How Fast Do Pigeons Fly? 7 Facts You Should Know!

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How Fast Do Pigeons Fly? 7 Facts You Should Know!

Pigeons are a common city bird who fly at high altitudes. Let us together learn how fast different species of pigeons fly.



Pigeon Species


Flying Speed


Clay Pigeons


42 miles per hour or 68 km/hr


Racing Pigeons


93 miles per hour or 150 km/hr


Wood Pigeons


Up to 77.6 miles per hour or 124 km/hr


Homing Pigeons


60 miles per hour or 97 km/hr
Pigeon species & their flying speed

How Fast Do Pigeons Fly?

On average, pigeons can fly at a speed of 77.6 miles per hour and can go even up to 92.5 miles per hour. In a single day, pigeons may fly around 600 to 700 miles. They are extremely efficient creatures who have to fly in search of food and escape predators. 

We must add here that pigeons are not low-flying birds and can soar to very high altitudes. Most pigeons can fly at an altitude of 6,000 feet or even more. 

Is a Pigeon Faster Than a Falcon?

Pigeons are not faster than falcons. On average, pigeons fly at a speed of 77.6 to 92.5 miles per hour, whereas Peregrine Falcons fly at a speed of 186 miles per hour. We must add here that both pigeons and falcons travel faster than the average bird, whose speed varies between 19 to 37 miles per hour.

Peregrine Falcons are counted among the fastest-flying birds on this planet. Several environmental and geographical factors contribute to the speed of a bird. In addition, the bird’s health, weight, and ability also contribute to its flying speed. 

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Why Do Pigeons Fly Faster? 

Pigeons fly faster than the average bird because they have more stamina and greater muscle flexibility. Their environment, cellular structure, and overall health greatly determine their flying speed. In addition, racing pigeons are often trained to fly at a higher speed and can fly 92 miles per hour. 

During training, pigeons are given more nutritious food and made to exercise properly in order to prepare them for the race. The extended feeding time and exercises give them the extra fuel and flexibility that would be required for the race. 

The Fastest Pigeon Species

Image Credits: “Racing Pigeon” by Glosters is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

When we talk about the fastest pigeon species, we must consider a few names, especially of the pigeon varieties used in racing. 

Fastest pigeon species ,Here they are:

  • Belgian Postal Pigeon
  • English Quarry Pigeon
  • Moscow Monk Pigeon
  • Tape Turman Pigeon
  • Damask Pigeon
  • Tula Hot Turman Pigeon
  • Kalot Pigeon
  • German Elster Pigeon

All these pigeon species are much in demand for competitions, with the Belgian Postal Pigeon being one of the top choices. They are extensively trained and given sufficient nutrition that allows them to fly for long distances. In addition, these pigeons are sold in the market at a very high price. 

How Far Can a Pigeon Fly in a Single Day?

In a single day, pigeons can fly up to 600 to 700 miles at a stretch. Besides, they can fly continuously for 13 hours per day. The longest recorded distance by a pigeon was 7,200 miles, and the journey took around 24 days. 

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Can Pigeons Fly at Night?

Pigeons are diurnal birds who generally do not fly at night because their vision is not designed for night-time flying. Unlike owls, they are not nocturnal animals and prefer sleeping at night. As such, they fly during the day and rest at night. 

At night, pigeons retreat to their resting space, which can be anything from building windows, trees, rooftops, etc. 

How Far Can Pigeons Travel without Getting Lost?

Image Credits: “Homing Pigeon” by cbgrfx123 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Pigeons can travel well over 1,100 miles without getting lost. In fact, pigeon species such as the homing pigeons are known for their ability to find their way back home even from a considerable distance which is why they were used as messengers during ancient times. 

An interesting point that should be noted is that pigeons have a great sense of direction and an excellent memory. As such, they are unlikely to get lost far from home. 

FAQs

Q: How fast do pigeons fly?

A: Pigeons are known for their impressive flying abilities. On average, pigeons can fly at a speed of 90 miles per hour (mph).

Q: What is the average speed of pigeons?

A: The average speed of a pigeon is around 90 mph.

Q: Are pigeons the fastest bird?

A: No, pigeons are not the fastest bird. While they can fly at impressive speeds, there are other bird species that can fly faster.

Q: Can pigeons fly long distances?

A: Yes, pigeons have the ability to fly long distances. They are known for their navigation skills and can find their way home from unfamiliar locations.

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Q: How do pigeons find their way home?

A: Pigeons use a variety of navigational cues to find their way home. These cues include visual landmarks, magnetic field detection, and olfactory cues.

Q: Are racing pigeons faster than other pigeons?

A: Racing pigeons are bred for speed and have been known to fly at higher speeds than other pigeon breeds. They are trained and conditioned to compete in pigeon races.

Q: How do pigeon races work?

A: Pigeon races are competitions where pigeons are released from a specific location and the goal is for them to return to their roost as quickly as possible. The time it takes for a pigeon to complete the race is recorded using a speed camera or other timing devices.

Q: Were pigeons used to carry messages?

A: Yes, pigeons were used as carrier pigeons to carry messages in the past. They have been used throughout history for communication purposes.

Q: What other fascinating abilities do pigeons have?

A: Pigeons have been known to have exceptional homing instincts, which allow them to find their way home from long distances. They are also highly adaptable and can thrive in urban environments.

Q: Are there any interesting facts about pigeons?

A: Yes, pigeons have a fascinating saga in the world’s history. They have been both revered and reviled by different cultures throughout time. They have been domesticated for thousands of years and have played roles in various aspects of human society.

Conclusion

The rock dove (also known as the common pigeon) is one of the fastest birds on this planet, but eagles and falcons easily out fly them. Although homing pigeons are excellent at navigation, they may get lost in rare instances. However, there is nothing to fret over, as pigeons usually always find a suitable environment for their sustenance and can survive in the wild. 

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