Pigeons cover a wide variety of species and are actually part of the Dove family. The species ranges from the Rock Doves that infest large cities, to the White Dove that represents love and peace. Typically, larger species of both are referred to as pigeons, while those on the smaller side are called doves, but get this – they are all in the same family.
Scaring pigeons away is a difficult task, but it can be done by using sound! The most effective sounds to keep pigeons away mimic the sounds of predators are sudden loud noises, bird distress calls, and recorded loud noises.
Keep on reading, and we’ll cover each of these sounds in more depth and how to implement them into an effective pigeon prevention strategy. Remember, sounds alone will not completely keep those pesky pigeons away, so pairing them with another method to scare them, is always advised!
The Sound Of Predator Birds Will Scare Pigeons Off
If there is one sound that will get pigeons to scatter, it would be the screech of a bird of prey near them. Pigeons will naturally scatter at the sound of these predator birds to preserve their lives.
Your best option will be to choose a device that produces sounds from birds of prey! You can get a few different devices, such as the Bird-X BirdXPeller which is very customizable to choose the best sounds and intervals for your needs.
For best results, I recommend having a few different predator sounds recorded and ready for use so that if one is no longer working you can change it up to another.
Pigeons especially, will get used to recurring sounds in their areas and no longer be affected by those noises.
Propane Cannons Can Keep Pigeons Away
Alright, this suggestion may not work well if you live in an urban environment where the sound of a cannon going off will scare your neighbors more than the birds. If you live in an area where you’ve got a bit more space, then propane cannons might be for you.
Propane cannons generate loud noises that can be set to go off in set intervals or manually detonated if that works better for you. As their name suggests, they are large tubes that release a sudden burst of propane gas creating a loud booming noise.
This option is probably the most expensive on our list but will work for a variety of pests and wildlife. This Good Life Inc. G5 Bird and Wildlife Cannon is one of the more prominent options available for delivery!
Propane Cannons Are Used For Bird Control By Many Farmers
The USDA Certified Bird Dispersal Techniques List puts propane cannons as very effective in most situations. However, they note that birds can become habituated if the intervals when the cannon goes off are too consistent.
Varying the time between blasts will help prevent this, and give you the best bang for your buck.
If you are serious about keeping pigeons and just about any other animal away from your property, and you have the space to do so, this is the option for you. With such a loud and sudden noise, birds do not get accustomed to this very easily!
Distressed Pigeon Calls WorkTo Keep Small Populations Away
If you hear pigeons cooing outside, then playing recordings of distressed and scared pigeons is another great way to keep them away!
There are a couple of important tips to try when using this method to achieve the best results:
- You’ll need to change the noises every so often since pigeons can even get used to recurring distress signals from other birds and choose to ignore them.
- Play the calls at the same volume the pigeons are used to. You might think that playing those sounds louder will generate a better reaction, but actually, the opposite is true.
- At the right volume, pigeons will hear one another in distress and run (or fly?) for the hills, which is a great survival instinct to take advantage of.
This method will be very effective for treating an area that isn’t overpopulated by pigeons yet. If you’re trying to get rid of a large population of pigeons then you’ll probably want to go with a more aggressive option.
However, treating small populations early on, distress will work well and keep the pigeon away long-term.
You can also pair this with some of the scents pigeons hate to help as an added deterrent.
Recordings Of Other Loud Noises Can Scare Pigeons Too
Pigeons can be scared by a lot of other loud noises too. For example, any loud and unnatural sound will send pigeons scattering, like a car alarm or recording of one!
Noises like this will work a few times but aren’t a great long-term solution.
When you think about it, in big cities where pigeons have really adapted to living alongside humans they’ll hear car alarms and other noises all the time, so you may have to be a little creative with this one. Pigeons love to roost on balconies in busy cities so the noise solution may be a bit trickier.
If you’re in a noise area, take a look at our guide to keeping pigeons off your balcony for more info!
Trying this method first can be a good idea if you have a car or recorder, and want to save money over buying specialized devices – in some cases, it may be good enough. Also, combining it with another method to keep birds away for the best results would be ideal!
Dog And Animal Noises Will Keep Pigeons Away
Predatorial bird noises work wonders to keep pigeons away, but so will other predators that pigeons might not be as accustomed to. For example, the sound of a barking dog will send them flying in the opposite direction.
The bark of a dog is a very recognizable predator for pigeons and can motivate them to move when other sounds aren’t doing the trick.
