Is It Illegal to Kill Pigeons in Florida? [No]

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Pigeons are a nuisance and annoying all across the United States. Residents often search for different methods and tips to get rid of them. Often the first idea is to shoot them. As residents, you might think, is it illegal to kill pigeons in Florida? 

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Florida. However, the state government protects migratory birds, including the White-crowned, Homing, and Band-tailed pigeons. It is allowed by state authorities to kill pigeons on your house property if they are the source of disturbance and annoyance. 

For shooting pigeons outdoors, you must possess a hunting license. Continue reading to find more detail on laws regarding shooting and hunting pigeons in Florida. 

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In Florida? 

It is illegal to hunt White-crowned and Band-tailed pigeons in Florida. Both of these pigeon species are endangered and are under the protection of the Florida wildlife federal government.

The white-crowned pigeon falls under the migratory bird. According to the Migratory bird act 1918, it is illegal killing any migratory bird, including the White-crowned pigeon. 

On the other hand, it is legal to hunt the following pigeons, Rock pigeons, Common mourning doves, Scaly-naped pigeons, Eurasian collared doves, Passenger pigeons, and common ground doves. 

However, shooting any pigeon without a hunting license is illegal, and you can end up in jail. The only exception is the Eurasian collared dove one does not need a hunting license to shoot them.

The state allows hunting on personal property without a hunting license only when the pigeons are the cause of disturbance or annoyance. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In Florida? 

It is not illegal to hunt and eat pigeons in Florida. According to the state authorities, as long as you have a hunting license, you can hunt and eat almost all species of pigeons except for White-crowned and Band-tailed pigeons.

Hunting for either of these species can end up in a year in jail or a hefty penalty for breaching wildlife protection. The reason is in detail below. 

The White-Crowned Pigeons 

The white-crowned pigeons are Migratory birds. According to the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is not legal to hunt the white-crowned pigeon. They are also included in Florida’s endangered and threatened species law. 

Homing pigeons 

It is not legal to trap poison or hunt homing pigeons in Florida. They are a special breed of pigeon originating from rock pigeons. Homing pigeons are under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and are in Florida for a limited period. 

Band-Tailed Pigeons 

Band-tailed pigeon species population is declining. Even though Band-tailed pigeons are commonly seen all across Florida, the authorities still have limited hunting of these pigeons. 

How Do You Get Rid Of Feral Pigeons In Florida? 

Feral pigeons are also known as wild pigeons or city pigeons. As the name states, these pigeons are common in the cities like Florida. They are the annoying and intimidating specie of pigeons that cause massive damage to properties, including lands, houses, buildings, and crops.

Getting rid of them is challenging because feral pigeons are common in Florida. 

Due to their chronic infestation in the city, state authorities are lenient towards residents and allows the local to shoot them without a hunting license on private properties. However, hunting pigeons outdoors will require a hunting license.

Below are some tips other than shooting to eliminate pigeons. 

  • Cover large open outdoor spaces like the backyard or barns with hardware cloth. 
  • Install anti-bird spikes on the walls and window sills to prevent feral pigeons from landing around your house. 
  • Use bird traps like sticky bird traps or sticky gel, which can trap the feral pigeons around your property. It also discourages pigeons from landing near your property. 
  • Decoy kits like kites flying from your roof can scare away pigeons. 
  • Parallel wires running across the roof or any other open structure will make it difficult for pigeons to land and nest in the area. 

Are Nesting Pigeons Protected In Florida?

Yes. Nesting pigeons are protected in Florida. It is illegal to disturb, damage, or relocate the nests of any pigeon species. You can end up with six months in jail and a 15,000 fine for removing nesting pigeons.

If a pigeon is nesting inside your home, do not throw away the nest without checking inside. Never place poisonous things inside a pigeon’s nest to kill them.

Deliberately killing pigeons for no reason is not just inhumane, but it is also not illegal. The best method is to wait until it leaves on its own. Typically, pigeons do not stay in one place for more than a few weeks. 

When in chronic pigeon infestation around your property, use precautions to prevent them from entering the home. It is inhumane to kill pigeon young ones or eggs.

Alternatively, if the infestation is unbearable or there is a chance that nesting pigeons will transmit disease or another parasite, contact the Florida wildlife center immediately. 

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Florida 

There are many different species of pigeons residing in California. Some species are in California for a temporary period and other species, like feral pigeons, are so common that they are now known as pests.

The state of Florida has some rules on pigeon hunting. Despite the fact that these laws are for the entire United States but are adjusted according to the state.

Below I have explained some laws that can guide you about pigeon shootings in Florida. 

Federal Permit To Trap Endangered Pigeon Species 

According to the federally Endangered species Act 1973, a person must possess a permit from state authorities to trap endangered species like Band tailed birds in Florida. 

Shooting On Private Property 

A resident of Florida cannot use firearms or shoot pigeons on private properties or homes in residential areas, even with a hunting license. Using a weapon in residential areas is considered a felony. 

Migratory Bird Act 

The white-crowned pigeon and homing pigeons are migratory birds in Florida. According to the Migratory bird act, it is illegal to shoot either of them. Both are becoming extent, and not following the rule can charge you a penalty. 

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Florida? 

There are many different species of pigeons found in Florida. Some of these species are going extent. It is no longer legal to hunt or kill them. Even if you have a hunting license, you must know all the basics about shooting pigeons in Florida.

The state authorities are slightly strict about shooting pigeons for no reason, even on your property. Although the Federal authorities organize sports festivals for pigeon hunting, you still need to follow the proper method.

Given below are the steps to shoot and hunt pigeons in Florida. 

  • You must possess a hunting license for shooting or hunting pigeons outdoors in Florida. 
  • Children under 12 must have a minor hunting license and must be with by adults. 
  • It is not legal to shoot pigeons on private property in a residential area. Look for alternate methods to eliminate pigeons when you have a severe infestation in residential areas. 
  • Choose a high-quality air rifle or gun that will cause little to no pain to the bird. 
  • You cannot hunt a migratory bird like a White-crowned pigeon under any circumstances. However, during sports festivals, the government of Florida might allow you to bag one or two Homing pigeons. 
  • Use plastic pigeons and food to attract the pigeons to the hunting site. 
  • Do not touch the pigeon’s body with bare hands. 


You can hunt or shoot almost all the pigeon species in Florida except for the Migratory pigeons. The white-crowned and Band-tailed pigeons are going extent. Therefore, it is illegal to hunt or shoot them even on private property. 

The state also does not allow shooting pigeons on properties situated in residential areas as it is dangerous for the people living nearby. It is not legal to hunt nesting pigeons or shoot their young ones. To legally hunt pigeons, you will need a license and a good weapon. Plus, in some areas, you might also need a permit.