Lifespan of Pigeons: How Long Do Pigeons Live?

How Long Do Pigeons Live? The lifespans of pigeons vary depending on their surroundings. Urban pigeons navigate busy city streets and often live for Up to 15 years or more.

So it’s puzzling why we don’t see more of them dying in urban environments. Feral pigeons, on the other hand, live an average of 3 to 6 years, with some living up to a decade.

AspectPigeon Lifespan Range
Pet and Racing Pigeons9 to 15 years
Extraordinary CircumstancesExceeding 20 years
Factors Influencing LifespanUrban life, ecology, and biology
Geographic VariationCountryside and urban areas
Impact on LifespanVaries

The Pigeon Life Cycle

Like all living things, pigeons have a life cycle that determines their course in the world. Each step, from the simple egg to the mature plumage, is essential in deciding their longevity. Let’s examine what each stage of their journey means.

Species NamePigeon
Scientific NameColumba livia
CountryWorldwide distribution
Number of EggsTypically 2 eggs per clutch
Incubation Period for EggsApproximately 17-19 days
DietOmnivorous, seeds, grains, small insects
HabitatUrban areas, farmlands, cliffs, forests
Migration (yes or no)Mostly sedentary, some migratory populations
Body SizeVaries by species, typically 29-37 cm (11-15 in) in length
Body WeightVaries by species, typically 230-400 grams (8-14 oz)
Dangerous for HumansGenerally not dangerous to humans
Maximum Flight HeightUp to 1,100 meters (3,600 feet)
Lifespan3-5 years in the wild, up to 15 years in captivity
WeatherTolerant of various weather conditions
Birds (yes or no)Yes
Total TypesApproximately 310 species worldwide
Total ColorVarious colors, predominantly gray and white

Pigeon Voice

Average Lifespan of Pigeons

Pigeon VarietyAverage Lifespan
Wild Pigeons (Rock Doves)In the wild: 3 to 5 years
In urban environments: Up to 15 years or more
Domesticated PigeonsUnder proper care and conditions: 10 to 20 years or more

Pigeon Lifespan Finding Factors

Dietary Choices

  • A balanced and nutritious diet can contribute to a longer pigeon lifespan.

Environmental Factors

  • Pigeons’ living conditions, whether urban or rural, impact their longevity.


  • Genetics and inherited traits can influence a pigeon’s overall health and resilience.


The presence and activity of natural predators, like hawks and cats, can significantly affect pigeon survival rates.

How Long Do Pigeons Live?

10 Pigeons in Various Environments

Urban Settings

  • Pigeons are common in cities and urban areas.
  • They often roost on buildings, ledges, and bridges.
  • City parks and squares are frequented by pigeons.

Rural Settings

  • Pigeons can be found in rural areas, especially near farms and barns.
  • They may roost in old, abandoned buildings.
  • Pigeons might forage for food in fields and grain storage areas.

Historical Landmarks:

  • Pigeons are often seen in and around historical landmarks and monuments.
  • Their presence can sometimes lead to damage to these structures.

Public Spaces:

  • Pigeons are common in public spaces such as train stations and bus terminals.
  • They may congregate around food vendors and trash bins.

Commercial Areas:

  • Pigeons are sometimes found in commercial areas, particularly if there’s food waste.
  • Shopping centers and restaurant districts may attract pigeons.

Residential Areas:

  • Pigeons may roost on rooftops and balconies in residential neighborhoods.
  • Bird feeders can also attract pigeons to suburban homes.

Tourist Destinations:

  • Pigeons are often seen in tourist destinations, where people feed them.
  • Iconic locations like plazas and squares may have resident pigeon populations.

Transportation Hubs:

  • Pigeons can be found around transportation hubs like airports and bus stations.
  • They may roost in terminal buildings and parking structures.

Educational Institutions:

  • Pigeons might be found near schools and universities.
  • Campus buildings and courtyards can be attractive roosting spots.

Natural Habitats:

  • While not as common, pigeons can also be found in their natural habitats.
  • Some species of pigeons inhabit cliffs, mountains, and coastal areas.
How Long Do Pigeons Live?

The Illness of Pigeons

Diseases may affect pigeons, and some of them may even carry them. We look at the ailments that pigeons are susceptible to and their effects. Infestations with bird mites are a special concern.

HistoplasmosisHistoplasma capsulatum (fungus)Pigeon droppingsFever, cough, chest pain, fatigue
CryptococcosisCryptococcus neoformans (fungus)Pigeon droppingsRespiratory issues, neurological problems
PsittacosisChlamydia psittaci (bacteria)PigeonsFever, headache, cough, pneumonia-like
SalmonellosisSalmonella bacteriaPigeon droppingsDiarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting
EctoparasitesVarious (mites, ticks, fleas)Pigeon bodyBites, potential disease transmission
AllergensAllergenic substancesPigeon feathers/droppingsAllergic reactions, respiratory issues
How Long Do Pigeons Live?

