Do Pigeons Fly? 13 Facts You Should Know !

People think that flying is an easy job if you have wings but this is not true. This article mainly focuses on the flying facts of Pigeons.

We all know that all birds have feathers which makes them unique from any other animals. Pigeons have strong muscles and long, pointed wings, which make them sturdy fliers.

Let us learn about the pigeons and their flying capabilities and many more interesting facts around it.

What age do pigeons fly?

Pigeons learn flying by holding their wings up and use their legs to balance their body. Let us explore at what age baby pigeons fly.

Only 4 to 6 weeks after birth, baby pigeons begin to fly. Due to the lack of feathers after birth, young pigeons must rely solely on their parents for food and warmth for the first several weeks.

How far do pigeons fly?

It is of no doubt that pigeons exhibit a great flying capability with holding world records. Let us find out how far they can fly.

Pigeons may travel up to 600-700 miles in a single day, but if their routes are broken up, they can travel much farther. The average speed at which they fly to accomplish this distance is 77.6 mph, although there are records of these birds travelling over 92.5 mph.

When do pigeons fly the nest ?

Baby pigeons after hatching grow up very quickly. Let us explore at what stage they fly from the nest.

Pigeons begin to mimic flight at three weeks old, for one or two weeks by fluttering their wings. They will perform this in the safety of the nest.

As they start to learn how to fly, their wings will start to progressively spread out and inflate almost like a balloon. The bird uses its wings to grasp on while utilizing its legs to maintain balance during the first few flights.

When do pigeons fly the most?

Pigeons typically fly every day. Flying is done usually to move from one place to another. Let us find out when they fly the most.

Image Credits : Pigeons flying by Shadow Ayush licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Pigeons fly mostly in search of food if they can’t locate it inside a square mile. Pigeon populations are so thick in cities that when food is scarce, they may travel more than ten miles to find it.

If their sources of food and water suddenly changes, they will immediately migrate to a different location whether it is close by or far away, that has greater access to the essentials.

Can domestic pigeons fly ?

Domestic birds are not efficient fliers. Let us explore the flying capabilities of domestic pigeons.

Domesticated pigeons can fly and were utilized as messenger pigeons to deliver messages because of their ability. Domestic pigeon or messenger pigeon (Columba livia domestica) can fly up to 1100 miles.

They can fly at speeds of up to 160 km/h (100 miles/hour) for short distances, and their average flying speed at moderate distances of 965 km (600 miles) is roughly 97 km/h (60 miles/hour).

Can a pigeon survive without flying ?

For a bird, flying is very important for the survival. Let us discuss if pigeons can survive without flying.

Pigeons cannot survive without flying. Especially in the wild if a pigeon is unable to fly, it can be easily caught by the predator. Pigeons that are pet by people are usually unable to fly proficiently. An injured pigeon will undoubtedly be caught or slain by the predator.

Do pigeons fly in flocks ?

Animals frequently exhibit collective behaviour. Let us explore if or not pigeons fly in flocks.

Image Credits : Pigeon flock about to pass a tree by Toby Hudson is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Pigeons do fly in  flocks; these flocks can range in size from relatively tiny ones with only 20 or 30 birds to much bigger ones with thousands of birds. Pigeons usually flock together during non-breeding season.

One of the main benefits of flocking is strength in numbers and defence against predation by different other predator birds like goshawks, sparrowhawks, falcons, and owls as well as on the ground from foxes, cats, weasels, stoats, and other animals.

Why do pigeons fly in circles ?

Every bird has its own flying pattern. Pigeons fly in circles for some reason. Let us find out.

Pigeons fly in circles to improve their navigation. These birds have a keen sense of smell, which they utilize to find their way around. They fly in circles so that they can smell the location of their home. They continue doing this until they discover the smell that is specific to their residence.

Pigeons can detect the magnetic field of the earth and smell the various odours in the air by flying in circles.

How long can a pigeon fly without stopping ?

Pigeons have a special manner of flying, which allows them to travel for long time without stopping. Let us find out how long they can fly.

Pigeons are capable of non-stop flight for up to 13 hours or 804 km in a single day. In addition, they may travel without stopping for up to 1100 miles per day. However, there are other aspects, such as weather and climate, wind speed, etc., that affect the pigeons flight distance and duration.

Pigeons hover briefly between each of their wing flaps as they fly. This enables them to conserve energy, allowing them to fly for extended periods of time without having to stop. Pigeons breathe significantly more oxygen while flying than they do while resting. This enables them to maintain their energy and freshness for an extended amount of time.

Can a pigeon fly across the ocean ?

Each and every species has their own capability to fly which also depends on their body weight and size.

Pigeons can actually fly across the oceans. Pigeons are able to fly across the ocean because of air currents and compression gliding, which need less effort to fly for their lightweight bodies. However, not every pigeon species can do this.

Racing pigeons are reported to travel approximately 8000 kilometres to get to Australia by flying over the Pacific Ocean. In addition, they travel across oceans in search of food, a secure home, and a way to stay safe from predators.

Can a pigeon fly across the desert ?

Similar to how pigeons can fly over oceans. However, one cannot be certain of this for a desert. Let us discuss more about this.

Pigeons can fly farther without stopping, as we are all aware. Pigeons can also fly across the desert. For instance, the desert has high temperatures and a warm air that makes it difficult for birds to survive. In order to fly over desert pigeons have to fly over 3000-5000 metres above the sea level.  

There are some birds like Great Reed Warbler, European Hoopoe and some pigeon species also can easily cross the desert areas. As they fly higher, the temperature drops by a degree at every 100 metres of height. This makes their body to allow minimum loss of water and also conserve energy for cooling their body.

Can a pigeon fly back home?

We see pigeons flying and also thinks how do they find their home after flying away so far. Let us find out the reason behind this.

Pigeons can fly back home by navigation, using landmarks along established paths and can use visual elements. They are able to use Earth’s magnetic field for navigation with the help of a magnetic sense known as “magnetoreception.”

Homing pigeons are known for their remarkable navigational skills, which enable them to find their way home despite challenging terrain. In fact, they are so effective in doing this that they have been used as a form of secure communication for more than 2,000 years.


To sum up this post, we conclude that Pigeons are small and gentle birds with powerful muscles and sharp wings. This makes them an efficient fliers. They have a great sense of direction and are noted for their ability to fly at high altitudes.

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