Where do pigeons roost and why?

If you’ve ever lived in a city then you know that pigeons are everywhere, seeing them is inevitable. They’ll loiter anywhere with food and water waiting for you to leave so they can finish off your meal. Getting rid of them is an impossible task so the best we can do is learn to live with them and perhaps learn more about them while we’re at it. One of the questions you might ask yourself while learning about them is ‘where do pigeons roost and why’ this article looks into it.

Pigeons can roost on any flat surface large enough to support them and keep them protected from wind and rain. If they can, they’ll pick somewhere high about ground to avoid being found by predators. They will also roost near food sources if possible

Where do pigeons roost and why?

Pigeons need to sleep just as any other animal does, they don’t sleep lying on their backs but rather standing up. They also prefer to congregate with other birds to rest or sleep at night, this is called roosting. They pick specific places to roost and for specific reasons:

When night falls pigeons will look for flat surfaces above ground to shelter. The flat surface must be protected from wind and rain. They prefer above-ground surfaces to avoid mammalian night predators like foxes, sparrows, cats and dogs. The roosting place is always close to their food source and unlike their nesting area, it is not an open place. Pigeons love to roost in small spaces outside buildings and other protected areas. In urban areas, you can expect these animals to roost on window ledges, rooftops, bridges, and warehouses.

Pigeons roost together in large numbers because they get a sense of security in large numbers. The benefit of doing this is that if a predator attacks one bird then this will awaken the others giving them a chance to fly away or try to fend off the predator. They claim spaces as their territories and each pigeon has its own territory. Mated pairs snuggle side by side while single ones have their roosting area and would peck at any bird that comes close to their space.

What time do pigeons go to roost?

Pigeons are strictly diurnal creatures. They eat, fly, play and mate during the day and go to sleep at night. Their exact roosting time is unknown but several studies have shown that they generally sleep from around 7:30 pm or 8 pm. Some theories indicate that pigeons operate with the sun, that is, they sleep when the sun is down and wake when the sun rays start to trickle in. Once they’ve found a safe place to sleep they fall asleep almost immediately.

Do pigeons roost in trees?

We have been taught that pigeons make their homes in trees, but they don’t roost in trees. The pigeons that we see on a daily basis are descendants of the original rock doves (Columbia Livia), their natural habitats are near rock cliffs. Thus, everyday pigeons love to make their homes on hard surfaces that bear a resemblance to rocks e.g buildings, bridges, window sills and any other convenient structure they can find. Some species of pigeons, called the Band-tailed pigeon, love to live close to the forest, so they have no problem with roosting in trees.

How do you get pigeons to roost?

You can get pigeons to roost by building a coop for them. This coop will serve as a place for your pigeons to roost. The roost has to be comfortable enough for them to sleep in, this means creating a space that is protected from any mammalian predators. It also has to be protected against rain and wind. Lastly, it should contain water and food for the pigeons.


In conclusion, pigeons roost in places that are close to food sources, protected from the elements, such as wind and rain, and away from night predators which can grab them in their sleep. They also choose to roost in numbers to protect themselves from predators. They roost when it gets dark outside around 7:30 pm to 8:00 pm. These animals don’t roost in trees because their natural habitats are rock cliffs. They prefer to roost in places that resemble rock cliffs.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Why is my bird biting me all of a sudden?, When do pigeons moult?, Why is my pigeon shaking?, How do pigeons reproduce?,

Where do pigeons roost and why?
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