How to Get a Pigeon to Trust You

How to Get a Pigeon to Trust You: The Complete Guide to Tame & Befriend a Pigeon

Pigeons are intelligent birds with colorful plumage and fantastic navigation skills. If you have ever seen a pigeon in a park or while walking down the street, you’ve probably wondered about the best way to get a pigeon to trust you, so you might be able to hold it or feed it. Keep on reading to learn more about this topic.

How to Get a Pigeon to Trust You

hand holding food for pigeon

People can keep pigeons as pets because they can be trained. This is probably why they’re quite popular in shows and weddings, where people like to see pigeons flying away. Magicians also train pigeons to be part of a show, and they will always follow the instructions.

Pigeons also recognize their home, so if you let them fly away, they will circle around and find their way back home. If you’ve been raising pigeons, they will not get lost. As a matter of fact, people have used pigeons as messengers for centuries because the birds can find their way while carrying crucial messages.

Author Note: Because they’re quite smart, pigeons will likely fly away when you get too close. However, there are a few tips that you can follow to get closer to these wonderful birds without startling them. It takes time to gain the trust of pigeons, but it’s totally worth it.

Top Tips to Get a Pigeon to Trust You

  • Choose a spot close to where the pigeons like to gather. Don’t get too close at the beginning, as they might fly away. It takes time and patience to gain the trust of pigeons.
  • Go on your own or with an adult partner to watch the pigeons. Children can get too enthusiastic and might startle the birds when they start to chase them or run around them.
  • Always carry food and sprinkle it where the pigeons gather. You can try to sprinkle food close to where you’re sitting, so some of the brave birds will be encouraged to get closer.
  • Sit quietly and don’t move much to encourage the birds to move around you. The birds won’t get startled and will be able to feed on the grain that you’re sprinkling around.
  • Once you have gained the trust of the birds, you can put some food in your hands. You might spend some time before one bird approaches you. Don’t try to move much as you might get the birds alarmed.
  • A single brave bird might be tempted to feed on your hand. You can use a finger to stroke the bird’s chest. After a while, more birds will follow.
  • Later on, you can put some of the food on your shoulders or legs and watch the birds as they approach you. After a while, the pigeons will no longer view you as a threat and will be able to recognize you from a distance.
  • Pigeons might approach you if one of them is hurt or needs help. They’re smart enough to know that a human might be able to get them out of trouble in case they’ve hurt their leg or wing. If you’re gentle, pigeons won’t mind getting petted.

Amazing Facts About Pigeons

Two pigeons

There are several things that distinguish pigeons from other birds. Here are some of the facts that you need to know about pigeons.

  • Unlike other birds, pigeons can recognize themselves in the mirror. The mirror-test is an excellent tool that scientists use to assess the intelligence of animals and birds.
  • Pigeons can recognize the alphabet and can differentiate between people, even when they’re in a photo.
  • Pigeons will always find their way home even if you let them loose miles away. They will always find their way back to the house where they were born and where their parents live.
  • Birds have incredible navigation skills. They use the sun as a guide and have an internal magnetic compass that allows them to find the way. They also use man-made landmarks and objects to find the way. Birds don’t seem to have a problem changing their way at junctions.
  • Pigeons like to live in groups of 20 or 30 birds. They will usually fly and feed together.

More Pigeon Facts

  • Pigeons have outstanding hearing skills and can hear frequencies that humans are unable to detect. These birds can sense that storms and volcanoes are coming, and people usually watch them for any unusual behavior that might detect that something is about to happen.
  • People have kept pigeons as pets for thousands of years. People have been keeping them as pets in Mesopotamia since 3000 BC.
  • The birds mate for life and will usually raise two chicks at the same time. The parents take care of the young chicks, and the young birds always find their way back home.
  • Both the male and female share the responsibility of taking care of the baby chicks. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks pigeon milk.
  • Compared to other animals, pigeons are actually very clean, and there’s little evidence that they can transmit diseases to humans or other animals.
  • Pigeon droppings make a very good fertilizer. They can be used in your backyard or home garden.
  • These birds can fly very fast and at high altitudes. They can reach up to 6000 feet high and fly at a speed between 77 and 90 miles per hour.

How to Keep a Pigeon as a Pet

People managed to keep pigeons domesticated for hundreds of years, and they have been trained to do several tasks. Keeping a pigeon is an excellent decision because this lovely pet will keep you company and impress you with its intelligence.

Author Note: However, if you’re planning to keep a pigeon as a pet, you need to be aware of the commitment and the amount of attention you should give to your bird. Here are a few things to think about before bringing a pigeon home.

  • If possible, don’t keep a single pigeon as a pet. Pigeons are social animals, and they love to live together. Think about getting a couple, so they can start a family. However, if you’re planning to keep a pigeon on its own, you need to think about the amount of attention you should give it.
  • Consult with the local authorities if you’re allowed to keep pigeons. Check with your landlord or the committee that handles anything related to pets in your community.
  • Think of indoor and outdoor accommodation for your pigeon. Pick a big cage and clean it well before your pigeon arrives. If your pigeon is changing homes, you need to make sure that everything is clean and ready before your pigeon arrives.
  • When you’re picking the cage, make sure that the holes are not big enough for the pigeon to stick out its head as it might get trapped.
  • Pigeons like to walk around, so the bottom of the cage should be covered in grass sod that allows the pigeon to move comfortably.
  • Keep the cage in a partially bright area where it gets access to sunlight. Make sure that the cage isn’t kept in direct sunlight and cover it at night to help the bird sleep at night.

More Tips on Keeping a Pigeon as a Pet

Bird in hand
  • You can also build an outdoor aviary with shelves for nesting. This should be sturdy enough to protect your birds from predators and elements.
  • Whether you’re keeping the birds inside or outside, install a water bath that the bird can use to clean itself.
  • There are several types of food mixes that are specifically made for pigeons. Pellets are full of essential nutrients. Seed diets can be supplemented with other kinds of vegetables and fruit like lettuce, spinach, apples, and pears.
  • You can give your bird vitamins and calcium supplements to help improve its health.
  • Get a pigeon from the local animal shelter. There will be lots of abandoned pigeons that you might be able to rescue. Make sure that you learn about the breed and any care requirements.
  • When you first get a pigeon, keep it inside the house but away from the kitchen.
  • Stay close to the cage and allow the pigeon to see you often. This way, you will be able to bond with your bird. The pigeon might take some time to adjust to its new home, and eventually, it will become calmer.
  • If you have a cat or a dog in the house, keep them away from your pigeon.
  • If you decide to bring another pigeon, introduce both to each other slowly and gradually. Pigeons can become territorial, and you don’t want them to fight.

Wrap Up

Author Note: Pigeons are exceptionally smart but getting one to trust you enough to get close to you isn’t an easy task. In the beginning, a pigeon might be a little skeptical about getting close. However, if you’re patient and committed, you will soon be seeing the birds flying close to you.

Getting a pigeon to live in your house is a huge commitment. It needs attention and care, so you should make sure that you’re ready for it. Give your bird time to get accustomed to its new home and, if possible, get a couple of birds to live together.

Fly high friends!


Do pigeons like to be petted?

A tamed Pigeon will be more accustomed to human interaction and therefore may enjoy being petted by their owner. However, whether tamed or still wild, take precautions when trying to pet a pigeon as they may become aggressive or try to fly away.

How to make a pigeon feel safe?

To make a pigeon feel safe, you should provide them with a proper habitat such as a coop or aviary that is large enough for them to move around freely, respect their space and give them time to get used to you, offer a balanced diet, provide a comfortable temperature, a quiet environment, a clean environment, and companionship if possible. Pigeons are naturally cautious animals, and it can take time for them to feel comfortable around new people or environments. Every pigeon is different and may have unique needs and preferences, so it’s important to observe and understand your pigeon’s behavior and adjust accordingly.

How to make pigeon come to you?

To make a pigeon come to you, you can provide food, be patient, speak softly, hand feed, use positive reinforcement, and create a safe environment. Pigeons are naturally cautious animals and it may take time for them to become comfortable around you. Every pigeon is different and may have unique needs and preferences, so it’s important to observe and understand the pigeon’s behavior and adjust accordingly.

Comments 2
  1. Thanks Will, I have a pigeon that seems to have gotten stringfoot so I’m trying to gain its trust so I can remove it. He visits everyday for food so am hoping I’ll be able to catch him soon!

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