life span of pigeon


pigeons have been a part of our urban landscape for as long as we can remember. They are often seen cooing and strutting around in public places, searching for food crumbs, or simply enjoying their freedom. But how much do we really know about the life span of these feathered creatures? In this blog post, we will take an in-depth look at the courtship, reproduction, and development cycle of pigeons while also exploring their average life span. Join us on this journey to learn more about the fascinating world of pigeon biology!

The Average Life Span of Pigeons in the Wild

Pigeons are hardy birds that can adapt to various environments, from bustling cities to rural areas. As such, they have a relatively long lifespan compared to other bird species. The average life span of a pigeon is around 3-5 years in the wild. However, some pigeons have been known to live up to 15 years with proper care and nutrition. 

this can vary depending on several factors, including the species of pigeon, environmental conditions, availability of food, and the presence of predators. Pigeons face various challenges in the wild, such as predation, harsh weather conditions, and competition for resources, which can impact their overall lifespan. While some pigeons may live beyond the average lifespan, others may have shorter lives due to these challenges.

Average Lifespan of Domesticated Pigeons

Domesticated pigeons, when kept in a secure and caring environment, can live an average of 10 to 15 years. however, the life span of pigeon depends upon various factors.

1. Quality of Care

The quality of care provided by the pigeon keeper significantly influences the bird’s lifespan. Proper nutrition, a clean and safe living environment, and access to veterinary care can contribute to a longer and healthier life.

2. Breed Differences

Different breeding varieties of domesticated pigeons may have varying lifespans. Some breeds are selectively bred for certain characteristics, such as racing ability or physical appearance, which may impact their overall health and longevity.

3. Purpose and Lifestyle

Pigeons kept for racing may experience more intense physical demands, potentially affecting their life span. Conversely, pigeons kept as pets in a controlled and safe environment may have a more relaxed lifestyle, contributing to a longer life.

4. Health and Genetics

The genetic background of the pigeon can influence overall health and susceptibility to certain diseases. Breeding practices that prioritize health and longevity can contribute to a longer lifespan.

5. Protection from Predators and Hazards

Domesticated pigeons are vulnerable to predation and accidents. Providing protection from predators and minimizing hazards in their environment can contribute to a longer life.

6. Reproduction

Breeding pigeons frequently may impact their overall health and longevity. Responsible breeding practices, including giving pigeons adequate rest between breeding cycles, can contribute to their well-being.

It’s important for pigeon keepers to be aware of the specific needs of the birds and provide appropriate care to ensure a healthy and fulfilling life.

The life span of Pigeon of Rular Areas

On the other hand, pigeons living in rural areas may have longer lifespans because they are less exposed to pollution and have more access to natural food sources like grains and seeds.

Moreover, captive-bred pigeons that receive proper care can also live longer than their wild counterparts. These domesticated birds often receive specialized diets tailored for optimal health along with regular veterinary check-ups.

While the typical lifespan of a pigeon is relatively short at 3-5 years in the wild, it can vary significantly depending on various factors such as environment and quality of care received by domesticated birds.

Courtship or Mating

The courtship or mating behavior of pigeons is an interesting sight to behold. It typically starts with the male pigeon’s display of his feathers and cooing sounds to attract a female mate. The male will then follow the female around, bobbing his head up and down in front of her as if he’s bowing, which is known as “bow-coo.”

mating in pigeon

If the female accepts the male’s advances, they may engage in preening each other’s feathers, which serves as an important bonding ritual. Once bonded, they will build their nest together.

Interestingly enough, pigeons are monogamous creatures and tend to stay with one partner for life unless something happens to their partner. They also have excellent homing instincts that allow them to find their way back home after long periods away from it.

Watching two pigeons go through this natural courting process can be pretty fascinating!


Pigeons engage in courtship rituals to find a mate. Once they have found their partner, they may continue to mate for life. During the breeding season, which is typically from March to July, pigeons will build nests using twigs and other materials.

reproduction in pigeon

The female pigeon will lay one or two eggs at a time, usually on alternate days. She will sit on the eggs for about 17-19 days before they hatch. The male pigeon assists in caring for the eggs by bringing food and nesting material.

Once hatched, both parents take care of their young ones by feeding them with crop milk – a secretion produced from their crops that provides all necessary nutrients until the chicks are old enough to eat solid foods.

After about a month, the young pigeons leave the nest but still stay close to their parents as they learn how to fly and survive on their own. Pigeons can breed multiple times per year and can have up to 8-10 broods in one breeding season.

Reproduction is an important part of pigeons’ life cycle as it ensures the continuation of species survival through mating rituals and responsible parenting practices.

