Pigeons Facts: Life, Species, and Characteristics

Pigeons are also known as “rock doves.” They are monogamous and will lay one to two eggs that hatch within eighteen days. Pigeons build nests around farms, warehouses, mills, and grain storage. They also inhabit parks, buildings, and bridges in cities.

        Basic Facts                                               

  •   Common Names:  Pigeon, dove, rock dove
  •    Family: Columbidae
  •    Birds Order:  Columbiformes
  •    Varieties: 350 recorded varieties
  •    Origin: Europe, Asia
  •    Subspecies: Columba livia
  •   Colors: Grey, white, and black
  •    Phylum:  Chordata
  •    Class: Aves
  •    Legs: 2
  •   Shape: Bird
  •   Wings: Yes


The wild pigeon can be found in coastal areas, and the undomesticated pigeons are located almost exclusively in aspects of human habitation.

Description (Adult rock species):

  • 32-37 cm long.
  • 64-72 cm wingspan.
  • Black bill with off-white cere.
  • Red feet and legs.
  • Distinctive twin black wing bars.
  • White back feathers.
  • Dark bluish-grey head, neck.
  •  Chest with glossy greenish and reddish-purple glowing throughout the neck and wing feathers.


  • Breeds throughout every season, with peak breeding periods in spring and summer.
  • All Columbiformes are an amalgamation (mate forever).
  • Wild birds breed on coastal cliffs and a few inland cliffs.
  • Feral birds breed on or perhaps buildings, usually in urban areas.
  • Both dad and mom breed two white eggs for 17-19 days.
  • The squab (chick) has a yellow down and a pink bill.
  • Squabs are fed on ‘crop milk’ by single parents.
  • The fledging period is 30 days, based on the time of year.
  • Pigeons can breed at a few months of age.


Seeds are the central portion of the diet. Nevertheless, it varies greatly in line with species. Some ground-feeding species (granivorous species) eat fruit and take insects and worms. One species, the Atoll Fruit Dove, has adapted to taking insects and small reptiles. The feral pigeon in urban areas exists exclusively on a diet of seed (generally from human sources) and human refuse, like fast food waste. Wood pigeons employ a varied diet, including vegetables and berries.

Characteristics and Attributes Of Pigeons:

  1. Pigeons can fly at altitudes of 6000 feet or more.
  2. They can fly at average speeds as high as 77.6 mph but are already recorded flying at 92.5 mph.
  3. They also viewed navigating by sensing the Earth’s magnetic field and utilizing the sun for directions. And discover their way home.
  4. Pigeons (and all sorts of the Columbidae family) drink by sucking water and utilizing their beaks like straws. Most birds sip water, after which they throw their head to swallow.
  5. Pigeons, like humans, can see in color. They can also see ultraviolet light, apart from the spectrum humans cannot see. As a result, pigeons, in many cases, are used in search and rescue missions.
  6. Pigeons are found to secure the ‘mirror test,’ the opportunity to recognize their very own reflection within a mirror. The pigeon is among only six species, plus the only non-mammal, to own this ability.
  7. Moreover, Pigeons are highly intelligent and recognize all 26 alphabet letters. In this case, they also can conceptualize.
  8. Pigeons have a unique attribute to differentiate between photographs and, in many cases, two different human beings in a single photograph.

Life Expectancy:

Varies from 3-5 years to 15 years, influenced by many factors, including natural predation and human interference.

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