Pigeons are an integral part of our urban landscape. The cities and suburbs that we live in would not be the same if we didn’t have these small adorable feathered friends around us. They are able to mate and lay eggs at quite a fast rate. This is how they are able to multiply quickly and become the number one bird pest species on the planet. So when do pigeons mate? What happens when a pigeon mate dies? This article will look into it.
Pigeons have a very interesting way of mating, their courting, mating and child-rearing processes are interesting and very different from how humans and any other animals do it. If you’re rasing pigeons or just curious to know about them then read on to find out more about these interesting creatures.
The pigeon is a breed of bird that has been bred from the wild rock dove. In the wild, these animals have habitats in rock faces, seas cliffs and mountains.
In the urban environment, they have been forced to substitute the rock faces and sea cliffs for buildings where they can nest and breed.
Do pigeons have a mating ritual?
During the courtship stage, the male pigeon will usually be the one to court the female.
The male will show off by puffing up his feathers, this makes him look larger and more impressive to the female he is trying to attract. He then approaches the female walking to her, fast-paced, while making noises.
The female will fly or walk off and the male will keep following her. The male will then feed her by regurgitating food. When this courtship is complete the two will mate for a brief period of time.
How does a pigeon mate?
Pigeons mate using an orifice called the cloaca, both the male and female have this orifice and use it to not only mate but also to pass urine and poop.
When the pigeons are ready to mate with each other the male pigeon mounts the female pigeon to give her a “cloacal kiss”. This entails touching his cloaca with others. This touching allows for the transfer of sperm from him to her.
Once this fast process is done (it only lasts about a couple of seconds) the female pigeon stores the sperm. The sperm is stored in her body, in her reproductive tract, and stays there until the egg is released.
Once the egg is released the sperm can fertilize the egg and the shell starts to form
When do pigeons mate?
Pigeons are able to produce a milk called crop milk for their young at any time of the year. This allows the pigeons to mate at any time they please. The pigeon milk is a mix of partially digested food and secretions from the parents.
They usually mate and lay eggs up to six times a year. Luckily it doesn’t take much time for an egg to be laid after the mating has happened. After mating, it takes about 18 days for the first egg to hatch.
If you want to ensure that your pigeon lays eggs as fast as possible click here for a guide.
They will choose to breed when the weather is good and when there is a good supply of food in the area, this is to support embryonic development.
Luckily for them, there is always an abundance of food in cites so this allows them to breed any time of the year.
How do pigeons show affection?
Pigeons have feelings and know how to show affection. If you’ve looked at two pigeons interacting you may have noticed that one way of showing affection between them is by cuddling.
They love to cuddle and they may even give each other a couple of light pecks on the neck or the head. If one of the pigeons have been out looking for food it will come back to the nest and the pigeons will greet each other with raspy coos.
They also like to show affection to humans. They have been trained to be around people for many years and show affection to humans well. If you feed a pigeon it will be affectionate to you.
They love to cuddle not only each other but humans as well and they love to be petted as well.
If you have other animals you may have noticed them be affectionate with them as well. Allowing other animals to cuddle and hug them.
When you are away, your pigeon can enjoy itself on this bird toy variety pack which includes chewing, hanging and swing toys.
How do you get two pigeons to mate?
Pigeons need to become friendly and familiar with each other before they can start to mate.
If they have already mated with some other pigeon you need to get them used to each other, this will entail having them in close proximity to each other until they are comfortable enough to mate
To start off, place them in separate cages with solid separators. This will allow them to hear each other but not see each other. Do this for a few days. Next put them in solid but clear cages so they can see each other.
After a few days of this, you can put them in cages where they can touch. Then leave them there for a few days.
After a few days they should be ready to mate. This process will allow them to get to know each other and because their main objective is to mate with another pigeon and have baby pigeons they will mate with each other eventually if there is no one else to mate with.
If you own pigeons and would like them to breed faster you can offer them healthier food to up their fertility, this feed is full of high-quality grains. You can also put them in a cage, this gives the pair privacy, this pigeon cage shout fit the pair
What will also work is giving them wheat germ oil to relax (this is a favourite) and add a bird light to their loft to achieve the optimum temperature for breeding, this is a well-loved birdcage light.
How do you tell if a pigeon is a male or female?
It can be pretty tricky to determine if a pigeon is a male or a female because their organs are the same from the outside. Their other physical attributes aren’t easy to distinguish either.