Hatching of Eggs

Eggs play a vital role in the life cycle of pigeons. These birds lay their eggs in secluded and safe areas, such as buildings or trees. Pigeon eggs are small compared to other bird species, with an average size of around 2 inches.

The color of pigeon eggs varies from white to cream and pale blue. The female pigeon lays one egg at a time and then waits for it to hatch before laying another one. The male pigeon helps incubate the egg by sitting on it while the female goes out to gather food.

Pigeon eggs take about 17-19 days to hatch. During this period, both parents take turns keeping the egg warm and protected until the chick emerges from its shell. Once hatched, baby pigeons are called squabs and rely entirely on their parents for food and care.

Interestingly, pigeons have been known to lay sometimes infertile eggs that never develop into chicks. These infertile eggs serve as practice for parenting behavior among young pairs or those who haven’t reproduced yet.

Once the incubation period is over, the chicks start pecking their way out of their shells using a special egg tooth located on top of their beaks. It can take several hours for a chick to fully hatch from its shell.

It’s important that during this time, you don’t disturb the parents or chicks since they’re very vulnerable at this stage. They need all of their energy and focus to hatch successfully.

After hatching, both parents will continue caring for the chicks by feeding them a special “milk” called crop milk which is produced in both parents’ crops. The chicks will gradually become more independent as they grow older and learn how to fly.

Hatching is a critical stage for pigeon development which requires patience and care from both parents until successful delivery occurs.

Development of New Young one

The lifespan of pigeons is a fascinating topic to explore. From courtship and mating to reproduction, eggs, hatching of eggs, and development of new young ones – every stage in the pigeon’s life cycle offers something unique.

Once the eggs hatch, it takes another three weeks for the young birds’ feathers to grow so they can fly. During this time, both parents feed their young with special “pigeon milk” which is regurgitated food from their crops rich in protein and fat.

Watching a pair of pigeons raise their chicks is an amazing sight. They grow stronger each day under their parent’s care until they fledge out on their own into adulthood.

Understanding these stages and caring for them properly ensures our feathered friends live healthy lives.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of Pigeons

The lifespan of pigeons, whether in the wild or domesticated, is influenced by various factors. Understanding these factors is crucial for providing proper care and ensuring the well-being of these birds. Here are some key factors that can affect the lifespan of pigeons:

1. Predation

Pigeons always face threats from predators such as birds of prey, snakes, and mammals. The risk of predation can significantly impact their lifespan.

2. Disease and Health

The disease can pose a significant threat to pigeons. These could be Viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, as well as parasites, which can affect their health and longevity.

3. Environmental Conditions

Extreme weather conditions, which include severe heat or cold, can stress pigeons and affect their ability to find food and water. Pigeons are generally able to adapt themselves in these sorts of situations, but harsh environments can impact their overall well-being.

4. Availability of Food and Water

Adequate access and availability to food and clean water is essential for the health of pigeons. Lack of sufficient nutrition can lead to malnutrition and impact their ability to thrive.

5. Human Interactions

Interactions of pigeons with humans, whether positive or negative, can affect the life spans of pigeons. In urban areas, pigeons may face challenges from human activities, such as feeding habits, and may be exposed to harmful substances like pollutants.

6. Accidents and Injuries

Pigeons can be susceptible to accidents and injuries, especially in urban environments. Collisions with buildings, vehicles, or other obstacles can lead to injuries that may impact their lifespan.

7. Genetic Factors

The genetic background of pigeons plays a role in their overall health and resilience. Breeding practices that prioritize genetic diversity and health can contribute to a longer lifespan.

8. Stress and Disturbances

Pigeons can be sensitive to disturbances in their environment. Constant stress, whether from noise, disruptions to their nests, or changes in their surroundings, can have a negative impact on their health and lifespan.

9. Reproductive Patterns

Frequent breeding without adequate recovery time can strain pigeons’ health. Responsible breeding practices, including allowing for proper rest between reproductive cycles, can contribute to their overall well-being.

10. Quality of Care in Captivity

For domesticated pigeons, the quality of care provided by their keepers is crucial. Proper nutrition, a clean and safe living environment, veterinary care, and protection from hazards can significantly influence their lifespan.

Understanding and addressing these factors can help create conditions that promote the health and longevity of pigeons, whether they are living in the wild or are kept in captivity. 

Human Influence of Lifespan of Pigeons

Human influence on the lifespan of pigeons can be significant, especially for domesticated pigeons that are kept by humans for various purposes. Here are several ways in which human actions can impact the lifespan of pigeons:

1. Care and Shelter

Positive Influence 

Providing proper care, including a balanced diet, clean water, and shelter, can contribute to the well-being and longevity of pigeons.

