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Baby Pigeon: Everything You Need To Know

Baby pigeons are a rare sight to behold. Very few people might have seen pigeons at their early stage. Due to their rare sightings, pigeons also have some conspiracies about them, like they are surveillance drones operated by the government. 

Today, the discussion will be on baby pigeon and everything you need to know about them so that you can learn all about their attributes. They are definitely not myths (or surveillance drones!). Baby pigeons are extremely cute, but there is much more to them. 

 

Newborn Baby Pigeon

A baby pigeon is also called a squab. Baby pigeons are born premature, so they need care and nourishment. Otherwise, they cannot survive for long. 

When they are born, the baby pigeons keep their eyes closed. They lie down in a horizontal position and keep their bills closed. It takes a few days before the baby pigeons can open their eyes, get up, or open their bills.

Baby pigeons take at least forty days to grow into a fledgling or a juvenile.

Baby Pigeon Appearance

A baby pigeon that hatched out of its egg has a pinkish hue on its dark skin. These baby birds have patches of fine yellow hair on their body which later turns into feathers.

You will find a pink to darker pink color beak on baby pigeons. When they are small, these birds have grey feet as opposed to burnt-orange feet when they are older. Baby pigeons come into this world with their eyes closed which they open around day five or six.

They have larger-sized beaks, feet, and wings compared to their body. However, as they get older, their body grows into these attributes.

 

Juvenile Pigeon Appearance

Juvenile pigeon or fledgling pigeon is one of the stages of baby pigeons. Pigeons take a long time to learn how to fly, so by the time they come out of their nest, the juvenile pigeons grow plumage similar to the adult bird. So, it can be difficult for people to differentiate between adult and young pigeons.

The juvenile or fledgling stage can be indicated by a greyish pink line on their neck, whereas the adult pigeon has a white line. This line around their neck is known as cere.

There is also the absence of glistening green and purple color on the plumage of the juvenile pigeons.

You will also find that young and adult pigeons have different eye colors. Juvenile pigeons have dark brown or grey eyes, but adult pigeons have red, orange, or sometimes yellow eyes.

 

Baby Pigeon Size

A baby pigeon that has just arrived into the world is typically about five to seven centimeters long. They weigh around fifteen to twenty grams and never more than that. 

But each day, their weight increases between five to ten grams. As a result, their weight reaches up to 300 to 370 grams in a month.

How Long It Takes for A Baby Pigeon to be Born

Pigeons generally lay a couple of eggs at a time. But in rare occurrences, pigeons can lay three eggs at a time. But never more than three eggs. 

Baby pigeons come out of a white egg laid by their mother. Both father and mother pigeons incubate the eggs. The father incubates from morning to evening and the mother from evening to morning.

Typically, it takes fifteen to twenty hours for the eggs to hatch. The egg can start to hatch at any time, and it takes a full day to complete its hatching. Pigeon breeds and lays eggs all the time, but it happens mainly during the summer and spring seasons. So, most of the hatchings occur during that time.

Both eggs of the pigeon start and end their hatchings at the same time. After the hatching, the parent pigeons throw away all the eggshells from their nest.

 

Baby Pigeon Food

Baby pigeons are born underdeveloped, so they need extra care and nourishment for survival.

They will not live for very long if they do not have good food with proper nutrition. So, both mama and papa pigeon contribute and take a turn in feeding their child.

The fledgling mainly eats crop milk that has been regurgitated until day four. From day five, baby pigeons eat various types of seeds along with their crop milk. On day nine, the parent pigeons add different fruits and insects to their little one’s diet.

The baby pigeons need more food day by day. After the parents add seeds to their diet, the child starts to want more food. 

In the beginning, it is quite tiresome for both parents to feed their babies. However, it becomes quite easy for them to feed a couple of baby pigeons as time passes.

If you raise a baby pigeon by yourself, you can buy bird pellets as they contain all the nutrition such a special bird needs.

 

How Parent Pigeons Feed Baby Pigeons

Both father and mother pigeons take part in feeding their babies. They go out every morning to look for seeds, fruits, or insects. Baby pigeons need to be fed four to five times a time.

After the baby pigeons grow and reach their youngster stage, they can open their beaks to make sounds and lift their heads. So, they squeak relentlessly at their parent to give them food when they get hungry. After a week, the feeding time decreases from four to two times a day.

 

When Does Baby Pigeon Take Flight

Baby pigeons take five to seven weeks to learn how to fly. From week three to four, the babies flail their wings and try to fly. 

During the early stage, they jump from low heights. But as time passes, they increase their jump height and become more advanced. The parents help their babies to fly by nudging the babies around the nest.

