The love life of pigeons

Step 1: Choose a romantic setting. Somewhere outdoors, perhaps, such as beside the sea on a sunny day.

Stan Carey - love life of pigeons 1

(Subjects in centre of photograph; click to enlarge.)

Step 2: Flirt a little. If male, circle female, bow, puff feathers, drag tail, chase female, shuffle about, coo romantically (using a pidgin).

If female, continue what you were doing for a while. Then, if you like him, join in the dance. Place bill inside male’s bill, bob heads together.

Stan Carey - love life of pigeons 2

If all goes well, proceed to step 3.

Step 3: If male, stand on female. If female, grin and bear it for a few seconds.

Stan Carey - love life of pigeons 3

Step 4: Regain composure and prepare for a lifetime of monogamous dove love.

Stan Carey - love life of pigeons 4

To find out more, have a look here (scroll down for courtship ritual).

2 Responses to The love life of pigeons

  1. Claudia says:

    Your interesting post is not only illuminating on the pigeons’ love life, it could also give useful lessons to humans on how to attract each other’s attention. The monogamy bit can be scary though. Better keep one’s distance unless both are truly ready for nest building. Not only this implies much work, but it could also become monotonous. Many colourful males and females out there! Are birds more faithful than humans?

    Very nice photos. You took them yourself? Better not document human behaviour. You might be arrested in someone’s bedroom…unless you have a permit, of course. In which case, we would truly enjoy your invaluable pics on another fascinating post.

    Many thanks for your hard work on our behalf!

  2. Stan says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the photo-series, Claudia, and thanks for your comment. Levels of monogamy or polygamy vary according to the type of bird. Pigeons are monogamous and some pairs remain together for years [ref.]. The male gathers material for a nest, which the female then builds. Parental duties (incubating the eggs, feeding the chicks) are shared. It all seems admirably unfussy and agreeable! Colour of plumage may have something to do with mate choice – I will have to investigate further.

    Yes, the photos are mine. There will be more photography-based posts, but they are unlikely to document human behaviour – as you say, I might be arrested!

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