Pigeon Tales

May 1, 2008

A couple of astonishing Facts you might not know about Pigeons

Observations about the growing up of two pigeon babies and the behaviour of the adult pigeons. One general statement is valid:

Pigeons are incredible parents which really care for their kiddos

  1. the eggs were laid with a 2 day pause between
  2. the eggs were never left alone for more than 1-2 minutes – same applied for the hatchlings – it was quite cold at that time
  3. the babies were completely covered by yellow hair when they hatched
  4. after 4 days the babies started to open their eyes and to make very tiny sounds
  5. during the first 10 days the father was the main feeder of the babies
  6. after 1 week the parents started to leave their kids alone for longer periods
  7. during the first 2 weeks the father was always ready to fight for his children and got very upset when you came too near to the nest. He began hissing and flapping his wings, making himself as big as possible – the mother stayed always very relaxed
  8. the mother did not allow foreign pigeons near the nest
  9. when a crow flew nearby the nest the parents warn their kiddos with short warning sounds and they stayed very calm
  10. both adult pigeons got soon very used to our human presence – while they were always flying off at the beginning they learned very quickly that they had nothing to fear. The escape distance went down to less than 1 foot!! and even then they walked away instead of flying away (on the balcony). They watched me very carefully while I was cleaning the nest – never becoming aggressive or upset – as if they knew that I did not do any harm to the babies.
  11. when little pigeons are afraid they make smells!
  12. little pigeons like to be patted on the head and love getting fondled or scratched on their necks
  13. you can calm down a little pigeon by putting a hollow hand on their head
  14. the adults seemed to know exactly when the kiddos started to leave the nest and stayed near in order to observe what their kiddos do – maybe for help or to avoid that they do something stupid – they warned with different sounds
  15. the father stayed in the nest while the babies experienced their first thunderstorm – they were slightly in panic and made their “being afraid” sounds – a very high pitched sound – the father stayed in the nest, sitting between both babies – they finally calmed down
  16. the mother comes each night and stays at a place on the balcony from where she can watch what’s going on in the nest – truly each night she sits there like a statue till the next morning. Before the father leaves in the evening – when it’s getting dark – he has a little chat with the mother – then he flies away – don’t know where he goes…
  17. both parents know exactly when the kiddos need more food – f.e. when the days are colder, they feed the little ones at least twice as much than on warmer days
  18. the mother very often took a drink – apparently to supply the kiddos with necessary water – the father not so often.
  19. after 3 weeks the first hatchling started to leave the nest
  20. one little pigeon looks nearly exactly like its father, the other like the mother and the funniest thing is the first seems to have the character and habits of its father, the second of its mother which means – the first one is always very noisy, extremely curious and bold and therefore gets into difficult situations like falling out of the nest – happened yesterday for the first time – the second is much more calm and careful and never does something it cannot cope with. It is very interesting to watch this.
  21. Every feeding session seems to be a torture for each of the parents – it looks very violent but isn’t of course. But nevertheless it seems to be hard work for both while the whole body moves up and down with sometimes both babies peeking their beaks into the beak of the adult. Since they have grown so much the kids get fed one after another another now. How do the parents know which kid has been fed already – I don’t know. But according to my observations it seems to be very fair. It’s not like in some bird families that the strongest gets the most or the one who cries the loudest!
  22. pigeons are very clean regarding the nest hygiene – they did not poop once into the nest nor near to the nest – which I found amazing. The adults seem to fly away to do what they must do or at least keep some distance to the nest.


  1. i never knew so much about pigeons but always wanted to have one but the above said was very interesting and i did like it a lot thank you

    Comment by shwetha — July 12, 2008 @ 6:44 am | Reply

  2. You are very welcome!

    Comment by pigeonwriter — July 12, 2008 @ 10:51 am | Reply

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