How To Keep Doves Out Of My Bird Feeder

Last Updated on September 10, 2023 by Susan Levitt

Are you tired of doves taking over your bird feeder? These plump and peaceful birds may seem harmless, but they can quickly empty out your feeder and leave little for other feathered friends. As a wildlife expert, I have seen this issue time and time again. However, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can keep the doves away from your bird feeder and ensure that all birds get their fair share.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why doves are attracted to your feeder in the first place. Doves are ground-feeding birds that prefer grains and seeds; therefore, they will be drawn to any food source that offers these options. Additionally, if there is an abundance of seed spilled on the ground around your feeder, doves will take advantage of this easy meal. But don’t worry – by making some adjustments to your feeding setup, you can still enjoy watching a variety of birds while keeping pesky doves at bay.

Understanding Doves’ Feeding Habits

Imagine waking up to the beautiful sound of birds chirping, only to find doves swarming around your bird feeder. While these peaceful creatures may seem harmless, their feeding preferences and flock behavior can quickly turn into a nuisance for any backyard bird enthusiast.

Doves are known for their tendency to feed on the ground rather than in elevated feeders like other birds. They prefer seeds that have fallen from above or scattered on the ground, which makes them more likely to linger under your bird feeder. This habit often means they dominate the feeding area while deterring other species with their intimidating presence.

Another aspect of dove behavior is their flocking nature. Doves typically travel in groups, and when one finds food, it will call out to its fellow doves who then come flying over. Once a group has established dominance over an area, it becomes challenging for smaller birds to access the feeder without being frightened off by the larger birds.

To keep doves away from your bird feeder, understanding their habits is crucial. The first step is choosing the right type of bird feeder that discourages ground-feeding but still attracts smaller birds. By selecting a suitable design, you can ensure that all feathered friends get a fair share of seed without feeling threatened by larger species such as doves.

Choosing The Right Bird Feeder

When it comes to bird feeders, there are so many different types to choose from. Location is also key when it comes to picking the right one, as it can help deter certain birds like doves. I’d suggest opting for a squirrel-proof feeder that’s hung high up away from ground and tree level, as this can help keep doves away. For the feeder itself, a tube style is a great choice, as it’s difficult for doves to access.

Types Of Bird Feeders

Are you tired of doves taking over your bird feeder? One way to combat this problem is by choosing the right type of bird feeder. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of popular types.

The hopper feeder is one of the most common feeders, with its large capacity and easy maintenance. It attracts many different species of birds but unfortunately also doves due to their larger size. Another option is the tube feeder which has smaller ports that birds need to cling onto in order to eat, making it difficult for doves to access. However, they have a smaller capacity and require more frequent refilling.

Suet feeders are great for attracting woodpeckers and nuthatches but can be messy and attract pests like squirrels if not properly maintained. Window feeders offer up-close views of birds feeding, but may only accommodate small amounts of seed at a time.

Popular brands such as Droll Yankees or Perky Pet offer quality options in each category mentioned above. Ultimately, choosing the right type of bird feeder comes down to personal preference based on what species you want to attract and how much maintenance you’re willing to perform.

In conclusion, selecting the appropriate bird feeder can help keep doves out while still attracting desired bird species. Consider pros and cons along with brand reputation when making your choice. With proper selection and maintenance, your feathered friends will enjoy a safe haven from pesky intruders.

Location Of Bird Feeder

Now that we’ve discussed the types of bird feeders, let’s move on to another important factor in choosing the right feeder: location. The placement of your feeder can greatly impact which species you attract and how successful your feeding station is.

Firstly, the height placement of your bird feeder should be considered. It’s recommended to place your feeder at least 5 feet off the ground to prevent easy access for predators such as cats or raccoons. However, it shouldn’t be so high that it becomes difficult for birds to access. A good rule of thumb is to have the bottom of the feeder no higher than eye level.

Another key aspect of location is distance from trees. While trees provide natural perches for birds to rest and observe before approaching a feeder, they can also pose a risk if too close. Squirrels may jump onto the feeder from nearby branches or other animals could use them as cover when stalking prey around the feeding area. A general guideline is to keep feeders at least 10-15 feet away from any tree limbs.

Lastly, consider what type of environment surrounds your proposed location. Will there be enough sun exposure for seed germination or will it become overheated during summer months? Is there adequate shelter from wind and rain? These factors can affect not only which species visit but also their feeding habits and overall health.

By taking into account these elements, you’ll create a welcoming space for many different bird species while minimizing potential risks from predators or pests. Remember that proper maintenance and cleaning are just as crucial as selecting the right type and location of bird feeder!