If you want to determine whether a pigeon is a male or a female you will have to pay attention to its behaviour.
One way of telling if the pigeon is a male or female is to watch their behaviour when they’re around other pigeons or are in a group. The male pigeon will be the one trying to woo the other pigeons. They strut and coo at the females.
One of the things you would look at is how the pigeon sits on its eggs. The male pigeons are usually the ones who sit on the eggs in the morning and will swap with the females from mid-afternoon.
If you are observing two pigeons mate the male pigeon will be the one mounting the female pigeon
Do pigeon lay eggs daily?
The feral pigeons that we see out and about in the environment will lay 2 eggs for every mating cycle the pigeons go through. They do not lay the eggs at once, the female will lay the first egg then after about 10-14 days the pigeon will lay the second egg.
The first pigeon needs to grow and make sure it is healthy for a couple of days. When the older one has grown and is healthy the female will lay the second egg.
How do you tell if a pigeon is going to lay eggs?
If your pigeon starts to brood on a consistent basis and becomes suddenly very aggressive then this can be because they are about to lay eggs. If you have a look at their nests you may notice they have scratched and shuffled their nest quite a lot.
Why do you never see baby pigeons?
You never see any baby pigeons because they are kept in the nest until they’re pretty much full-grown adults. A city is a great place for pigeons to create nests. They create nests in rock-like gaps in buildings and these are usually out of sight of people.
The baby pigeons are kept in these nests from 4 to 6 weeks deepening on how fast they grow. After this time they pretty much look about adult-sized and this is when you’ll start to see them flying around looking for their own food.
Do pigeons mate for life?
Pigeons are known to mate for life but this isn’t exactly correct. They pair for life. The members of the couple will mate with other pigeons when their partner is not around to see them. This is normal.
What they will do is stay together to raise their children even though they cheat. They work as a unit to protect their young and the nest from any outsiders. They can recognise each other within a whole flock of birds.
The male birds are very jealous boyfriends. If they see another male approach the female the male will chase the other male away. The females follow along, running away from the males that try to court them in front of their boyfriends.
They still cheat though, the males will try to mate with other females and the females will interact and mate with stronger more dominant males.
If the pigeons have not picked their own partners and have been forced into couples by humans the pigeons will take a new mate if someone better comes along.
What happens when a pigeon mate dies?
Usually, if they realise that their mate has died the partner pigeon will look for a new mate.
This is not something that will happen quickly though. This can happen after a few weeks or a few months. Though the males look for a partner quicker than the female will.
Can two male pigeons mate?
No two male pigeons cannot mate. The two males may actually become aggressive towards each other.
If pigeons are enclosed in small spaces with minimal resources then they may fight.
Males can also be territorial and fight other males over space so if you see a male pigeon mounting another this may be the reason. Healthy males and female birds will breed with each other and very often at that
Can male pigeons lay eggs?
No, male pigeons cannot lay eggs.
During the breeding stage it is the male that releases sperm into the female pigeon’s body and that is where the eggs are. The sperm fertilizes the egg and this forms a shell after fertilization. The female is the only one out of the two that can lay eggs.
Do pigeons abandon their babies?
You might find the parents suddenly abandon their babies and fly off. Don’t worry the parents will usually fly back to their babies. If they don’t then something probably scared them off. You can read more about it here
Getting rid of pigeons
Pigeons have become a nuisance to humankind, they release droppings which can carry diseases and damage outdoor furniture, buildings and cars. If you notice them squatting on your property there are a few things you can do to get rid of them.
Pigeons come to your property looking for food, water and shelter. These are the main things that all animals need for survival. If you remove all these resources needed for survival from your property, or at least make then inaccessible to pigeons, then they will go elsewhere to find them.
If you want to remove them humanely you can try to scared them off. This will entail using reflective tape or reflective disks around your property. The light scares them away. You can also put up a fake owl on your property. This works in a similar way as scarecrows do for crows and sparrows.
If you want them to stop perching on your property you can use pigeon spikes in areas where you usually notice pigeons nesting. These spikes will make it very difficult for pigeons to nest or rest on your property. This is an all you need guide on how to get rid of pigeons. If all else fails you can call pest control to get rid of the pigeons for you.
That’s it for my article on when do pigeon mate and other questions. If you enjoyed this article please share it.