Why Do You Never See Baby Pigeons?

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 14 months ago
Why Do You Never See Baby Pigeons?
Photo: Mike Atherton

Pigeons. London's over-run with them. Hobbling around, gobbling up our leftovers. But have you ever seen a baby pigeon? No, neither have we, although we'd not really thought about it until one reader, Amanda, asked where they all are.

Do pigeons hatch fully grown, like some sort of avian Benjamin Button? Freaks us out just thinking about it, if we're honest. So we spoke to the lovely people at the RSPB (Royal Society for Protection of Birds), who reassured us that this is not the case.


According to Ben Andrews, RSPB's Wildlife Adviser,

Young pigeons (known as “squabs”) look really different to the adult birds we see, they are yellow and fluffy, but they are always in the nest for a long period of time, often around 30 days or so. By the time they emerge from the nest they basically look like adult pigeons and therefore people don’t obviously notice them as babies even if they are still young birds.

So there's the answer. For other, not entirely serious answers to the whereabouts of baby pigeons, click here.

See also: What would London be like without pigeons?

Read more about London's wildlife.

Last Updated 13 October 2016

Roger Wood

One positive thing in terms of London's pigeons is that there seem to be a lot fewer, these days, with severe foot deformities. I'm assuming this is a result of the introduction of different methods used to deter them from perching on buildings, to replace the (presumably toxic / harmful) repellent gel that was in common use only a few years ago. I would, however, be interested to know if there are any other explanations.

Lampwick

I've seen baby pigeons. We had a nest in our garden. They were very cute but ugly. Magpies came and tore them to pieces just before they fledged, leaving a scene from Game of Thrones for us to clear up. I definitely don't like magpies anymore.

kim barnard-lim

I thought they moved to the suburbs like most families.

Yohnitzl

I have seen a baby pigeon: brown, fluffy and surprisingly large - being fed by a parent pigeon in a nest on top of a girder on Chatham station.

HHGeek

Alice Renton, the wife of Tim Renton MP (now Lord Renton), once found a young pigeon on the floor of Victoria Station. Being Alice & rather fabulously her own person, she took it home (to near Lewes), looked after it, called it Victoria. The pigeon thrived & lived with the family for quite some time. She (Alice, not the pigeon) wrote a book about it. I am absolutely not making this up. http://www.abebooks.com/978023...

Sd301

This article needs a photo of a baby pigeon!

Spiderbaby

http://www.pigeoncote.com/vet/...
This charity are amazing and really help injured or sick pigeons. I used to work in London and it was so sad to see deformed feet where they'd had them burnt by acid or other nasty tricks by councils and developers to try and stop them sitting on their buildings. One day we were walking through the area near Bank on a weekend when it's pretty deserted and there were pigeons literally dropping out of the sky where the council had poisoned them it was horrific.