Male vs Female Pigeons

Identify Male vs Female Pigeons (Male and Female)

Male vs Female Pigeons

From the bustling streets of New York City to the quiet corners of Paris, pigeons have long been a familiar sight in urban landscapes. But did you know that there are distinct differences between male vs female pigeons?

Their physical appearances are quite similar, with both having plump bodies, small heads, and short legs.

With their cooing calls and fluttering wings, these feathered creatures add an element of charm to our cityscapes.

These common birds may be seen as nothing more than pests by some, but they possess captivating secrets beneath their seemingly mundane exteriors.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of male vs female pigeons and uncover their unique behaviors, intricate courtship rituals, and even their contributions to parenting.

How Can You Tell Between a Male vs Female Pigeons?

Identify Male vs Female Pigeons

Male vs female pigeons can be quite challenging to differentiate, as they exhibit similar physical features.

One useful clue lies in the coloration of their feathers. Male pigeons tend to have more vibrant and iridescent feathers compared to their female.

Another sign is the size of the bird. Typically, male pigeons tend to be larger and more robust than their female counterparts.

Additionally, observe their behavior: males are often more territorial and display aggressive tendencies, while females tend to be calmer and less confrontational.

What Does A Female Pigeon Look Like?

Female pigeons have shorter and rounder tails as compared to their males. And, females tend to have slightly smaller beaks compared to males.

On the other hand, female pigeons often exhibit more muted or dull colors with less pronounced iridescence.

Are Female Pigeons Bigger Than Males?

Female Pigeon

Yes,  female pigeons are actually bigger than their male counterparts. The reason is that females need more energy and resources for egg production and incubation, which is why they have evolved to be bigger. 

Their increased size allows them to store more fat reserves and produce more eggs at a time. The average weight of adult male pigeons hovers around 10 ounces, while females usually weigh around 12 ounces.

The reasons behind this disparity can be attributed to several factors. Male pigeons generally engage in more vigorous physical activities, such as courtship displays and territorial defending.

Additionally, larger females may have an advantage when it comes to competing with other females for nest sites or attracting desirable mates.

But there are other factors such as environment and food habits, which play a crucial role in pigeon’s size.

Other Differences Between Male And Female Wood Pigeons

The differences between male vs female wood pigeons can be quite pronounced, especially when it comes to their coloration. 

Male wood pigeons have more vibrant plumage with a mix of greens and purples adorning their necks. While female wood pigeons have a more muted coloration with predominantly grayish-brown feathers.

Their behavior also differs significantly. Males tend to be much more aggressive than females when it comes to defending territories or mates. 

They often engage in spirited displays of territoriality during which they puff up their feathers, and coo loudly while shaking their wings vigorously.

While female wood pigeons are generally more reserved, they focus on nesting duties and caring for their young with meticulous attention.

Identifying Male And Female Pigeons

Identify Male vs Female

Male vs female pigeons can be distinguished by a variety of physical traits. One of the most noticeable differences is in their size; typically, male pigeons are larger than females.

Another is the size and shape of their heads: males often have broader heads with fuller chests compared to females. Male pigeons often display more prominent combs and wattles compared to their female.

Additionally, males tend to have brighter feathers around their necks and on their wings, while females exhibit more muted tones.

Another way to identify the reproductive organs of male vs female pigeons. Female pigeons have a single ovary located near their left kidney, which produces eggs during the breeding season.

However, one interesting difference is that both sexes possess cloacas, which serve as multipurpose openings for excretion as well as reproduction.


Research has shown that male pigeons are more aggressive than their female for mates and resources outside of the nest. On the other hand, female pigeons are typically less aggressive but equally territorial. Their aggression is related to safeguarding their offspring.

However, male pigeons,  exhibit a greater inclination toward promiscuity while females tend to prioritize monogamous relationships.


Male pigeons generally tend to be larger and more robust than females. Male pigeons exhibit vibrant hues and intricate patterns on their plumage, while females sport a more muted color palette. The male pigeon possesses a bluish-black beak and eye ring, while the female’s beak and eye ring are often gray or lighter.