Selecting The Right Type Of Seed

When it comes to selecting the right type of seed for your bird feeder, it’s important to keep in mind what kind of birds you want to attract. Different types of seeds will attract different species of birds, so do some research on which ones are common in your area and choose accordingly. Here are a few tips:

  • Look for high-quality seeds: Avoid purchasing cheap blends that may include fillers or low-quality grains.
  • Offer a variety: Mix different types of seeds together to appeal to a wider range of birds.
  • Consider suet: Suet is a popular choice for many backyard birds and can be easily offered through specialized feeders.
  • Go organic: Choosing organic seed options ensures that no harmful chemicals were used during the growing process.

Attracting birds to your yard can be a rewarding experience for any bird watcher. By offering the right type of seed, you’ll not only bring in more beautiful feathered friends but also help them thrive by providing much-needed sustenance.

In addition to choosing the right seed, there are other ways to attract more birds to your feeder. Try adding natural elements like rocks or water features nearby to create an inviting environment. And don’t forget about keeping your feeder clean – regularly cleaning out old seed and debris will prevent mold growth and ensure healthy feeding grounds for your avian visitors.

Using these bird watching tips along with selecting the appropriate seed mix should help deter unwanted pests such as doves from taking over your bird feeder. However, if all else fails, consider using a squirrel-proof feeder as another effective solution.

Using A Squirrel-Proof Feeder

A bird feeder is like a buffet for all kinds of feathered friends, but also unwanted guests such as doves. These birds are notorious for consuming large quantities of food and leaving little to none for other species. If you’re looking to keep these pesky invaders out, consider investing in a squirrel-proof feeder.

Squirrel-proof feeders come in many different designs, from the classic tube models to more modern options with adjustable perches. By choosing a feeder that’s specifically designed to deter squirrels, you’ll also be keeping doves at bay too. The key here is making sure the design doesn’t allow larger birds or squirrels access to the food supply.

See also  What Are Birds Allergic To

If purchasing a new feeder isn’t feasible, alternative deterrents can also be used. Netting or cages placed over the top of existing feeders will prevent doves from accessing the seeds inside. However, this method may not work if there are nearby surfaces where doves can perch and still reach the opening.

Adjusting perches on your current feeder is another option. Doves prefer flat surfaces they can comfortably stand on while eating, so altering perches by adding spikes or angles will make it more difficult for them to land and take hold. As always though, ensure that any changes made don’t negatively affect other desired bird visitors.

Now that we’ve covered using a squirrel-proof feeder and alternative deterrents such as adjusting perches or using netting/cages, let’s move onto placing the feeder in the right spot.

Placing The Feeder In The Right Spot

Feeder placement is crucial in keeping doves away from your bird feeder. Doves prefer to feed on the ground, so it’s best to hang the feeder at least six feet above the ground. The higher you place the feeder, the less likely it is that doves will be able to access it. Avoid placing the feeder near trees or other structures where doves can perch and jump onto the feeder.

It’s also important to consider dove behavior when choosing a location for your feeder. Doves are social birds and often travel in flocks, so if you notice large numbers of doves in your area, try moving the feeder to a different location. Additionally, avoid placing multiple feeders close together as this may attract more doves than you bargained for.

One option for deterring doves from accessing your feeder is to use a squirrel-proof dome or cage around the feeding tube. This will prevent larger birds like doves from landing on top of the feeder and reaching down into the feeding ports. Another effective method is to use a specialized dove guard which fits over the feeding ports and prevents large birds from getting their beaks inside.

Remember that each backyard environment is unique and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different locations and methods until you find what works best for your situation.

To ensure that your feathered friends have clean food free from contaminants, cleaning your birdfeeder regularly is essential. A dirty birdfeeder attracts pests such as rodents and insects, which carry diseases that could harm both humans and animals alike. Moreover, leftover seeds could become moldy leading to avian respiratory illnesses among others problems related to poor hygiene practices. By following proper maintenance guidelines, you’ll provide a safe space for all species of birds while making sure they stay healthy by providing them fresh food every time they visit!

Cleaning The Feeder Regularly

Removing Unwanted Food: To keep doves out of your bird feeder, make sure to only offer bird seed that is suitable for the birds that you want to attract.

Cleaning Bird Feeder: It’s important to clean the feeder regularly, to ensure that any leftovers don’t attract doves.

Disinfecting Feeder: To prevent bacteria and other diseases, I recommend disinfecting your feeder with a mild bleach solution every few weeks.

Removing Unwanted Food: Keep in mind that doves are attracted to certain types of food, so if you don’t want them around, you should remove those items from your feeder.

Cleaning Bird Feeder: To really keep doves away, you should take the feeder down and scrub it with soap and water every few days.

Disinfecting Feeder: Don’t forget to rinse the feeder off with clean water after disinfecting, so it doesn’t leave any residue that could be harmful to the birds.

