Why Do Pigeons Make A Cooing Sound—Can You Stop Them

Why Do Pigeons Make A Cooing Sound—Can You Stop Them

A 6 minute read by Eddie Waithaka

#pigeons #cooingpigeons

After parrots, pigeons and doves are my favorite birds, and although I've not kept as many as I would want to, I enjoy watching and hearing them in the wild and at home.

I especially love the sounds they make and their cuddly nature, plus their activities and intelligence.

I mean, pigeons always seem to find their way home no matter how far they stray. How amazing is that!😳

That said, I understand that not everyone likes the sound pigeons make, especially the unrelenting coos they do in the most inopportune times.

Why do they coo anyway, is it necessary, and does it serve any real purpose, or they only coo to vex us while we sleep?

Well, this is why, and yeah, there is a pretty good reason for pigeon coos!

If a pigeon is cooing as it stomps around repeatedly, it is claiming territory or perhaps seeking a mate to build a nest with. But, if a bird is squatting and cooing, it is more likely a female seeking a mate.

Most times, pigeons coo because they are comfortable and find a sitting spot safe for resting and a place to have a good time. Usually, this may happen with a lone bird and even in a flock.

But there is a second type of pigeon coo that mostly happens with two (or a couple) birds in the vicinity. Usually, it is either a territorial or mating coo, with the latter more aggressive than the former.

A mating coo is subtle and is usually done by males to attract a female, whereas territorial cooing often comes along with an aggressive demeanor, grunts, and purrs.

Cooing is a male calling to a female, meaning they may be making babies in your balcony soon enough.

Pigeon mating calls also seem to come with other clues that make them more identifiable.

For instance, a pigeon cooing on your balcony while standing is most likely calling for its mate. But if the bird is sitting on its haunches, it's more likely telling the mate there is a nice spot to built a nest on the balcony or tree.

If this is the case, they often strut, bow, or fan their tails at the same interval.

In a nutshell, your pigeon will coo when communicating, socializing, territorial, mating, alerting others, and when alarmed.

Well, too much of this intro chit-chat, now let's get to the nitty gritties.

Do Pigeons Coo When Happy

A pigeon cooing in your balcony means it has found a good, happy place to sit and coo🎶🎵🎼.

I'd love to think pigeons coo when they are happy.

Resoanbly, a cooing pigeon must have found a suitable place to rest or mate, which equals happiness. Even so, if it sounds aggressive with grunts and purrs along with the coo, the bird is certainly not happy.

Aggressive coos (as stated above) result from turf wars and are audibly different from the happier mating calls.

Another coo I believe comes from a happy place is the one pigeons make while feeding. They do this in flocks and sometimes even as individuals.

A happy pigeon's coo is often a prolonged sound similar to singing and happens when a bird is cozy, safe, and contented. You're also more likely to hear it when your bird is with a mate or being petted.

Do Female Pigeons Coo

Cosidering pigeons coo for many reasons, females pigeons also coo, though much less than males.

Boys coo more, especially during the mating season, the belief being the coos are meant to attract females.

Naturally, male pigeons are also more vocal and loud, plus social and more territorial.

According to this post on roysfarm, males coos generally come with dance and fanned tail scrapping the ground and like to chase other birds, which is evidence of their bolder lifestyle.

I think the only instance when a female pigeon would coo more than males is perhaps when defending its chicks or if socializing with a mate or passing a message to a flock, mate, or young ones.

When Do Pigeons Start Cooing

All pigeons coo for almost all their lives, but they are not born making their equally loved and hated sounds. Many only start cooing at between 3 and 6 months of age, depending on the breed.

If you have a breed that matures faster than others, you can expect your chicks to start cooing at 3 months and continue increasing their vocal range throughout the year.

For late bloomers, 6 months seems like the most likely age for them to start cooing, but most certainly, at about a year and a half or two, they will be cooing almost as much as any pigeon breed.

That said, it's not out of the ordinary for some pigeons to start cooing as early as 26 days old, but the coo is certainly not audible at this point and sounds more like squeaks than coos.

Why Do Pigeons Coo at Night, Evening, Morning

Birds can sing at any time of day, but the dawn chorus is often louder, livelier, and more frequent. It's mostly made up of male birds attempting to attract females and warn other males away from their territory.

I believe pigeons coo for the same reasons regardless of the time.

That is, to communicate with mates or mark territory, whether at night, evening, or in the morning.

Essentially, this is true for all birds. They are usually more audible in the morning during sunrise and sunset, but the singing happens throughout the day.

The coos are only more apparent to you in the evenings and mornings because you are most likely at home during this hour and your surrounding is silent than during daylight hours.

Another close theory is, in the morning and evening, we have the coolest-driest hours of the day, which allow bird songs to travel the furthest, giving their voice a better range.

How to Keep Pigeons from Cooing

Realiastically, you cannot keep a pigeon from cooing. This equals trying to stop an engine from revving.

The only reasonable way to get back your quiet is to help the pigeon find another place to make its calls.

Well, maybe not help, but disturb them, sometimes rather subtly aggressive.

My go trick is to place shiny items such as mirrors on window seals or any other area I don't want pigeons hanging out. When sun rays fall on a shiny surface, they create a prism, which affects a pigeon's vision.

Air horns also go a long way, but you may need to do this repeatedly.

The hoons spook or startle the birds, so if you use them long enough, the area will gradually become less than ideal place for pigeons.

Thats all for this post.

Happy Birding🐦🦜🦉.