Cats Can Also Scare Pigeons Away
Cats are natural predators of pigeons and are responsible for taking down millions of birds each year.
Using the sound of their hissing and their aggressive yowls can help repel pigeons, although this isn’t the most effective sound.
Experimenting with various animal noises, especially those that naturally hunt pigeons, can lead to great results. Since pigeons can adapt to the sounds of their environments quickly you’ll need to adapt as well and try new things to find what works for you.
The Sound That Probably Doesn’t Work To Keep Pigeons Away
I wanted to make sure to let you know that there’s one sound that won’t work to deter pigeons – ultrasonic sound!
You might see these devices being marketed and think “This is great! A way to keep birds away without disturbing anyone using ultrasonic!” Unfortunately, these devices are not as helpful as they advertise.
However, although this one sound definitely doesn’t work – sound alone may never be the answer to getting rid of your pigeon problem. Let’s talk more about that below.
Why Sounds Alone Won’t Keep Pigeons Away Long-Term
As we mentioned a few times in this article, sounds alone won’t keep birds away permanently. Pigeons especially have adapted over many generations to live alongside people in big cities that are full of all kinds of weird noises.
While most of the noises on this list will keep the pigeons away, if you want a permanent fix you’ll need to use a couple of other tricks on top of noises.
Exclude Pigeons From Roosting Areas
Exclusion is possibly the most effective way to keep pigeons away, but one that can be difficult to implement. Exclusion can take multiple forms and all of them can be very effective.
Screening or placing bird netting over areas where you don’t want pigeons can work well to keep them away, and if you’re trying to protect fruit trees or a garden this might be the easiest way to exclude the birds.
With a good enough exclusion strategy you may not even need to use sounds to scare the birds away, but you’ll have the best results with both methods so it is worth considering.
Use Visual Deterrents To Scare Pigeons Away
Combining visual and audible deterrents together will give great results to keep pigeons away and is much more effective than just one option. Some options will already combine the two, making it easier for you!
The best visual deterrents either resemble predators or generate a lot of movement or light to confuse the pigeons.
- Scarecrows: A scarecrow is perhaps the most common visual deterrent and works for at least some time, but the pigeons will get used to it over time. A better option would be to select one that moves in the wind.
- Kites: Kites that resemble hawks can be set up and will drift around in the wind, and in combination with playing noises from predatorial birds will definitely keep the pigeons away. If you’re looking to purchase a hawk kite – check out this Flerigh Bird Hawk!
- Shiny Objects: Shiny objects can work as well since the bright lights will scare the birds and confuse them scaring them away from that area – like these Bird Scare Devices.
- Wind Chimes: Wind chimes may even serve as a visual and audio deterrent, and can work really well for birds who aren’t used to hearing them! Here’s our detailed guide on using wind chimes to deter birds for more info.
The important part of all this is to combine both a visual and audio cue together to make a more convincing representation of a predator in the area. This will help trick the birds and keep them away longer.
Call A Professional
Sometimes not every pest problem can be treated by yourself, and that’s okay. Calling a pest control expert can open up possibilities that the average person does not have access to, and can save you time and future problems.
Take a peak at some options for wildlife control in your area, and they should be able to help you control the pigeon population in your area – that is of course if your problem is bad enough to warrant some further measures.
A professional in your area will have a much better idea of what will keep the pigeons in your area away, and how to keep them from coming back.
Thanks For Reading This Article!
Thank you for reading this article, we hope that you were able to glean some information that helps you in your battle to keep pigeons away. They are a difficult pest to keep away, but using sounds to scare them away is a useful tool to have in your arsenal.
To quickly recap, the sounds that’ll scare pigeons are mimicking predators, sudden loud noises, pigeon distress calls, and recorded loud noises.
Hopefully, these noises help scare those pigeons away, and if not it may be time to call a professional!
Bomford, M., & O’Brien, P. H. (1990). SONIC DETERRENTS IN ANIMAL DAMAGE CONTROL: A REVIEW OF DEVICE TESTS AND EFFECTIVENESS. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 18(4), 411–422.
Roihan, A., Hasanudin, M., & Sunandar, E. (2020). Evaluation methods of bird repellent devices in optimizing crop production in agriculture. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1477(3), 032012. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1477/3/032012
Woronecki, P. P. (1988, March). Effect of ultrasonic, visual, and sonic devices on pigeon numbers in a vacant building. In Proceedings of the Thirteenth Vertebrate Pest Conference (1988) (p. 54).
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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