You might have noticed there are so many Rock pigeons around the city but you never see any baby pigeons. This often makes some people question, do baby pigeons even exist. Of course, they exist and their population is much more than you expect.
Pigeons nest and breed at heightened places where no one can approach, especially cats. The babies stay in the nest until they are ready to fly off and by that time, they look almost the same as a full-grown pigeon.
Check this article on Pictures of Baby Pigeon Growth From Birth to 1st Flight to see what they look like at different stages. Possibly you have seen a baby pigeon not knowing it’s a baby and not an adult pigeon.
Let’s discuss why we never see baby pigeons in detail.
Pigeons Nest and Breed at Heighted Places
You might think pigeons breed on the ground like chickens and ducks but they don’t. In the wild, pigeons nest on cliffs and inside caves but in cities, they like to nest in places like windows ledges, ventilators, under eaves, abandoned rooms, and other heightened places where they feel safe. They rarely breed in places where anyone can reach their nest.
Such spots enable the pigeons to leave the babies in the nest unattended without having to worry about their safety. This is because baby pigeons cannot fly and cannot defend themselves by flying off if attacked. So, till then, they need the protection of their parent birds.
The baby pigeons cannot eat on their own and take feed from their parents. The parent pigeons scavenge to feed themselves and the babies and so, they cannot stay with the babies all the time. This is why pigeons prefer nesting and breeding in places where no one can disturb them.
Baby Pigeons Are Hard to Recognize
Newborn baby pigeons have no feathers and are pink. So they look nothing like a full-grown pigeon. Since they have no feathers on their body, they cannot keep themselves warm. If they catch a cold, they immediately fall ill. So the parent birds especially the mother bird keeps the babies under it and incubates them until their feathers develop.
During this period, even if you pass by a pigeon nest, the chances are very few that you get to see the babies as they remain under the parents.
Over the first 2 weeks, their pin-feathers develop and during this period, the babies neither make any noise nor they move out of their nest. As they age 4 weeks, they start coming out of the nest but cannot fly until they are 5-6 weeks old.
But by that time, their feathers completely develop and they look just the same as adult pigeons. However, an experienced pigeon keeper can still recognize a baby pigeon from its size, delicate feathers, and behavior.
Even though, by the age of 5-6 weeks, baby pigeons start feeding themselves but they also take feed from their parents. At this age, baby pigeons can often be seen in pigeon breeding seasons, chasing parent pigeons, squeaking, and begging for food.
Sometimes, baby pigeons accidentally fall off their nest while moving around, or other pigeons intrude and throw them to conquer the nest. In some cases, the parent pigeons are hunted and the babies are left orphaned. Such baby pigeons need to be hand-fed as they cannot feed themselves and can also fall prey to cats.
Next time you go out, look for a flock of 3-4 pigeons, most probably 2 of them will be the parents and the rest will be baby pigeons. Observe their behavior and if you notice the above behavior, tap yourself, you’ve finally seen a baby pigeon!
How to Attract Flying-aged Baby Pigeons to Your Home?
If you are curious to see a baby pigeon in detail and would like to invite a few, start feeding them. You can put some seed mix on your balcony, rooftop, or in the garden, and eventually, pigeons will start visiting you with their flying-aged babies.
Make sure you keep the food in a safe place where no cats or other animals can hunt them. They will keep coming back and will also become friendly if you keep patience and treat them well. But beware, some people find them cute only until they regularly start coming in flocks and pooping wherever they sit.
Every species reproduces to continue its population and so do pigeons. So pigeons babies do exist and they are real but since they spend some of their first few weeks in their nest, many people haven’t seen them. However, they are easy to spot when they start flying out of the nest.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do baby pigeons eat?
Baby pigeons feed on crop milk, a feed that is produced in the crop of mother pigeons. Baby pigeons cannot eat seed mix and they are dependent on their parents to feed them.
Where can you visit and see a baby pigeon?
You can visit any pigeon loft and see baby pigeons. There are many pigeon breeders in the USA who breed pigeons. Check this article on 16 Platforms That Sell Fancy Pigeons Online in the USA and find a pigeon breeder near you.
Bilal is a freelance writer and a content creator. He has been in the pigeon hobby for over 15 years. Over the years, he has worked on various fancy pigeon breeds and explored their history.