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Species: Pigeon

Protection Level
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Federally Protected No
State Protected No
VA Nuisance Species Yes


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Columba livia

More Photos

Columba livia
[© Charles Warren, CMI]

county distribution map for Columba livia


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The pigeon is designated a nuisance species in Virginia 4VAC15-20-160. Virginia law allows the taking of all nuisance species at any time. While pigeons are classified as a nuisance in Virginia a landowner should use lethal alternatives only after all non-lethal controls have been exhausted.

In Virginia it is illegal to

  • transport or release a pigeon anywhere other than the property it was caught on. 4VAC15-30-50
  • poison any animal (including pigeons) other than rats and mice on your property. 4VAC15-40-50
  • set a trap where it would be likely to injure persons, dogs, stock or fowl.§29.1-521.
  • not visit all traps once each day and remove all animals caught.§29.1-521.


Management Options
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Other Sources

Animal Damage Management: Pigeon, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service

Best practices for nuisance wildlife control operators in New York State

Controlling Feral Pigeons, Texas Cooperative Extension

Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife, Maryland Cooperative Extension (need to scroll to appropriate species)

Managing Urban Pest Bird Problems in Kentucky, University of Kentucky

Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage- 1994

Problem Birds Around Homes and Farmsteads, Iowa Cooperative Extension


Life History
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Life History information can be found at the Virginia Fish and Wildlife Information Service Web page.



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There are many diseases that wildlife species are capable of carrying and transferring to humans (zoonotic diseases). While all zoonotic diseases are a serious threat to humans this website will only address those that are a concern for Virginia residents.

Psittacosis is acquired by inhaling dried secretions from infected birds.

Histoplasmosis - A lung infection caught by inhaling mold spores that grow on bird and bat droppings.