Removing Unwanted Food

As a wildlife expert, I understand that bird feeders can be a source of frustration for many homeowners. One common issue is doves taking over the feeder and leaving little to no food for other birds. To prevent this from happening, there are several repelling methods you can use.

Firstly, consider using a squirrel-proof feeder with an adjustable weight setting. This will allow smaller birds access to the feeder while keeping out larger and heavier species like doves. You can also try placing mesh cages or domes around your bird feeder to block larger birds from landing on it.

Another effective method is to offer alternative food sources that appeal more to other bird species than doves. For example, adding different types of seeds such as safflower seed or nyjer seed in separate feeders can attract finches and sparrows instead of doves.

If all else fails, removing unwanted food from the feeder regularly can help discourage doves from returning. Doves tend to prefer sunflower seeds so avoiding these altogether may also reduce their presence at your feeding station.

Remember that attracting other desirable bird species can also help deter doves. Birds like blue jays, cardinals, and woodpeckers are known to chase away dove populations when they visit backyard feeders.

In summary, removing unwanted food is just one way to keep doves out of your bird feeder. By utilizing repelling methods and attracting other bird species, you can create a diverse and harmonious environment for all feathered friends visiting your backyard sanctuary.

Cleaning Bird Feeder

As a wildlife expert, I understand that cleaning the bird feeder regularly is an important aspect of backyard bird feeding. The importance of sanitation cannot be stressed enough as it prevents mold growth and the spread of diseases among birds.

Dirty feeders can also attract unwanted pests such as ants and rodents which can cause damage to your yard or even your home. It is essential to clean your bird feeder at least once a month with soap and water and let it dry completely before refilling it with fresh seed.

To prevent mold growth, avoid overfilling your bird feeder and remove any wet or spoiled seeds immediately. A good practice is to empty the remaining seeds from the feeder every few days if they are not being consumed by birds.

It may seem like a tedious task but regular cleaning will keep your feathered friends healthy, happy, and coming back for more. Plus, it’s always rewarding to watch a variety of species visit your well-maintained feeding station.

In summary, maintaining a clean bird feeder is crucial in keeping our backyard birds safe and healthy. By preventing mold growth through proper seed management and consistent cleaning practices, we can create a welcoming environment for all types of birds without attracting unwanted pests.

Disinfecting Feeder

As a wildlife expert, I cannot stress enough the importance of cleaning your bird feeder regularly. Not only does it prevent mold growth and disease spread among birds, but it also helps keep unwanted pests at bay. However, simply washing with soap and water may not be enough to ensure that your feathered friends are safe.

Disinfecting your feeder is just as important as regular cleaning. This process should ideally be done every few months or after an outbreak of disease in the local bird population. It involves using a diluted bleach solution to kill any remaining bacteria or pathogens on the surface of the feeder.

To disinfect your feeder, first empty all seed from it and then use warm soapy water to scrub away any debris or droppings. Rinse thoroughly before applying the bleach solution – one part bleach to nine parts water – making sure to cover every inch of the feeder’s surface. Allow the solution to sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing again and letting it air dry completely.

By incorporating this step into your regular feeder maintenance routine, you can help ensure that your backyard birds remain healthy and happy without risk of infection or disease outbreaks. Remember, while frequency is key in maintaining a clean bird feeding station, proper disinfection practices must also be followed for optimal safety measures.

See also  Can Birds Eat Rice?

Using A Baffle Or Dome

Picture this: you wake up early in the morning and head outside to admire the beauty of your backyard. As you approach your bird feeder, you notice a group of doves perched on its rim, devouring all the seeds inside. Frustrating, isn’t it? Luckily, there are ways to keep these pesky birds away from your feeder – one of which is using a baffle or dome.

Different baffle designs can help deter doves and other larger birds from accessing your feeder. A popular design is the cone-shaped baffle that attaches to the pole supporting your bird feeder. The narrow end of the cone faces down towards the ground, preventing any large birds from climbing up onto the feeder. If you have a hanging bird feeder, consider using a cylinder-shaped baffle that slides over the wire or rope holding it up.

Another option for keeping doves out of your bird feeder is by using a dome cover. Dome covers sit above the feeding port and create an obstruction between birds attempting to perch on top of them and access food. These covers also protect seed from rain and snow while allowing smaller birds like finches and sparrows to feed comfortably.

Here’s a table outlining some different types of baffles and domes:

Baffles Description
Cone-Shaped Attaches to pole supporting bird feeder with narrow end facing down
Cylinder-Shaped Slides over wire or rope holding hanging bird feeder
Domes Description
Round Dome Cover Sits above feeding port creating an obstruction between birds trying to perch on top and access food

Using either a baffle or dome can be effective at deterring doves from eating all your birdseed. However, it’s important to note that providing alternative food sources for doves may also help alleviate their attraction towards your bird feeder. In our next section, we’ll discuss some options for providing alternative food sources for these birds.