Pigeon Behavior and Intelligence

IntelligenceThe intelligence of pigeons is astounding. They are capable of solving problems, seeing patterns, and picking up knowledge from experience.
AdaptabilityPigeons have shown they can live in a variety of situations by adapting well to numerous habitats, from big metropolis to rural farmlands.
Homing InstinctPigeons have successfully adapted to a variety of circumstances, from urban settings to rural farmlands, showing their adaptability.
Communication SkillsCooing and nonverbal cues are the two main ways that pigeons interact. Additionally, they have a distinctive visual communication system that comprises different feather motions and postures.
Navigation AbilitiesPigeons interact with one another via cooing and using nonverbal cues. Additionally, they have a distinctive visual communication system that comprises different feather motions and postures.
Parental CarePigeons interact with one another via cooing and using nonverbal cues. Additionally, they have a distinctive visual communication system that comprises different feather motions and postures.
Foraging SkillsPigeons are opportunistic feeders that may modify their diet according to the resources available to them in their final days which helps them to survive.
Disease ResistancePigeons have some degree of illness resistance, which enables them to coexist with us and other animals in close quarters.
Social BehaviorPigeons are gregarious creatures and frequently forage and roost in flocks. They may establish close pair relationships, and they exhibit cooperative behaviors that help them survive in urban settings.
LongevityPigeons have a long lifespan in the wild, and when given proper care, some domesticated birds may survive for almost 20 years.

The Impact of Pigeons on Human Life

Pigeons are more than just ordinary birds; they have played a role in our history, culture, and even warfare. Discover how pigeons have assisted humans throughout history as messengers, devoted companions, and unsung heroes.

Pigeon Pest Control

Are pigeons a nuisance or just misunderstood urban residents? We address this issue and suggest controlling pigeon numbers in cities while fostering cohabitation.

How to Extend the Life of a Pet Pigeon

We provide useful advice for people who like keeping pigeons as pets to extend their feathery friend’s life. Make sure your pet pigeons are healthy, from feed to housing to medical care.

Comparing Pigeon Lifespans with Other Birds

There are more birds in the sky than pigeons. We emphasize the distinct characteristics that contribute to pigeon longevity and contrast their lifespans with those of other widespread bird species.

How Long Do Pigeons Live?

Diverse Aspects of Nesting

How Long Do Pigeons Live?
Nesting in BirdsCrucial behavior for bird species involving nest building for egg-laying and raising offspring; varies in many aspects.
Significance in EcologyVital role in bird population ecology, impacting reproductive success, offspring survival, and overall population dynamics.
Seasonal BehaviorTypically occurs in specific seasons (spring/summer) when environmental conditions are suitable for raising young birds.
Nesting SitesBird species select various nesting sites, including trees, shrubs, cliffs, burrows, and even man-made structures.
Material SelectionBirds use diverse materials for nests, like twigs, leaves, grass, feathers, and mud, depending on the species and environment.
Nesting StrategiesBirds may be solitary nesters or colonial nesters, sharing nesting sites with individuals of the same species.
Brooding and Parental CareAfter laying eggs, birds engage in incubation and provide care and food to nestlings upon hatching.
Importance in ResearchStudying nesting behavior yields insights into avian biology, ecology, and conservation, aiding population trend analysis.
Programming and Textual NestingIn computer science, it refers to the hierarchical organization of elements (e.g., code blocks, tags) in code or markup languages.
Hierarchical StructuresUsed for creating structured content in programming, simplifying complex data or document management.
Code BlocksCommon in programming for defining the scope of functions, loops, and control structures, improving code organization.
Document StructuringIn markup languages, it structures documents, defines element relationships, and controls content appearance and behavior.
How Long Do Pigeons Live?


In conclusion, pigeons are more complex than first appears. Our respect for these amazing creatures can increase as we learn more about their lifespans and the things that influence them. Do not undervalue their tenacity and wisdom.


What is the average lifespan of a pigeon?

  • 3 to 5 years in the wild, up to 15 years in ideal conditions.

How do diet and nutrition impact a pigeon’s lifespan?

  • A balanced diet with grains, seeds, and clean water is vital for a pigeon’s longevity.

Are pigeons carriers of diseases that can affect their lifespan?

  • Yes, they can carry diseases like avian influenza and salmonella. Proper hygiene and healthcare are essential for pet pigeons.

Can pigeons be kept as pets, and how can I ensure their longevity?

  • Yes, they can be pets. Ensure a clean environment, balanced diet, fresh water, veterinary care, social interaction, and mental stimulation.

How can I manage pigeon populations in urban areas without harming them?

  • Use humane methods like deterrents, covered food waste, and alternative feeding areas. Avoid harmful methods like poison or traps.