 

Time Spent in Nest by Baby Pigeon

The time a baby pigeon spends on its nest depends on the season and the weather. If it is during spring or summer and the weather is warm, a baby pigeon will spend 30 to 35 days in the nest. 

However, a baby pigeon will be in the nest for 44 to 50 days if it is the rainy season or winter and the weather is cold.

After the wings of pigeons are fully formed, and they start to fly, they lose a little bit of their weight. After that, the pigeons go and explore for their food. Sometimes, the pigeons fly and forget their way back to their nest. So, they might need to build a nest for themselves.

 

Pigeon Habitat Site

Pigeons’ nesting locations differ from other birds. We can see the nests of local birds around us. But pigeons follow a different path. 

Pigeons build their nest at the peak of tall trees, on the roof of skyscrapers, and on the edges of towering cliffs. They also build their nests in abandoned buildings, churches, and under bridges.

This peculiarity of their nesting habit is due to their need to save their babies. Baby pigeons are born premature and quite weak during their early life stages. These make them an easy target for hunting birds or animals. So, the parent pigeons take all these extra measures to keep their babies safe.

Pigeons also reuse their old nest. They build the new nest above the previous one by changing its site if needed. The reason behind reusing old nests is their heavy weight. Pigeons do not clean up the excretion from their nest. As a result, the nest becomes heavy and can weigh up to 3kg, which is very difficult for a pigeon to carry.

 

How Can You Feed A Baby Pigeon

If you have a baby pigeon, you need to be very careful regarding its food and environment because they are quite sensitive.

You need to keep your baby pigeon in a warm place with 40 watts to 45 watts of power because baby pigeons cannot digest food if they are in a cold environment.

If you cannot arrange for 40 watts to 45 watts of power, you can use heating pads or hot water and wrap them with a cloth for the baby’s comfort.

Use a syringe or mini spatula to feed the baby pigeon. Make sure their size matches the size of the baby pigeon’s mouth. You can find feeding bottles with long thin straws in the market. Use them to feed your baby pigeon anything liquid. 

If you or the baby spills anything, clean them immediately with a soft cloth. Be sure not to overfeed the baby, as it can result in death.

 

How to Care for A Malnourished Baby Pigeon

Unless you have complete knowledge about feeding and caring for a baby pigeon, you should hand them over to a professional. This is because they have the best knowledge of caring for a baby pigeon. But if you really want to take care of a baby pigeon, you need to know a few things.


  • Crop Milk

Since you do not have a parent pigeon, you cannot get your hands on crop milk. So, you need to buy pigeon formula for your baby pigeon. A couple of popular bay pigeon formulas are Nutribird A21 and Kaytee Extract. 

So, you could go for either of these two. If you cannot find any of these two near you, look for non-dairy substitutes like milk or macadamia nuts.

On the first and second days, mix the formula and lukewarm water to get the consistency of skimmed milk. After two days have passed, mix the formula and water to get the consistency of jam or ketchup. If you can find it, add digestive enzymes to their milk.

 

  • Fruits, Seeds, And Pellets

After two weeks have passed, arrange for fruits, seeds, and bird pellets for your baby pigeon. If you need food in an emergency, try cereal without dairy products. Try soaking dog biscuits and giving them to your baby pigeons as an alternative. But these two should not become a regular diet.

You need to keep the baby pigeon in a warm area because cold weather is not suitable for them, and without proper care, this weather can be the cause of their death.

 

Why You Do Not See Baby Pigeons

The reason why you do not see baby pigeons usually is that they build their nests on sky-high trees. A baby pigeon is quite weak, so its parents want to keep it safe from other birds, animals, or even humans. So, they choose to build their nests on tall trees or skyscrapers. 

Pigeons also build their nests in abandoned places like chimneys, old buildings, and churches, under old and broken bridges, to keep themselves and their child away from prying eyes.

This nesting habit of pigeons comes from their ancestor, the rock dove. The rock doves used to build their nests on cliffs or tall trees, which has now become a habit of the pigeons we can see.

Another reason baby pigeons are so rare to be seen is that they grow up quite fast but take a long time to fly. So, when a pigeon flies out of its nest, it looks almost like a fully grown pigeon.

 

Final Words

That’s all about the baby pigeon you need to know. If you ever decide to keep a baby pigeon as a pet, remember that they are very delicate and need extra care for their proper growth and stability. 

Pigeons’ habitat practice differs from other local birds, making the baby pigeon a rare sight. And finally, look around your surroundings, see if you can find a pigeon nest with baby pigeons, and appease your curiosity.

Read Also: Baby penguin

By Nathan Moy

Hi, Nathan Moy is the founder and CEO of Birdmoy.com . Im passionate about nature and I use this site as a platform to share my experiences, learnings, mistakes, and ideas about birding and nature.

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