But the most common pigeon sound is cooing. Females and males do it differently, with different reasons for cooing.
But regardless of sex, all pigeons coo by making soft, guttural sounds.
The lovebirds coo responsibly with their chicks. Both parents are involved in incubating their offspring. We talk about this in the article “Pigeon pairs and breeding.”
But despite equal care of the eggs, only females make a special cooing sound during this important period, somewhat similar to the purring of a cat.
Males, on the other hand, make characteristic sounds when they choose and win their mate. The period of courtship of the dove is inseparably connected with the “lover’s song”. It is a necessary attribute. The performance is accompanied by specific movements and pose.
The described moment is very important, because these representatives of the feathered birds are monogamous. They choose a mate for life
Each male tries to attract the attention of the female he likes. In love, pigeons use all the arsenal that nature has given them
Males in love follow their chosen mate unerringly, circling around her, now following on her heels, now running ahead. The dove unfolds its tail and presses it to the ground. Inevitably curves his chest, trying to expand it as much as possible to seem stronger and larger in the eyes of the bride.
A distinctive feature is that the pigeon cooers with its beak closed.
Each individual’s cooing is unique
Doves in love are always eye-catching and adorable. After all, they always have a gentle and touching behavior during the courtship period. During a peculiar ritual, the pair strokes each other’s necks and heads with their beaks, touching them, continuing to make distinctive sounds.
When, pigeons coo, they do it strictly individually. Each individual has its own rhythm, tone, frequency and intensity of sound.
Considering that city birds can make up to 8 clutches a year, each of which will be preceded by a courtship period, then you are just doomed to almost constantly see lovebirds cooing, dancing at the same time.
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Why pigeons coo
In general, cooing is a characteristic sound for the pigeon family. It is a melodic, muffled rumbling purr. What other sounds do pigeons make? Some of them can coo, whistle and even hiss, when startled these birds emit a loud short cry. But it is the cooing of pigeons that is an indispensable attribute of courtship.
All pigeons coo during the mating season, when they mark their territory and call the females. During this turbulent period, cooing is especially pronounced. Although its style, timbre and rhythm are different even among similar species of pigeons.
And already cooing sounds of quite a different tonality are produced during incubation. Then they resemble the purring of a cat. Spring cooing starts early in pigeons – as early as in February. In general, during the period from March to November a pair of pigeons can make up to 8 clutches. And the eve of each of them is accompanied by vigorous cooing and characteristic mating dances. It is necessary to note the stability of such pigeon unions, which last far from 1-2 seasons.
Cooing is a vital quality for an individual bird. If the male is not active enough when performing the courtship ritual, the female does not perceive him as a worthy successor of the pigeon family.
Cooing is the most important part of the tools with which the male tries to get the female to reciprocate.
It is believed that cooing can stop a heart attack and relieve nervous tension.
Why do pigeons coo so differently? The difference in the structure of the vocal apparatus of the different species of these birds affects them. Some are more of a whoop, others murmur like a brook, while others sound as if they are making a drum roll. It turns out that the more melodious the timbre, the longer the roulade, the more valuable the breed and the particular pigeon. Many pigeon breeders note that it is their cooing that is most valuable to humans.
The Siberian pigeon is one of the most common pigeon species. The bird is native to tropical and subtropical parts of Eurasia and Africa. It is from this breed that the first domestic pigeons originated in ancient times. Subsequently, having gone feral, they became our habitual neighbors in urban life.
The cooing of the Eurasian pigeon is a muffled, resounding rumbling sound; during the mating season, males, attracting females, especially shine with their vocalizations. The male, inflating his goiter, cooing loudly, while he whirls, spreading out his tail, from time to time pressing it to the floor.
They also mark their territory by cooing. When frightened, or warning their fellow tribesmen of danger, pigeons make a loud sound similar to “o-rrrr! “.
Dreaming of a cooing pigeon is a blessing for lovers, and to the married it promises a strong family. The cooing of pigeons is considered medicinal. Asclepius, the famous doctor of the ancient world, treated sick people by cooing pigeons. The cooing of some breeds is strikingly different from what we are used to hearing. For example, the Baku breed, can make a sound similar to “cua cua”.
Immediately after birth, pigeon chicks can only hiss faintly or make quiet clicks with their beaks. As they grow older, they begin to squeak joyfully and demandingly at the sight of their parents back in the nest. The loudest sounds are heard during feeding.
The vocal apparatus of birds is located deep in the lower part of the trachea. It consists of elastic membranes that vibrate under the flow of exhaled air, resulting in a characteristic cooing.
By cooing, pigeons communicate with each other, showing sympathy, or vice versa, warning a competitor of their rights, or intentions.
Recently, we have popularized exotic pigeon species that can be kept directly in the city apartment. Most people breed doves, their content is simple, they do not require much food, unpretentious. The graceful-looking doves fill the house with their quiet, soothing cooing, creating a pleasant, comfortable atmosphere.
A sonorous calling card
Each bird species has its own sonic calling card. Owls whoop, ducks quack, cranes coo. which sounds the pigeon makes is also no secret. However, there is a variety of different signals, which only sometimes the human ear has to pick up.
Most often the city dweller hears cooing pigeons. However, these birds are also capable of making other sounds. The most common of them are listed below:
Clicking and hissing sounds are made by chicks at different stages of their development. At first, they can only hiss or click their beaks, demanding the attention and care of their parents. When they grow up, they begin to whistle at the sight of older members of their family.
A pigeon may yell “orrrr” or “urrr” sharply and briefly. This is a sign of danger. It is usually followed by claps of wings, after which the whole flock and even the lovebirds, carried away with each other, take off and fly up.
It is enough to give the alarm signal to one bird, but it will be heard and taken into account by absolutely all birds.