Do Pigeons Fly At Night? 7 Facts You Should Know


Do Pigeons Fly At Night? 7 Facts You Should Know

Pigeons are usually seen frolicking around during the day, but do they fly at night? Allow us to tell you all about it. 

Pigeons do not fly at night, preferring to rest instead. At night, they may fly from their resting place due to several factors, such as a sudden movement nearby, noises in or around the building, or lights flashing around their resting spot. 

If they remain undisturbed, pigeons enjoy a quiet night’s sleep and then go about their business during the day. They fly long distances and actively search for their food during the daytime. 

Where do pigeons go at night?

A common misconception is that pigeons go to their nests at night. However, this isn’t true. Let us learn more in this regard. 

Pigeons hunt for resting places at night, which can be trees, windows of buildings, rooftops, undersides of bridges, and so on. Their nests are primarily meant for breeding purposes and for supporting the infant, and they do not use them throughout the year. Once the breeding season is over, pigeons leave their nests.

Image Credits: “Pigeon sitting on Wires©Reza ® by Reza (Jim) is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Do pigeons fly in the dark?

Pigeons prefer not to fly in the dark because they are diurnal animals that are only active during the daytime. Besides, although they can see better than humans during the day, their vision is compromised at night. 

However, we must add here that they can still manage their way in the dark if they feel threatened at their resting place and need to find a new one

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Why don’t pigeons fly at night?

Pigeons do not fly at night because their vision is not at its best in the absence of daylight. Besides, they prefer resting at night and are not nocturnal animals like owls. As such, they are tired after a full day of activity and need sufficient rest, which they can only get at night.

How do pigeons sleep at night?

Image Credits: “Two Pigeons Sleeping” by RichardJames1990 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Pigeons prefer sleeping on elevated surfaces so as to avoid ground predators who roam around at night. Besides, their shelter should be sufficiently warm and hidden so that the pigeon feels safe and comfortable. Usually, they sleep for 10 hours per night.

Which birds fly at night?

Image Credits: “Young Barn Owls in Grain Silo Nest (1982)” by Hunter-Desportes is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Even though pigeons do not fly at night, there are several birds that do. So, let us take a quick look at them. 

Birds that stay awake and fly at night are called nocturnal, and they include:

  • Little Penguin
  • Barn Owl
  • Black-Crowned Night Heron
  • Stone Curlew
  • Nightjar
  • Woodcock
  • Kakapo
  • Tawny Frogmouth
  • Corncrake
  • Kildeer 

Birds, whether nocturnal or not, may fly at night if they do not feel safe in their current resting space. However, these are rare instances, and once birds find a safe space, they rest there until they have to move. 

How long do pigeons fly?

On average, pigeons can fly around 500 to 800 miles at a speed of 60 miles per hour. However, in racing games, pigeons have flown for about 1,800 kilometers or 1,100 miles at a speed of 100 miles per hour. Pigeons can usually fly for around 13 hours per day without stopping.

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We must add here that while traveling long-distances, racing pigeons may continue to travel even at night time to reach their destination. 

Which is the fastest flying pigeon?

Image Credits: “ROCK DOVE” by cuatrok77 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The rock dove is the fastest flying pigeon, and it can easily cover around 148.9 kilometers per hour. Some pigeon species which are specifically bred for racing are extensively trained to fly faster, and they can cover a considerable distance in one go. However, most birds travel at the speed of 60 miles per hour. 


Although pigeons do not see very well at night, they still have better vision than human beings. Therefore, if they need to move around at night, they can do so without their vision being a hindrance. Speed and agility are two of the most important attributes of pigeons, and having excellent vision gives them an added advantage over several other birds. 

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