Male pigeons usually display bright colors on their neck feathers, ranging from iridescent greens to shades of purples and pinks. While female pigeons have more muted hues on their feathers.

Nest Building

The male pigeon tends to take a more haphazard and less orderly approach, in nest building, while the female pigeon is known for her meticulous and precise arrangement of materials.

The female pigeons carefully arrange twigs, leaves, and feathers into a sturdy structure to make it cozy. While the male pigeons seem less concerned with structure or organization. They often grab whatever materials they can find – such as feathers, and leaves.

Calls And Vocalizations

Male vs female pigeons have distinct calls that differentiate them from each other. Male pigeons are well-known for their cooing sounds, which are often deep and resonant.

In contrast, female pigeons produce soft clucking or chattering noises, which are less noticeable compared to the loud coos of males. These distinct calls serve different purposes for males and females in attracting mates or defending territories.


Male vs female pigeons exhibit different reproductive strategies. Female pigeons invest considerable energy in egg production, incubation, and rearing of chicks. Females play a pivotal role in ensuring the survival of their offspring by dedicating significant resources towards this endeavor.

While males focus on attracting mates through cooing and puffing up their feathers.

Females focus on parental care by being highly selective about mates while males employ showy displays as a means of attracting desirable partners.

This way shows a difference between male and female pigeons in reproduction.

Head And Neck

Male pigeons are renowned for their distinctive features, and one glaring difference between the genders lies in their neck.

Male pigeons have noticeably thicker necks compared to females, with vibrant colors such as rich purples, iridescent greens, or shimmering blues on their head and neck feathers.

Female pigeons typically exhibit more subdued shades with varying degrees of brown or gray in order to blend into their surroundings, for nesting.


Male pigeons have more vibrant iris coloration than female pigeons. Female pigeons have irises with shades of brown or grey compared to males who have irises from red and yellow to blues and purple.

Male pigeons generally have larger pupils than female pigeons. The larger pupils help males focus on potential mates during courtship displays.

The distinct eye features of male and female pigeons are related to mate selection.

Bone Structure

One fascinating difference lies in the bone structure of male-female pigeons’ pelvic bones. In male pigeons, the pelvic bones are typically larger and broader compared to females.

Studies have shown that the difference in pelvic bone structure between males and females can vary depending on factors such as age and breeding behavior.


Male Pigeons have spurs on their feet. These spurs serve a purpose for male pigeons during courtship rituals and territorial disputes. They use them as weapons to establish dominance and claim their breeding territories. On the other hand, female pigeons do not have spurs on their feet, their toes are relatively smooth.

Dating And Mating

The dating and mating rituals of male vs female pigeons are fascinating. There are two stages of pigeon Mating.

The male pursuit stage involves intricate courtship displays, where the male struts around the female, such as tail-wagging, and cooing.

Once the male successfully catches the female’s eye during the pursuit stage, it’s now up to her to make a choice. It is known as the female choice stage, she carefully evaluates potential mates based on various factors.

Male vs female pigeons engage in various behaviors during dating, such as strutting and bowing, which are not observed in other stages of the mating process. 

These actions are believed to enhance bonding and familiarity between the pair. Nevertheless, not all dating pairs result in mating, as some relationships may end before copulation takes place.

The Mating Ritual

In the world of pigeons, the mating ritual involves, the male pigeons begins by puffing up his chest and strutting around the female pigeon. He may also coo loudly to capture her attention.

When the male and female pigeons engage in a mating ritual, which involves the male spreading his scent and expressing his interest in the female. 

If the female is interested, she will permit him to mount her, leading to eventual mating.


When it comes to Incubation, there are some key differences that play an important role between, male vs female pigeons.

Incubation temperatures play a crucial role in determining the sex of pigeon chicks that hatch. Studies show that higher temperatures during incubation predominantly result in female offspring while lower temperatures tend to produce male chicks.

This phenomenon is known as temperature-dependent sex determination.

What Else Can Be Done To Identify A Pigeon’s Gender?

