In my early naive pigeon keeping days I innocently thought that pigeons are quiet birds, that they only occassionally cooed when in a mating mood. Little did I realise just how noisy they actually are! Pigeons coo all the time! Dora was almost evicted for it (in the end she was evicted to find a mate in an aviary). Even though Richard would be sitting right beside Elmo, Elmo would decide to jump off the sofa, waltz into another room and then coo incessantly and loudly for Richard to come to him. How demanding!
Sometimes Elmo and Georgie will have a cooing contest. George snuggled under my chin, cooing with contentment and Elmo in his nest cooing excitedly to Richard. If we touched them they’d explode into a song of love, each harmonising with the other, totally ignoring the fact that we might be trying to watch a movie or read a book in peace.
Pigeons in aviaries are noisy creatures too – the male strutting his stuff and cooing to attract the females, pigeons fighting for space on perches and for better nesting sites, and the males cooing in the nests with eagerness when the females choose to be with them. I have found that female pigeons tend to be quieter if they have a pigeon mate, however, if they have a human mate then they change into attention seeking little things. I think it may be because naturally male pigeons are always trying to impress the females, however, us humans don’t spend all our time cooing and dancing to our pet pigeon – we interact differently – and I think the female pigeons realise this and therefore take on the role of males; trying to get our attention instead. … Just my theory.
So beware those of you who are thinking of having a pigeon as a pet because you’ve been told they are quiet! … Well, compared to the loud screeches and imitations that some parrot species can do, then yes, pigeons are quiet. But they aren’t silent. They have a voice and will be heard!
Just listen to all the cooing in these videos: