Despite pigeons’ prevalence, you may have noticed a peculiar absence of young pigeons. It’s a noteworthy observation and one that has puzzled many individuals. After all, if pigeons are everywhere, why aren’t their offspring equally visible?
Baby pigeons are not commonly seen in public places because they spend most of their time in their nests, typically hidden away in buildings or high up in trees. They often choose to nest in areas where they are well-protected from predators.
There are also several reasons baby pigeons are not commonly seen in public. This article will explore these reasons and shed some light on the elusive nature of baby pigeons.
What is the Reason for the Absence of Baby Pigeons?
Pigeons are one of the most common birds found in urban environments, and they are known for their ability to adapt to the changing conditions of the city. While adult pigeons can be seen in public places, it is rare to spot baby pigeons.
Baby pigeons spend most of their time in their nests, typically hidden away in buildings or high up in trees. Pigeons are also known for their choice of nesting locations. They often pick areas well-protected from predators, such as rooftops, balconies, and ledges.
This makes it difficult for people to spot baby pigeons because their nests are often hidden. Moreover, baby pigeons grow at an incredible rate and can leave their nests within a month, which further reduces the likelihood of people seeing them in public places.
Despite this, pigeons thrive in urban environments and remain a common sight in cities worldwide.
Where Do Baby Pigeons Live in Cities?
In cities, baby pigeons, or squabs, typically live in nests in hidden or sheltered areas on or near buildings and structures. Pigeons are highly adaptable birds and have become well-suited to urban environments.
Here’s where you might find pigeon nests and what their nests look like:
Ledges and Building Ledges
Pigeons commonly nest on building ledges and window sills. These ledges provide a flat and secure surface for pigeons to build their nests. The nests typically comprise twigs, grass, and other materials, creating a loose platform for the eggs and squabs.
Building Eaves and Cornices
Pigeons often build nests in the eaves and cornices of buildings. These locations protect from the elements and predators. Nests in these areas may be concealed from view and are typically constructed in recessed spaces.
Pigeons may nest on rooftops, particularly on large commercial or industrial buildings. They may utilize ventilation systems, ducts, or rooftop equipment to create concealed nesting sites. Rooftop nests are often harder to spot from street level.
Balconies and Terraces
In residential areas, pigeons may nest on balconies and terraces. They may use potted plants, ledges, or other features on balconies as nesting sites. Nests in these areas are typically closer to human activity and may be more visible.
Attics and Crawl Spaces
Pigeons may find their way into attics or crawl spaces of buildings to nest. These hidden locations offer protection and isolation for nesting pigeons and their squabs.
Pigeons may also nest in construction areas, mainly if exposed ledges or structures provide suitable nesting sites. These nests may be temporary, depending on the progress of construction.
How Do Baby Pigeons Survive and Grow Without Being Noticed?
Baby pigeons are adapted to survive and grow in relative obscurity within their nests despite their conspicuous absence from public view. Here are some ways in which they manage to do this:
Hidden Nesting Sites
Pigeon parents select concealed and sheltered locations for their nests, such as building ledges, eaves, balconies, or even attic spaces. These locations provide natural protection from predators and minimize the likelihood of human disturbance.
Pigeon nests are typically made from twigs, straw, feathers, and other natural materials. The nests are often shallow depressions within this material, making them difficult to spot, especially from a distance.
The squabs have a natural camouflage coloration when they are young. Their downy feathers are often grayish or brownish, helping them blend in with the nest material and the surrounding environment. This camouflage helps keep them inconspicuous of potential predators.
Squabs are initially born blind, naked, and with limited mobility. They remain mostly in the nest during their early days, which minimizes their chances of being seen by passersby. Their parents provide warmth, protection, and food during this vulnerable stage.
They tend to be quiet and do not make loud noises that might attract attention. They rely on their parents to feed and care for them without drawing undue attention to the nest.
Adult pigeons are attentive parents, taking turns incubating the eggs and feeding the squabs. They visit the nest several times daily to provide crop milk (a nutrient-rich secretion) to the squabs. The parents’ frequent visits ensure that the squabs receive the necessary care without venturing out of the nest.
Pigeon squabs grow rapidly, doubling their size within a few days. As they grow, they become more capable of thermoregulation and are better able to maintain their body temperature, reducing their reliance on the warmth of their parents.
When squabs are ready to fledge (leave the nest), they are more developed and have their feathers, making them better equipped to explore the world outside the nest. By this time, they are less inconspicuous but less dependent on the nest.
Are There No Pigeons in Trafalgar Square Because There Are No Baby Pigeons?
The pigeons’ absence in trafalgar square has long been a topic of curiosity. Many have observed the lack of baby pigeons in the area, leading to speculations about their absence. Some theories suggest that the square’s environment may not be conducive for pigeon breeding or that nest locations are simply well-hidden. The mystery surrounding the missing baby pigeons continues to intrigue visitors and locals alike.
After researching and analyzing various sources, it seems that the lack of sightings of baby pigeons may be due to their nesting habits and developmental stages.
Unlike other birds, pigeons can reproduce year-round, which suggests that their nests are carefully hidden and protected to provide a safe environment for their chicks.