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17 Pigeon Facts You’ll Never Forget

One of the rock pigeon facts is that they are an extremely complex and an intelligent species of birds

The pigeon, or Columbidae, are wild or feral species of birds with soft round bodies and a round tail with different color patterns and patches. A rock pigeon is believed to be one of the most common types of pigeon.

A rock pigeon generally lives in urban settings and has adjusted itself with other feral and urban animals. A rock pigeon is quite strong and can survive harsh city conditions. Rock pigeons can generally be found in America and Europe in huge quantities flying all over the city.

The pigeon is a very smart bird with great navigation senses and can find its nest from almost 3000 miles (4828 km) away. Some pigeons can even detect magnetic fields.

To find out more interesting facts and information about other animals. You can also check our guides on the Nicobar pigeon and pigeon guillemot for more enriching and mind-blowing facts and guides.

Pigeon Interesting Facts

What type of animal are pigeons?

Pigeons and doves belong to the Columbidae family of birds and have more than 300 species of birds under the same family of birds. Doves are smaller in size and stature, while pigeons have bigger body sizes and stature with a rounded body and short legs. They are said to be one of the most common bird species in Asia, Africa, and Europe that can adapt well in the wild and residential surroundings. There are different types of pigeons, like the rock pigeon, also known as Columba livia. Other types of pigeons include passenger pigeons, carrier pigeons, ice pigeons, white pigeons, and different types of doves. Some pigeons can even detect magnetic fields.

What class of animals do pigeons belong to?

Pigeons belong to the Aves class as this class includes warm-blooded vertebrate birds with wings full of feathers and a beak without any teeth.

How many pigeons are there in the world?

There are around 400 million pigeons all around the globe in different parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe. Except for Antarctica and desert areas, pigeons are found almost everywhere globally, with more than 300 species of their kind.

Where do pigeons live?

Pigeons can be spotted all around the globe in Asia, Africa, Europe, and parts of America as well. Thus, they are quite tough and can survive and live almost anywhere in the world like forests, swamp forests, rain forests, tropical areas, coastal areas, urban and rural settings, residential surroundings, pretty much anywhere except extremely cold areas like Antarctica and extremely dry areas like the Sahara Desert. They need a cliff-like structure to set their nest. Rock pigeons are the most commonly found type of pigeon found in many parts of the world.

What is a pigeon's habitat?

Under natural conditions and in wild settings, pigeons can live in dense forests, wild forests, swamp forests, rain forests, tropical areas, coastal areas, and green lands. They can also live on islands and mangrove forests. They select a particular spot like a cliff or a crack in a rock, and they make their nest over there and lay eggs over there. In rural and urban settings, a pigeon will generally find a small space in some groove or a house or a big building, on windows, bridges, and any other suitable place to build their nest and lay white eggs.

Who do pigeons live with?

Pigeons and feral doves (Columbiformes) are known to be love birds as they always live in pairs, and the pair always flocks together. They are monogamous and try to find a mate for life. They are very dedicated towards their young offspring and their mate, and they spend their whole period with their mate for life. They prefer living as a couple. They build their nest together, and both the parent pigeons take care of the young ones. They are friendly animals and live in flocks.

How long do pigeons live?

With human interference and captivity, pigeons can live up to 14-15 years and some even longer than that, but under wild conditions, their lifespan can vary. Rock pigeons live up to six years, while many other pigeons, away from human interference, can live up to three or four years of age.

How do they reproduce?

Pigeons and doves are related, and both are monogamous in nature and fall under the order of Columbiformes and live in pairs for their whole life. Thus, after selecting their mate, they go through the mating process, and female pigeons lay eggs in the nest that is made by both the male and female pigeon. They have their breeding season in spring and summer. Female pigeons lay two white eggs, and they both incubate the white egg cells one by one for 17-19 days. The newborns are fed on crop milk by both the parents. They can start breeding at only six months of age. Both parents feed their young.

What is their conservation status?

Pigeons are one of the most common species of bird found on this planet and are found in huge numbers in almost every part of the world. The rock pigeon is the most common type of pigeon worldwide, followed by white pigeons and carrier pigeons. Yet, certain species of pigeons are under the Endangered category of conservation status, like the rare pink pigeon.

Pigeon Fun Facts

What do pigeons look like?

Pigeons, or Columbidae, have short feet and wings covered with eight feathers and a beautifully rounded tail also covered with feathers

Pigeons are quite gentle birds who have skin ceres like things between their forehead and bill. Their wings are quite strong in nature because of the strong muscles that they use for flying. They have roughly 10,000 feathers on their body. The most common city pigeons have a grayish shade on their soft round bodies with rounded tails. Pigeons have dark grayish, bluish, green shades, blue-gray heads, dark gray to black and white shades, green and purple shades, black bars on their wings with white shades on their body.