Negative Influence 

Neglect, inadequate nutrition, and exposure to harsh environmental conditions without proper shelter can have detrimental effects on a pigeon’s health and lifespan.

2. Veterinary Care

Positive Influence 

Regular veterinary check-ups and prompt treatment of illnesses or injuries can contribute to the overall health and longevity of pigeons.

Negative Influence 

Lack of veterinary care or delayed treatment can lead to the exacerbation of health issues, reducing the pigeon’s lifespan.

3. Predator Protection

Positive Influence 

Taking measures to protect pigeons from natural predators, such as installing predator deterrents, can enhance their chances of survival.

Negative Influence 

Failure to protect pigeons from predators can lead to increased mortality rates.

4. Human Interaction

Positive Influence 

Positive interactions with humans, such as providing food in a controlled manner, can contribute to the well-being of pigeons.

Negative Influence 

Harmful interactions, such as intentional harm or exposure to pollutants, can have adverse effects on pigeons and shorten their lifespan.

5. Breeding Practices

Positive Influence

Responsible breeding practices, including avoiding overbreeding and ensuring proper care for offspring, contribute to the overall health of pigeons.

Negative Influence 

Uncontrolled or irresponsible breeding practices can lead to health issues in pigeons and negatively impact their lifespan.

6. Human-Made Hazards

Positive Influence 

Minimizing human-made hazards, such as avoiding the use of toxic substances or materials harmful to pigeons, can protect their health.

Negative Influence

Exposure to pollutants, hazardous substances, or improperly discarded materials can pose threats to pigeons and reduce their lifespan.

7. Urban Environment Impact

Positive Influence 

Creating urban environments that consider the needs of pigeons, such as providing safe roosting spaces and reducing potential hazards, can positively impact their lifespan.

Negative Influence 

Urbanization without consideration for wildlife can expose pigeons to increased risks and reduce their overall lifespan.

8. Intentional Harm

Positive Influence

Respecting wildlife and refraining from intentional harm or cruelty towards pigeons is essential for their well-being.

Negative Influence 

Acts of cruelty or intentional harm, such as poisoning or trapping, can lead to injury or death, significantly reducing a pigeon’s lifespan.

In summary, human actions and interventions can play a crucial role in determining the lifespan of pigeons. Providing proper care, and protection, and creating environments that consider their needs contribute to their overall well-being and longevity.


In conclusion, the life of pigeons is intricately woven into the fabric of human history and natural ecosystems. These birds, both wild and domesticated, have played diverse roles in society, ranging from messengers in times of war to subjects of scientific research. Understanding the factors that influence their lifespan is crucial for responsible stewardship and conservation efforts.

The average lifespan of a wild pigeon is around 3 to 5 years, with various challenges such as predation, environmental conditions, and competition for resources impacting their longevity. Domesticated pigeons, on the other hand, can live longer, reaching an average of 10 to 15 years when provided with proper care.

Human influence plays a significant role in shaping the lives of pigeons. Positive interactions, responsible breeding practices, and protection from threats contribute to their well-being, while neglect, pollution, and intentional harm can have detrimental effects on their lifespan.

Pigeons continue to be fascinating subjects of study, not only for their adaptability and resilience but also for the unique contributions they make to various aspects of human culture and society. From the ancient art of pigeon racing to their symbolic roles in literature and art, pigeons remain intertwined with our human experience.

As we coexist with these birds in both urban and natural environments, acknowledging their roles and respecting their needs can foster a harmonious relationship. Whether soaring through cityscapes or perched on rooftops, pigeons persist as enduring symbols of both the wild and the domesticated, enriching our lives in subtle and profound ways.

While it’s uncommon, there have been instances of pigeons, particularly domesticated ones, living up to 20 years or more with proper care.

Male pigeons, like their female counterparts, typically have an average lifespan of around 3 to 5 years in the wild and can live longer, up to 10 to 15 years or more, in domesticated settings with proper care.

Pigeons can lay multiple clutches of eggs each year, with each clutch typically consisting of 1 to 2 eggs. They are capable of breeding several times in a year under favorable conditions.

If a pigeon dies, the specific consequences depend on the context. In the wild, it becomes part of the natural ecosystem, serving as a potential food source for scavengers. In urban areas, it may be cleaned up by city services. If a domesticated pigeon dies, the owner typically disposes of the remains appropriately.

Yes, a single pigeon can survive. Pigeons are adaptable birds and can live independently, finding food and shelter on their own. However, they are social birds, and their behavior often involves forming pairs or flocks.

Pigeons often sleep on ledges, building structures, or other elevated surfaces. They may also use trees or cliffs as roosting sites, depending on their environment.

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