How long do pigeons live? | In the wild, city, and as pets?

In this article, we’ll discuss how long do pigeons live in the wild, city, and as pets. Lastly, we’ll briefly discuss pigeons’ lifecycle.

Pigeons are one of the highly loveable birds that we have in our homes as pets. Their exceptional intelligence and a wide variety of colors make them very attractive for children as well from an aesthetic point of view.

But, how long do pigeons live? Well, on average, the lifespan of pigeons is up to 6 years. But, that’s the case if they live outside without any personal care. Pigeons as pets can live up to 9-15 years. This number drops down to 2-4 years in the case of pigeons living in the wild where there hardly feed and protect themselves from predators. So, one can say the more care pigeons get, the longer they live.  

How long do Pigeons live in the wild?

It might be the first time; you’ve heard that pigeons live in the wild also. However, they hardly go towards the wild and always look to shelter themselves in either cities or towns. They can’t even survive few months living outside the living population!

You might never see a pigeon in the wild. But, why they don’t live in the wild? Firstly, there are more chances of predator attacks in the wild in comparison with cities and towns. As, pigeons have to take care of their young ones, which take time to protect themselves on their own, they prefer not to say in the wild.

A second possible reason could be they are in constant search of food and they have to feed their little ones also. So, in order to keep themselves hydrated and keeping the bellies of their babies full, they prefer to spend their days in an area where they can easily access food and water.

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If these could not be the hurdles, they could live up to 10 years even in the wild, but due to all these factors, they can only live up to 2-4 years.

How long do pigeons live as a pet or in captivity?

Due to their loyalty and aesthetic beauty, now people keep them as a pet. However, these birds are fragile and one must keep them with a lot of care.

If the environment is clean and adequate food is available to them, they can live up to 9-15 years. But, this life span also depends on their diet, climatic conditions, and how much their owners care for them.

In terms of food, they prefer to eat cereals, boiled eggs, veggies, and fruits. To make them more fit and active, one can also serve them peanuts. It may not help them in increasing their life span but helps them to stay healthy.

But, most of the time, when people keep them as a pet, they restrain them to cages that affect their health negatively. One can say, it reduces their lifespan as without spreading their wings to roam in the fresh air and utilizing their energy, one can’t expect them to live happily. It’s their mental health that gets affected the most.

If the owner is always keeping them in the cage without trusting them and letting them roam around the house for a while, they may not live like 9-15 years! We as humans don’t understand, why would a pigeon leave a house where he has access to both food and water, where its little ones are safe and secure from all kinds of harm? Still, people keep them in cages all the time.

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In fact, they are pretty loyal and stays with the owner for their lifetime. So, giving them the freedom to fly in the air for a while isn’t a bad decision!

How long do pigeons live in the city?

In the cities where there are trees, pigeons love to make their nests and live there happily, especially in the old buildings. Being, very smart, they stay in an area where they can find food easily. For example, they can be found near feed mills, parks, bridges, farms, and near yards. They are highly dependent on humans for food and can’t live few days in the absence of food.

In the urban areas, they can live up to 2-5 years. Now you will be wondering what causes the mortality (death) of this innocent creature. One of the main reasons is the “stress” due to lack of food. Other factors include lack of water and their concern for the safety of their young ones. Some other causes are predation by mammals and other birds, attack of other animals, injuries, and most important diseases.

Where do pigeon go after death?

As humans die, they are buried or a few burn their bodies. Have you ever thought, where do pigeon’s bodies go after they die? Do not worry, they do not mysteriously vanish somewhere or their ghost will not bother you. Here, the cats perform their “traditional duty”. The cats love to feed on injured or dead pigeons and it’s a great feast to them.

Just like pigeons, there is also a network of cats all over cities as they reside among public places. And as soon as a pigeon is dead, these groups of street cleaners will quickly disappear the dead body before a human eye can see them. This is the story in cities. In the wild, they become the meal of falcon, sparrow hawks, and some other predators.

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What’s the lifecycle of pigeons?

Pigeons can breed throughout the year. The female reaches sexual maturity at the age of 7 months and after 8-12 days of mating, the female lays 1-3 eggs. This is a very short time period for reproduction, but it gives them an edge to increase their number. Their eggs hatch after 18 days. The young ones are very helpless and they need extra protection as many predators always track them. They leave the nest in 25-32 days and if there are winters, the time can exceed a bit.

Final Thoughts!

Despite all these facts, some consider them as pets, and for some people; it is a sign of purity. Egyptians used them as messengers and for others, they are the headache. No matters what, we have to accept they have made space in our lives and in our cities. They have also gained entry into our houses and they only demand love and care. And if you will not love and care for them, they will soon die and their ghosts will terrify you in your dreams!

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.