How cute are they?

Pigeons are considered to be cute by humans. They have different shades broadly ranging from white to grayish, and hence they have a good appearance that eventually makes them pretty and cute. Pigeons are known as love birds. Doves and pigeons both live in pairs and hence are considered cute by many people worldwide. In many legends and myths, they are respected and loved as well.

How do they communicate?

Pigeons are generally not that loud, but while communicating with each other, they use something that we refer to as calling the pigeons technique in which they produce a high-pitch frequency sound and vibration to call and communicate with each other and mainly with their partners. They can communicate quite well and are known to find locations by eco-communicating. One of the carrier pigeon facts is that they are superb at communicating with each other and can communicate for various reasons like mating, food source or calling male counterparts to their nests, or to feed their young ones. They are considered to be quite smart.

How big are pigeons?

Their size can vary from one pigeon to another. Some are really small, like doves, while other pigeons can be big depending upon the surroundings and other factors. The average pigeon size range is from 20-26 in (50.8-66.04 cm ), and their full wingspan in length can be 11-14 in (27.94-35.56 cm) in height.

How fast can pigeons fly?

A pigeon has strong wings, flight muscles, and small feet with a large wingspan that helps them be aerodynamic, and they can fly at a very fast speed. A rock pigeon can fly at a top speed of 92.52 miles per hour (148.9 kph)!

How much do pigeons weigh?

The weight of a pigeon again depends upon many factors and the type of pigeon. The average weight of pigeon birds can range from 1.9-4.6 lb (0.9-2.1 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names for males or females.

What would you call a baby pigeon?

A young pigeon bird is commonly known as a squab, and both the parents are responsible for feeding the squabs simultaneously until they turn into adults and are ready to be alone for a couple of months before finding a pair for themselves.

What do they eat?

The diet of an average pigeon can vary according to their type; mostly, they eat seeds, small insects, fruits, plants, small ants, worms, grains, nuts, berries, and other such small things when they are under natural conditions. In cities and urban areas, pigeons like the rock pigeon can be found most commonly. They tend to feed on leftover food items, bread crumbs, meat and fish, and other items that humans have wasted. A rock pigeon can eat almost anything.

Are they dangerous?

Pigeons don't fall under the category of dangerous birds or animals. Still, they are believed to be the source of diseases that can spread to humans, like tuberculosis, cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis, lung disorder, and other such diseases.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, pigeons can make good pets and are really loyal to their owners just like any other animal; if they are raised properly, they can turn to be very loyal. Keeping aside the health hazards, pigeons are believed to be good pets and were used in both world wars to deliver messages, codes, and letters.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Did you know a homing pigeon can sense the electromagnetic waves coming out from the earth? They can detect different magnetic fields.

A pigeon can actually talk to some extent and can memorize almost 60 words, though they have limited vocabulary; they are really smart and intelligent in nature.

One of the most interesting passenger pigeon facts is that they helped to save thousands of lives during both World Wars by communicating important codes and messages.

A pigeon can kill their own babies, but that is very rare, and generally, they don't do that as they are quite protective about their babies. The process is called scalping, but it's very rare in nature.

Different types of pigeon

There are many different types of pigeons, but 30 types of pigeons are said to be the most famous ones. They can range from the tippler pigeon, Jacobin pigeon, roller, fantail, pouter, English carrier, old German owl pigeon, Chinese owl pigeon birds, homing pigeon, racing, frill back, helmet, dragon, nun, modena, Lahore, satineete, swift, Indian gola, African owl, Archangel, Armenian, Carneau, Coburg lark, Damascene, ice, lucerne, Ukrainian, Saxon shield, Serbian highflyer, Pigeon Guillemot, German Nun Pigeon, rock pigeon, white pigeon, and the passenger pigeon. The rock pigeon is the most common one. All these pigeons are found mainly in Asia, North Africa, America, and Europe. They all have different color schemes and ranges that make them different and give them their unique names.

Why are pigeons thought to be dirty?

Some say pigeons are dirty and not good as they create a mess and can transfer certain diseases to humans, but other sources suggest that pigeons are quite clean birds and don't spread any disease. They are popularly known to be dirty because people have a perception that they eat anything and pick things from the gutter, which makes them dirty to humans; there are no strong pieces of evidence to support this claim.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our horned lark facts and great tit facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable pigeon coloring pages.

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