Pigeons are a common sight for most of us. They practically live everywhere, from trees to terraces of high-rise buildings. The life expectancy of pigeons is very high as they are highly adaptable and resilient species.
How long do pigeons live?
The lifespan of a pigeon depends on many external and internal factors. Pigeons in the wild do not live for very long but neither do pigeons in captivity. The average lifespan of a pigeon is around 10 years in the wild.
City pigeons live for around 3 to 6 years. This is because city life is hazardous for pigeons. They often get poisoned from eating the wrong food or get hit by vehicles or get stuck in nets.
Pigeons that are raised in captivity can live for up to 15 years. This of course depends on their diet and how much space they have to live and fly around in.
Why Do Pigeons Die?
Pigeons live for about 9 to15 years in captivity, while their lifespan is 10 years in the wild. However, pigeons living in cities have a very short lifespan of 3 to 4 years due to a number of reasons such as
- Pigeons often fall prey to carnivorous animals and birds such as cats, dogs, hawks, eagles, etc.
- They get caught in the bird nettings of the buildings, which can prove fatal. They also get entangled in fishing nets and loose wires.
- Sometimes, they fly into transparent glass windows or speeding vehicles.
- Pigeons are carriers of many bacteria and viruses, as a result, they die of diseases.
- In some countries, pigeons are killed for food.
- Pigeons are highly possessive about their nests, given the lack of space in cities they fight to the death to protect their territory.
- They starve to death during the freezing temperatures.
These were the common reasons that cause death in pigeons.
Considering the number of pigeons present in the cities nowadays, we should be seeing dead pigeons everywhere. But we do not see dead pigeons that often, and hence the question is valid.
Related Read: How do Carrier Pigeons Work?
Where Do Pigeons Go To Die?
Pigeons look for dark and closed places during their final moments. Most of the time, dying pigeons isolate themselves from the flock and go into hiding. They prefer to hide in the ventilation shafts, Ac vents, small holes, and crevices in the buildings or trees to spend their last moments of life.
They hide in these places to protect themselves from the predators, who pounce on them when they are weak and can no longer fly swiftly.
They also hide to give themselves a second chance to recover. While some of them, recover successfully and return to the flock, a majority of them die in hiding. Their bodies decompose rapidly, leaving no trace of the dead pigeon.
Scavenger animals like cats, raccoons, rats, and foxes also feed on dead pigeons, which effectively means that there are far fewer pigeon dead bodies littered on the streets.
Do pigeons bury their dead?
No, pigeons do not bury other dead pigeons. It has been observed that birds like pigeons and doves sometimes mourn the loss of a flock member. They surround the dead bird and make light noises.
This is not mourning, but simply an attempt to wake up the dead bird or an attempt to figure out what happened.
How do you know if a pigeon is dying?
You’ll be easily able to tell if a pigeon is dying. The first and most obvious indication is that you’ll find that the pigeon has removed itself from the flock and is spending its time sitting in a dark and shaded, safe space.
It is likely that the pigeon is not very active and has stopped cooing and moving.
Additionally, the pigeon will probably stop eating and interacting with the flock. It is advised not to touch these birds or get too close as they usually carry a variety of contagious diseases.
What to Do When You Spot a Dying Pigeon?
As most of us are unaware of where do pigeons go to die, there are fewer chances of spotting a dying pigeon. However, in the unlikely scenario of finding an injured or dying pigeon, here are some pointers on what to do.
- Examine the pigeon and touch it only if it is necessary.
- If the pigeon is badly injured or is in shock, gently get hold of it and place it in a secure place like a cage or a box.
- Place it in a warm and dark area to calm the bird. You already know pigeons prefer warm and closed spaces when in pain.
- Contact your local wildlife doctor or a veterinarian urgently.
- You can also take it to the nearest animal or bird care center.
- Do not administer any self-medication or try to feed the injured bird. Get expert help as soon as possible,
- However, if the bird is injured and bleeding, you can place a clean cloth on the injury and press it gently to stop the bleeding while you rush to the nearest vet.
What to do if a pigeon dies in your house.
You may have witnessed a pigeon die in your house especially in the attic or a similarly dark and secluded spot. No one wants a dead body rotting in their house so you’ll want to get rid of it.
However, it is best to take the help of professionals while getting rid of the dead pigeon. If you still wish to dispose of/bury the dead bird, make sure you use disposable gloves, pick the bird up and place it in a bag and then seal it.
Do not bury the bird in the bag. Take it out, bury it deep in the ground and then dispose of the bag and gloves. This will reduce the risk of you contracting a disease from the dead bird.
Even though they have a huge population in cities, most of us have never seen a dead pigeon on the street or in a park.
This is because when they are about to die, pigeons isolate themselves in small, dark, and safe places so they are not attacked by predators in their weakened state.
If you do find a dead pigeon, ensure that you take the proper safety measures while getting rid of it so that you do not contract any diseases.