Birds Vs. Dog food dish

This morning, I come downstairs, look out the patio door, and discover an even dozen pigeons sitting in the outdoor dog food dish and eating the food in that dish while the dog sits there watching them.

This is not an uncommon occurrance.

Does anybody have any ideas on anything I could construct (I have intermediate woodworking skills and a wide array of power tools) or buy that would allow the dog to enjoy her food while keeping the birds out?


It seems that your dog doesn’t mind sharing. If he did, the pigeons wouldn’t gather in such numbers. Get a scarecrow, a faux owl or an outside cat to deal with the pigeons.

No ideas here, either, since if the opening is big enough for the dog to get her face in, then it’s big enough for the pigeons to get their faces in, too. And pigeons are smart enough to figure out how to poke a spring-mounted self-closing flap to get at the food.

Is there some reason the dog needs to be fed outside? From personal experience, if you’re feeding a dozen pigeons today, you can expect to be feeding dozens–plural–as time goes by and the “food can be found here” word spreads among the pigeon population. If it was me, I’d just feed her inside.

P.S. Normal dogs chase pigeons. :smiley:

Thoughts so far:

There’s an outdoor cat next door, who likes to sit on the same fence that the pigeons do while they wait their turn at the food dish. Apparently, we either have many unusual animals around here or else these particular pigeons are masters of some strange and unusual martial art.

She doesn’t “have” to be fed outside, but quite frankly, she perfers it. She insists on going outside to see if that dish is empty before even contemplating eating anything fed to her inside.

I hadn’t contemplated anything spring-loaded, but I think that if I can come up with something that requires more strength than the average pigeon possesses I might be on to something.

Also, the strawberry fields out here sometimes use this metallic tape-like substance, anybody have any idea on if/how that might help me?


Yeah, the tape is probably this stuff, but it only works if it’s out in the open, since it depends on the wind to work.

Also, it comes with this huge disclaimer:

In other words, if your pigeons are anything like my pigeons, this will work for about two days, and then they’ll be back.

It looks to me like you and Madame Le Chien are going to have to come to an understanding, that your balance du power may have to shift a bit. How badly do you not want the birds to eat the food vs. how badly does she want to eat outside…

Alternatively, you can personally stand there every feeding time and shoo them away.

If it was me, quite frankly, after having gone through the Pigeon Thing once already (it was with birdseed, we finally had to stop feeding birds anything other than thistle and sunflower, which our pigeons wouldn’t eat), I’d gently but firmly explain to Madame Le Chien that she was going to be dining indoors from now on rather than al fresco. You can do this, I would think, by simply bringing the Outside Dish inside, the way restaurants signal that the summer sidewalk dining season is over by removing all the white wrought iron tables and chairs. If the bowl isn’t out there, she won’t be looking for food in it, the same way it’s a rare restaurant customer who will stand out there on the empty sidewalk and wait for the cafe to bring him a white wrought iron table and a chair.

By all means, feel free to tinker, out in the shop, but I wouldn’t lay any money on a pigeon’s inability to figure out how to get food out of a dog feeder. :smiley: It’ll have to have a door that pushes open, so Madame Le Chien can get it open, and I would think that any spring that you install that isn’t too stiff for her to be able to get the door open will still be flexible enough for a pigeon to get the door open just a crack and get some food out.

What kind of food is it, BTW? Kibble or canned? Big kibble or little kibble? Maybe switch to a bigger size of kibble?

Get a strong, fit looking female outdoor capable (ie with claws) cat, or a tom with somw battle scars, from the shelter. Pigeon problem will be solved.

Get hold of a shotgun, shoot the pigeons, and then feed the meat to your dog.