do doves eat bird seed

What Foods Do They Eat?

Cracked corn, white millet, oil sunflower, safflower, Bark Butter®

How do I stop Doves and Pigeons?

Rock pigeons, also called pigeons (Columba livia), are a common sight in cities all over the world. They populate public squares and streets and feed on abandoned food and bird seed offerings. City pigeons were brought to North America from Europe in the early 1600s, and they make their nests on window ledges and buildings. The graceful, small-headed, slender-tailed mourning dove, Zenaida macroura, is widespread throughout the continent. Mourning Doves are swift and bullet-straight flyers that perch on telephone wires and search the ground for seeds. Both species consume a lot of seeds from weeds, herbs, wild grasses, farmed grains, and occasionally fruit. Additionally, they will consume food scraps and bread crumbs (especially pigeons) These birds will consume almost any seed available at the bird feeder, such as canary seed, red millet, sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, peanuts (without shell), millet, Nyjer® (thistle), and corn. They will also consume “filler” ingredients found in low-quality bird seed blends, such as milo, wheat, oats, and red millet. Usually, doves and pigeons consume their seeds whole, including the shells, in order to provide as much food as possible for their crop. So these birds can empty out bird feeders pretty quickly. Because they are so big, they also usually crowd out smaller birds from feeders by dominating them in large numbers.

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Rock pigeons (Columba livia) on the left and mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) on the right

Other Info About Them

For the most part of their range, doves and pigeons are year-round, non-migratory residents, but they will travel north for breeding.


What is the best seed to feed doves?

Millet is small and an easy seed for doves and pigeons to eat. Millet also generally ends up on the ground. In WBU Barrie blends we use millet in small amounts with the intension of it being thrown onto the ground for native sparrows and other ground feeding birds.

What can I feed a dove?

Feed your dove dark, leafy greens and vegetables every other day. Once a week, feed your dove fruit such as berries, melon and kiwi. Give your dove a honey stick or millet spray once a month for a special treat. Your dove should have access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Can doves eat black oil sunflower seeds?

Black-Oil sunflower seed attracts Northern Cardinals, Tufted titmice, Mourning doves, Gray catbirds, Evening grosbeaks, Boat-tailed and Common grackles, Bushtits, House finches, Pine siskins, Black-billed magpies and all species of chickadees, nuthatches, and jays – just to name a few.

Do sunflower seeds attract doves?

Dove Kandy is a proprietary “sportsmen’s blend” of small, black-seeded, high-oil sunflower varieties with slightly varying heights and maturities aimed to improve use by wildlife. No doubt that sunflowers are a favorite for doves, but upland game love to dine on the seeds in the fall.