serving pigeons due to the health risks involved. E. coli is the most common organism that spreads from pigeons to humans and causes many health risks.

Other infections you can get from pigeons are histoplasmosis and cryptococcus. Therefore, it is better to only hunt pigeons in California for fun and games, or you can end up in the emergency room.

Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Canada?

Yes, it is illegal to kill pigeons in Canada. The Migratory Birds Convention Act, which protects migratory birds, prohibits the killing of pigeons. There are some exceptions to this law, such as if the pigeon is causing property damage or posing a health hazard. Even in these cases, it is only legal to kill the pigeon if it is done humanely.

Can I Shoot Pigeons With a BB Gun?

It is not recommended to shoot pigeons with a BB gun as it can cause serious injuries or even death to the birds. While using a BB gun may make less noise and cause less harm, it is still not suggested to shoot pigeons directly in the head, as this can also cause serious injuries.

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Additionally, even if shooting birds with a BB gun is legal in your area, it is important to consider whether this activity can disturb nesting birds and harm other wildlife. Whether it is legal or illegal, it is our responsibility to protect wildlife. Most wildlife animals are at risk of extinction due to hunting and deforestation.

Therefore, it is important to avoid shooting pigeons with a BB gun, and instead, find alternative, non-harmful methods of managing bird populations.

Will an Air Pistol Kill a Pigeon?

The power of an air pistol, along with factors like distance, determines its ability to kill a pigeon. While an air pistol can be powerful enough to kill a pigeon, it is not recommended. Air pistols are designed more for recreational shooting rather than hunting or pest control, and may not be powerful enough to cause fatal injury to a medium-sized bird like a pigeon.

In addition, using an air pistol could result in injuring the bird without killing it. If you are looking for a humane way to deal with nuisance pigeons, non-lethal deterrents such as netting and ultrasonic devices are available and may be more effective than attempting to shoot the birds with an air pistol.

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In NYC?

It is illegal to hunt and eat any type of pigeons in New York City. All species of pigeons are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the State of New York Environmental Conservation Law, which makes it illegal to hunt any type of pigeon within the city limits.

  • Homing Pigeons: Hunting homing pigeons is illegal in NYC due to their migratory nature, protected under the Migratory Bird Act of 1918.
  • Leg Band Pigeons: Pigeons with leg bands from local clubs or national organizations are off-limits for hunting unless you are the designated owner.
  • Antwerp Pigeons: Antwerp pigeons, known for their fancy nature, are protected in NYC due to their at-risk population.
  • Consequences of Illegal Pigeon Hunting: In NYC, hunting pigeons without a permit is illegal, and violators may face jail time. Additionally, hunting endangered pigeon species is strictly prohibited.
  • Exceptions for Farmers and Property Owners: While the government is lenient toward farmers and property owners, hunting or killing endangered pigeon species is still not allowed.

Pigeon hunting has been a long-standing practice, leading to endangerment of certain species. Therefore, the government has specific regulations allowing the hunting of certain species while protecting others.

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In NYC?

It is not illegal to hunt and eat pigeons in NYC if you possess a permit and hunting license. Pigeon meat is served in many fine dining restaurants in NYC, and there is even a yearly pigeon hunting competition in Central Park.

However, certain species of pigeons are not legal to hunt and eat in NYC. The local government also has no restriction on people shooting pigeons on their private property, even without a license. This is because pigeons are often considered a nuisance and are referred to as “rats with wings” due to their prolific population in urban areas.

This can lead to property damage, health concerns, and other issues. Additionally, hunting pigeons is encouraged by many local authorities and people in New State, further highlighting the lack of a strict prohibition on pigeon hunting.

Can You Kill Pigeons On Your Property In NYC?

Yes, you can kill pigeons on your property in NYC, with or without a license. However, it is important to check with local authorities first, as it may be illegal to shoot certain species of pigeons.

You can kill any annoying species of pigeon that is causing damage to your property. Before resorting to shooting, it is recommended to try alternative methods to remove the pigeons, with shooting being the last step when no other tricks are working.

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Trapping pigeons is also legal in NYC, but only when they are causing destruction and annoyance. In this case, you will need a hunting license to trap pigeons on your property. Regardless of the method used, it is important to ensure that shooting and trapping the pigeons is done humanely.

Effective Way to Get Rid of Pigeons in Your Area Without Shooting

There are several effective ways to get rid of pigeons from your area without shooting. One such way is to install netting or other physical barriers that will prevent the pigeons from coming onto your property.

  1. Identify Why Pigeons Are in Your Area: Look for food sources, perching spots, and other attractants bringing the birds to your area.
  2. Establish Effective Habits: Seal all food, cover trash cans, and use bright lights at night to deter pigeons.
  3. Utilize Visual Deterrents: Hang reflective objects like aluminum foil or shiny ribbons around your property to make pigeons feel uncomfortable and scared off.
  4. Install Noise-making Devices: Set up decoy noises, such as recordings of animal predators, to scare pigeons away from nesting in your area.
  5. Place Spikes and Nets: Install spikes on ledges, rafters, and other nesting areas. Use bird netting over gardens or balconies to prevent entry.
  6. Create a Pigeon Removal Plan: Make an organized plan with specific dates/times for removal, using humane methods like nets and traps.
  7. Follow Up With Cleanup: Clean heavily soiled areas, remove nesting materials, and disinfect the area to prevent new birds from returning.

Following these steps will effectively get rid of pigeons from your area without the need to resort to shooting. With some effort and dedication, your property can be kept free from unwanted bird visitors.


Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In The United Kingdom?

There is no law specifically prohibiting the killing of pigeons in the United Kingdom. However, there are laws protecting birds in general, and it is possible that killing a pigeon could be considered illegal under those laws.

Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Australia?

There are no specific laws against killing pigeons in Australia, but there are laws against injuring or killing native birds. Pigeons are not native to Australia, so it is not illegal to kill them. However, it is illegal to injure or kill any bird without a permit, so if you kill a pigeon you could be fined.

Can I shoot pigeons to control their population?

Shooting pigeons may be illegal in many urban and populated areas due to safety concerns and local firearm ordinances. It’s crucial to understand that using firearms within city limits or densely populated areas is often prohibited and may pose significant risks to people and property.

What are the consequences of illegally killing pigeons?

Consequences for illegally killing pigeons can vary depending on local laws. However, penalties may include fines, legal charges, or other repercussions for violating animal cruelty or wildlife protection laws.

Is there a more humane way to manage pigeon populations?

Yes, several humane methods exist, such as installing deterrents, using non-lethal trapping methods, or seeking professional pest control services specializing in the humane removal and relocation of pigeons.


There is no definitive answer to this question as it varies from country to country. In some places, it is considered illegal to kill pigeons, while in others it is not. It is advisable to check with local laws before taking any action.

While it may be tempting to take matters into your own hands when it comes to pigeons, it’s important to remember that killing them is not only inhumane but also illegal in many places.

Instead, let’s focus on finding humane and effective methods to deter pigeons and coexist peacefully with these feathered city dwellers. By doing so, we can create a healthier and more compassionate environment for both pigeons and humans alike.

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.