Pigeons and also doves have been around for a long time—long prior to humans. Rock doves are thought to have actually originated in southern Asia several million year ago. Compare this to modern-day humans that very first appeared around 120,000 years ago.

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Size and Weight

A pigeon is around 13” (32cm) in length from invoice to tail and also weighs a small less than a pound (0.35 kg). Males room slightly bigger 보다 females.

A pigeon family:

Hen: an adult woman pigeonCock: an adult masculine pigeonHatchling: a recently hatched pigeon just a couple of days oldSquab: a young pigeon indigenous one come 30 job old. Once ready to leaving its nest, a squab have the right to sometimes weigh much more than that parents.Peeper or Squeaker: a young bird the is finding out to eatFledgling: a bird that is prepared to paris or that has actually just taken its first flightJuvenile: a bird the end of that is nest and also flying but less than eight months oldNest and also roosting sites: A pigeon swarm usually is built on covered building ledges the resemble cliffs, a absent dove’s natural habitat. They likewise nest and roost ~ above the support structures under bridges in cities and also along highways.


A pigeon colony usually is created on covered building ledges the resemble cliffs, a absent dove’s natural habitat. They likewise nest and also roost ~ above the support structures under bridges in cities and along highways. Pigeons construct their swarms with small twigs. A dick brings the nesting product to his mate, one piece at a time, and also she builds the nest. Nests are commonly well-hidden and hard to find.


Pigeons typically lay 2 white eggs. The parents take turns maintaining their eggs heat (incubating). Males usually remain on the swarm during the day; females, at night. Egg take about 18 days come hatch. Both male and female parent pigeons produce a one-of-a-kind substance dubbed “pigeon milk”, i beg your pardon they feeding to your hatchlings during their very first week of life. Pigeon milk is made in a special component of the bird’s digestive system referred to as the “crop”. As soon as hatchlings are about one week old, the parents start regurgitating seeds with chop milk; at some point seeds change the pigeon milk.

Colouring and also Feathers

There might be as plenty of as 28 pigeon colour types, referred to as “morphs”. Pigeons also have colourful neck feathers. These iridescent green, yellow, and also purple feathers are referred to as “hackle”. Adult males and females watch alike, however a male’s hackle is much more iridescent 보다 a female’s. White feathers space actually feathers that have actually no colour pigments. So, when you see white top top pigeons you room actually seeing no colour.

Adults have actually orange or red orange eyes; juveniles the are much less than 6 to eight months old have actually medium brown or grayish brown eyes. Pigeon legs and feet room red come pink to grayish black. Their claws room usually grayish black yet can be white on some pigeons. Some birds have “stockings”, which space feathers on their legs and also feet! The cere is the fleshy extending on the upper part of a pigeon’s beak. That is grayish in young bird or juveniles, and also white in adults. Albino birds may have actually pinkish ceres.

Pigeons have actually many varieties of feathers, including contour feathers, the stiff feathers that provide the human body its shape, and also down, the fluffy insulating feathers. Plenty of pigeon feathers are accompanied by one or 2 filoplume feathers, i beg your pardon look favor hairs. These filoplumes may have actually sensory functions, such together detecting touch and pressure changes.


Senses and Calls

Pigeon eyesight is excellent. Favor humans, pigeons have the right to see colour, but they also can see ultraviolet light—part the the irradiate spectrum that people can’t see. Pigeons are occasionally used in human search-and-rescue missions since of their outstanding vision.

Pigeons have the right to hear sound at much lower frequencies than people can, such together wind blowing throughout buildings and mountains, remote thunderstorms, and also even far-away volcanoes. Sensitive hearing may explain why pigeons occasionally fly away because that no noticeable reason: maybe they heard something you can’t.

Pigeons do two varieties of sounds: vocal (using voice) and non-vocal. The primary speak to used by males to entice mates and defend territories is coo roo-c’too-coo. Native their swarms they can say oh-oo-oor. Once they room startled or fear they might make an alarm contact like: oorhh! Pigeon babies make non-vocal sound such as bill snapping and hissing. After ~ mating, males frequently make clapping sounds v their wings.


Most birds take it a sip of water and throw earlier their top to permit the water trickle down their throats. Yet pigeons (and every one of their family members in the family Columbidae) suck up water, using their beaks choose straws.

Do pigeons have compasses in your heads? no really, yet pigeons, particularly those bred for their homing instincts, seem to have the ability to detect the earth’s magnetic fields. Cornell college pigeon researcher Dr. Charles Walcott states that magnetic sensitivity, in addition to an capacity to tell direction through the sun, seems to help pigeons discover their means home.

On the ground, pigeons nothing hop the means many bird do. Castle walk or run with their heads bobbing ago and forth. Pigeons are strong fliers and can fly approximately 40 or 50 miles every hour. Part pigeons are increased for their outstanding abilities to paris fast and find their means home. This pigeons may fly as much as 600 miles in a day. Back feral pigeons are an excellent fliers too, most of this birds it seems ~ to continue to be close to their consistent feeding sites.


Natural Predators

One types of falcon, Merlin, eats so countless pigeons its clinical name is Falco columbarius (with the “columba-” definition pigeon) and it was formerly dubbed pigeon hawk. Merlins room medium-sized falcons and also although they room not really common in cities, you deserve to bet they space preying on pigeons life in open up parks close to marshes and ponds. In cities whereby peregrine falcons have become established, they catch and eat feral pigeons, frequently carrying them ago to feed to your nestlings. Red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks additionally prey on pigeons in cities and in countryside areas.

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Fancy Pigeons

People raise all kinds of an intricate pigeons. The breeds have names, such as rollers, tumblers, and fantails, which reflect the method the birds fly or the means they look. Sometimes, civilization take their fancy pigeons to compete in shows.