How Do Pigeons Mate: The Mating Habits of Pigeons

Pigeons are a common sight in cities and towns around the world. They are known for their cooing sounds and their ability to fly in flocks. However, have you ever wondered how pigeons mate?

In this article, we will explore the mating habits of pigeons. From courtship rituals to the actual act of mating, we will cover everything you need to know about how pigeons reproduce.

Whether you are a bird enthusiast, a curious individual, or simply want to learn something new, this article will provide you with valuable insights into the fascinating world of pigeon mating. So, let’s dive in and discover the secrets of pigeon reproduction!

How Do Pigeons Mate

What Are A Pigeon’s Mating Habits?

Humans have utilized pigeons for a multitude of purposes over the course of thousands of years. They come in different forms and colors and are known for their adaptability to different environments. They can be kept in densely populated areas, tamed easily, and require minimal care as they do not smell and make very little noise.

Pigeons are monogamous creatures and mate for life. Their mating process is an organized ritual that starts after the courting stage. After mating, pigeons construct a nest and create cushion-like squabs with feathers. They remain committed to each other until death or external circumstances force them apart. If one of the mates dies, the surviving pigeon will seek out a new partner.

Each pair of pigeons has two nests, which are usually made out of hay or straws. Pigeons lay two or more offspring and the nests are typically eleven to twelve inches in length. The offspring grow quickly and are fed with “pigeon milk” secreted from the parents’ gullets and partially digested food eaten by the parents.

Pigeons have unique mating habits, with the male showing off to attract the female’s attention through specific coos and an arrogant gait. After showing interest, the female establishes a friendly relationship with the male and invites him to mate. Subsequently, they work together to construct a nest and prepare for the arrival of their offspring.

In some cases, pigeons may be infertile and unable to produce offspring. In cases like these, it may be necessary to separate the pair in order to address any fertility problems and seek out new partners.

How Do Pigeons Mate:

Pigeons mate through a process called copulation, which is similar to how most birds mate. The female pigeon crouches down while the male pigeon mounts her and fertilizes her. This process takes only a few seconds to complete.

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To mate, pigeons usually perch on a stable platform, such as a tree or the ground. During mating, the male pigeon, also known as the cock, briefly mounts the female bird. Unlike mammals, pigeons do not have sexual organs like a penis or vagina. Instead, they have cloacal openings which are used for various functions, including mating. During mating, the cloacas of the male and female pigeon meet in what is called a “cloacal kiss.”

After mating, male pigeons may perform a display called “clapping,” where they soar into the sky and clap their wings together. This behavior is thought to be a way for male pigeons to attract females and establish dominance over other males.

What Does It Mean When Pigeons Kiss?

When it comes to pigeons, there are many symbolic meanings and interpretations, including the act of kissing. Pigeons have various symbolic meanings that can differ depending on cultural and religious beliefs, such as associations with fertility, good luck, fortune, and prosperity.

In some cultures, pigeons are even linked to religious figures and teachings. Additionally, pigeons can represent harmony, as they were one of the first birds to be domesticated by humans and are often kept as pets.

If you see two pigeons kissing, it can be a sign that love and good fortune are on the horizon. However, if you dream of pigeons kissing and you are feeling uncertain about your current relationships, it may be a sign of anxiety or uncertainty about the longevity of those relationships.

Furthermore, the act of pigeons kissing in a dream can also represent living life to the fullest and doing what makes you happy. This can also be applied to relationships, as they only last as long as both parties are thriving in them. If you value your freedom in a relationship but don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings, it may be a sign that you prioritize independence over staying in an unhappy relationship.

Pigeon’s Sexual Organs

Pigeons have a unique anatomy when it comes to their sexual and reproductive organs. Unlike most animals, they do not have a separate set of organs for these functions. Instead, everything is connected to the anal tract, also known as the cloaca or vent.

This canal serves as both a digestive and excretory tract, as well as a reproductive one. The system operates bi-directionally, enabling male sperm to reach the ovaries of the female. Interestingly, male and female pigeons have identical cloacas, which can make mating a bit awkward.