Providing Alternative Food Sources For Doves

Using a Baffle or Dome can be an effective way to keep doves out of your bird feeder. However, if that doesn’t work for you, there are other Dove deterrents you can try. For instance, you can install a cage around the feeder that is big enough for smaller birds but too small for doves.

Another option is to provide Alternative Food Sources for Doves elsewhere in your yard. This will distract them from your bird feeder and encourage them to stay away. One idea is to plant bird-friendly landscaping like sunflowers or millet nearby so they have something else to eat.

If neither of those options works, you may want to consider using physical barriers such as netting or mesh around the feeding area. These methods are more extreme but may be necessary if all else fails. It’s important to note that whatever method you choose, it should not harm the doves or any other birds in your yard.

In addition to these solutions, it’s also important to create Bird friendly landscaping throughout your entire yard. By providing areas with natural food sources like fruit trees and bushes, you’ll attract different types of birds while also keeping them well-fed and happy. Remember – a healthy ecosystem benefits everyone!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Differentiate Between Doves And Other Bird Species?

As a wildlife expert, it’s important to know bird identification techniques in order to properly understand the behavior patterns of different species. When it comes to identifying doves from other birds, there are several key features to look out for. Doves typically have plump bodies and short necks with small heads and round eyes. They also tend to move slowly and deliberately when flying or walking on the ground. By observing these characteristics, you can differentiate between doves and other bird species. Additionally, understanding dove behavior patterns such as their tendency to feed primarily on the ground rather than in elevated feeders can help inform strategies for keeping them away from areas where they’re not wanted.

Will A Bird Feeder With Smaller Openings Prevent Doves From Accessing It?

Bird feeder design is an important factor when it comes to keeping unwanted birds, such as doves, away. Doves have been known to be persistent and adaptable in their behavior patterns, often finding ways to access bird feeders with larger openings. However, a bird feeder with smaller openings can prevent doves from accessing the food inside. It’s important to note that while this may deter some doves, others may still find a way in. Other measures such as using baffles or placing the feeder on a pole away from trees and structures may also help discourage dove activity around your bird feeder. As experts in wildlife management, we recommend experimenting with different methods until you find what works best for your situation.

Can I Use Physical Barriers To Keep Doves Away From The Feeder?

Did you know that doves can consume up to 20% of their body weight in food per day? That’s an impressive feat, but it can also pose a problem for bird enthusiasts who want to keep them away from their feeders. One effective solution is to modify your bird feeder by adding physical barriers or deterrent devices. For example, installing cages around the openings or using motion-activated sprinklers can make it challenging for doves to access the feeder while still allowing smaller birds to enjoy their meals. As a wildlife expert, I recommend experimenting with different modifications until you find one that works best for your specific situation.

Are There Any Natural Repellents Or Scents That Can Deter Doves?

Herbal remedies and decoy owls are natural deterrents for doves at bird feeders. Doves can be a nuisance as they tend to eat up the seeds meant for other birds. Herbal remedies such as peppermint oil, cayenne pepper or vinegar sprayed around the feeder area may help deter them from coming back. Additionally, placing a decoy owl nearby can trick doves into thinking there is a predator in the area and steer clear of your bird feeder. It is important to note that these methods may not work for all types of birds and it’s best to observe their behavior before attempting any form of control.

Should I Avoid Providing Bird Feed Altogether To Prevent Doves From Coming To My Yard?

When it comes to providing bird feed, there are both pros and cons that should be considered. On the one hand, feeding birds can bring a lot of joy and beauty to your yard as you observe different species visiting your feeder. However, on the other hand, some may argue that providing food for birds can also attract unwanted pests like doves. As an alternative solution, some suggest planting native plants that provide natural sources of food for birds while also discouraging pests from coming too close to your home. Ultimately, whether or not to provide bird feed is up to personal preference and willingness to manage any potential pest issues that may arise.


In conclusion, keeping doves out of your bird feeder can be a challenge but it’s not impossible. By identifying the characteristics of different bird species and understanding their feeding habits, you can begin to implement effective strategies for deterring doves.

One option is to invest in a bird feeder with smaller openings that prevent larger birds like doves from accessing it. Alternatively, physical barriers such as netting or spikes may also prove effective. While there are no natural repellents that specifically target doves, certain scents such as peppermint oil or cayenne pepper have been known to deter birds in general.

As a wildlife expert or pest control specialist, I would recommend experimenting with different methods until you find one that works best for your specific situation. And remember, providing bird feed is important for supporting local ecosystems and promoting biodiversity – so don’t let pesky doves discourage you from enjoying this rewarding hobby!

Leave a Reply