Idenify Male vs Female Pigeon

There are also some other ways to identify a pigeon’s gender. One is by looking at the distance between their eyes. Male pigeons tend to have wider-set eyes, while female pigeons generally have narrower-set eyes.

And you can also Identify a  pigeon’s gender by doing some other tests.

Aggression Test

The aggression test serves as a means to determine the gender of pigeons. This straightforward procedure involves pitting one pigeon against another and observing the intensity of their reactions. 

The test can be conducted on both adult pigeons and those that have not yet reached sexual maturity. Typically, male pigeons display greater aggression, attacking the opposing bird with more force. 

Additionally, males exhibit a wider range of behaviors including bowing, lunging, and pecking. On the other hand, females tend to be less aggressive and will only attack if they feel threatened or if their offspring are in danger.

Wing Test

Male and female pigeons may appear similar in many ways, but one key physical characteristic sets them apart: their wings.

The wing structure of male pigeons is typically longer and more pointed compared to that of their female pigeon wings tend to be shorter and broader.

Another distinct difference is their wing shape, with the male’s wings curving inward slightly while the female’s wings remain straight.

Through this test, you can find out the difference between male vs female pigeons.

 DNA Test

To identify between male vs female pigeons based on appearance can be quite challenging.

DNA testing has revolutionized the way we understand and identify gender, even in peculiar cases like male and female pigeons. 

By extracting DNA from blood or tissue samples and then using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, can determine the sex of these birds without having to rely on external physical characteristics.

However, by analyzing specific regions of their DNA using PCR techniques, researchers are able to accurately identify the sex of individual pigeons.

Pendulum Sexing

Pendulum sexing is a fascinating technique used to determine the gender of pigeons by examining the shape of their pelvic bones.

It’s been observed that in male pigeons, the pelvic bones tend to be more U-shaped, while in females they are more V-shaped.

This method is not 100% accurate but it can be used when visual cues or plumage colors are not clear indicators for sex differentiation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about male vs female pigeons. Let’s discuss them.

What are the male and female pigeons’ differences?

One noticeable difference is their coloration. Male pigeons often display vibrant colors, while female pigeons tend to have more muted plumage. Another difference is their beak shape. Males usually possess thicker and larger beaks compared to female pigeons’ smaller beaks.

Typically, male pigeons tend to be slightly larger than females in both length and weight. They are also more aggressive as compared to female pigeons.

How can you tell a female pigeon from a male pigeon?

One of the first things you might notice is their feathers. Females have more subdued feather patterns, with shades of gray or brown compared to males who have vibrant plumage. Another difference lies in the size and shape of their beaks. The female has smaller and subtler beaks, as compared to the male.

How to identify Male and female pigeons?

Males typically have thicker and larger beaks compared to females. Their chests tend to be more pronounced, with a prominent bulge called the breast. Male pigeons often have thicker necks compared to females, which can give them a more muscular appearance.

Another way is Male pigeons often exhibit brighter and more vibrant plumage than females. Male pigeons are also typically, larger than females in size.

How to determine pigeons’ gender?

one important clue to determine a pigeon’s gender lies in their cere- the fleshy portion located above their beak. In general, male pigeons tend to be more vibrant and brightly colored than females.

Can female wood pigeons raise young on their own?

Female wood pigeons have been observed successfully raising young on their own. They expertly build nests using twigs and leaves and diligently incubate their eggs for approximately 17 days until they hatch.

Once the chicks emerge into the world, it is solely up to the females to provide them with warmth, protection, and nourishment.

DO Pigeons mate for life?

Many people wonder if these birds mate for life. The truth is, that while some pigeon pairs do form lifelong bonds, not all of them do. Male and female pigeons are known to engage in a courtship dance, which includes head-bobbing and cooing sounds.

Once a pair has formed, they will often build a nest together and take turns incubating their eggs. However, this level of commitment does not necessarily mean that they will stay together forever.

Final Words

In conclusion, identifying male vs female pigeon can be a challenging task, especially for those who are not familiar with them. However, by observing their physical traits such as size, coloration, and behavior patterns, it is possible to determine their gender.

We hope that you will be successful in identifying between male vs female pigeons, after reading this article.

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