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The Cloaca

The cloaca is a chamber and outlet found in both male and female pigeons (and most birds). It serves as a point of entry and exit for the intestinal, urinary, and genital tracts. The cloaca in male pigeons is where the testes are located, while in females, it houses the ovaries.

During the mating season, both genders experience swelling or inflation of their respective reproductive organs. This can be visibly observed by looking at the cloaca. While both genders experience swelling, male pigeons tend to inflate more as the cloaca produces and holds the sperm. Overall, the cloaca plays a crucial role in the reproductive system of pigeons and birds.

The Act Itself

While it may only last a few seconds, there is a certain amount of romance in the world of pigeons during the mating ritual. During courtship, the male pigeon will move towards the female and engage in brief beak-to-beak contact.

The physical act of sex may appear uncoordinated, with some resemblance to untrained acrobats attempting a performance. The female will crouch down to provide a stable platform for the male to climb onto, and may even bow or bob her head to maintain balance and assist the male.

As pigeons do not have actual sexual organs, mating occurs through the meeting of their cloaca. The male will stand on top of the female’s lower back and arch himself into position while she prepares by fanning her tail feathers to expose her cloaca.

As both birds try to maintain balance, the male will do a lot of wing flapping. During reproduction, a brief contact called a “cloaca kiss” occurs when the cloacas of two birds touch and rub, allowing the male’s sperm to enter the female’s cloaca and travel to her ovaries.

How Many Times Do Pigeons Mate in a Day?

Pigeons are known to mate multiple times a day to increase the likelihood of fertilized eggs. Both male and female birds can remain sexually active for up to a week, allowing them to mate several times a day.

This repeated mating over a couple of days ensures a higher chance of success. After eight to twelve days of mating, the female pigeon will lay her eggs.

Mating – Breeding Habits Do Pigeons Mate for Life?

Pigeons, like Mourning Doves, are known for their monogamous breeding habits. They often mate for consecutive seasons as long as both birds of the pair are alive. Although pigeons may appear to be monogamous, if one of them dies, the other will seek a new partner.

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During the breeding season, which can last all year as long as the climate is suitable, most pairs will attempt to raise several broods, sometimes even up to four or six.

However, there may be a slowdown in breeding during the winter months. Overall, pigeons are known for their committed breeding habits, but they are not necessarily exclusive to one mate for their entire life.

Pigeon Reproduction

When it comes to reproduction, pigeons are known for their monogamous behavior and often mate for life. Female pigeons can become sexually mature at the young age of 7 months old. They build their nests on flimsy platforms made of straw and sticks, often on window ledges of buildings.

Female pigeons lay 1 to 3 white eggs, with an average of 2, after mating for 8 to 12 days. The eggs hatch after 18 days. The chicks are born helpless with sparse yellow or white down and will fledge in 25-32 days, or 45 days during midwinter.

The male pigeon plays a vital role in reproduction by providing nesting material and guarding the female and the nest. Male and female pigeons produce a substance called pigeon milk in their crop, which they regurgitate to feed their offspring.Pigeons can breed in all seasons, but their peak reproduction occurs in the spring and fall.

A pigeon population typically consists of equal numbers of males and females, and when populations suddenly decrease, pigeon production increases and replenishes the flock. Pigeons can live up to 15 years or longer in captivity, but urban populations usually live only 2 to 3 years due to natural mortality factors such as predation, diseases, and stress. The Ovocontrol birth control program has been shown to be an effective and ethical method for managing pigeon populations.


Pigeons mate in a unique and fascinating way. From their courtship rituals to their physical mating behaviors, these birds have developed a complex system that ensures successful reproduction. By understanding how pigeons mate, we can gain a greater appreciation for these remarkable creatures and the important role they play in our world.

Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher or simply curious about the natural world, learning about pigeon mating habits is sure to be an enlightening experience.

Kathy Gonzales

I'm an author of I have kept pigeons as pets for over 20 years and have written several articles. Here in this blog, I cover topics such as how to care for pigeons, what to feed them, and how to keep them healthy.