People think pigeons are innocent and simple birds with little or no emotional awareness and overlook their feelings and emotional lives, but they have incredible social cognition.
Do You Think Pigeons Have Feelings? Pigeons have feelings, as they can feel love, happiness, sadness, empathy, excitement, anger, loneliness, jealousy, and many other related emotions. They cannot express their emotions with facial expressions, so they bring behavioral changes. They bob head, flap wings, and make cooing sounds to show excitement, fear, and desire to mate.
It can be surprising for some people to know that pigeons do not have limited cognitive abilities, as they have complex abilities for navigation and understanding human response.
Do pigeons have feelings?
Pigeons are social, peaceful, and expressive birds with complex or basic emotions like other birds and humans. They are pretty intelligent, so people use them to send messages.
Every creature on this planet has a certain level of feelings and thoughts, so the birds also can feel changes in their environment and react accordingly after assessing them.
It is not supported by any scientific evidence, but their behavioral changes confirm that they do have feelings and bring changes in their activities under different situations.
They can feel positive and negative vibes by understanding body language. They have good memories and remember your aggressive behavior and do not dare to come closer to you.
You can train them by associating their feelings with food or any other reward, as they can quickly learn. They feel protective of their partner and babies and get sad after losing them.
In addition, they feel happy after getting plenty of their favorite food and a chance to mate with their female partner. Similarly, they feel jealous and fearful after seeing attacking predators.
They cannot express their emotions of anger and excitement through facial expressions.
Furthermore, they can also feel upset and grief when their babies are vulnerable to predator attacks. You cannot see their tears when crying because they make noise to show their sad emotions.
How do pigeons express their feelings?
Pigeons express their feelings in a unique way, which is different from humans and other creatures, as they do not open their mouths to show fear like humans usually do.
Moreover, they change their body posture and vocalization to show their feelings. Sometimes, they express different emotions through the same gestures in different situations.
They puff their chests when trying to express their desire to mate with the female so that it becomes easy for a partner to know their feelings.
In addition, the scared birds usually puff their feathers to increase their body size, which helps ward off predators. They also make loud noises and tuck their wings inside when feeling fearful.
They can also become aggressive when foreign birds try to invade their territories, so they show aggression by pecking at the bills of other pigeons and flapping their wings quickly.
In the same way, they make cooing sounds to show dominance over other birds and make grunting noises when they are feeling sad. They also deny food and droop their wings in grief.
You can see them bobbing their heads up and moving back and forth on the ground when feeling happy or excited. Sometimes, they flap their wings when they feel startled or confused.
So, these behavioral changes are ways to express emotions in these birds, and some body postures and reactions are associated with more than one feeling.
Do pigeons feel affection for their owners?
Pigeons make strong bonds with humans and show affection to their owners only because they consider humans as a food source.
Moreover, they feel relaxed and contended to see caring people around them because they love to gain attention. They can feel upset when they do not see their owners for long.
They express affection for their owners by roaming around them without showing any aggression. You can assume they feel safe around you when they sit on your shoulder or hand.
In the same way, they only come to eat from the owner’s hand because they trust and love their owners; otherwise, it seems to be a risky decision for these little birds.
Furthermore, they flap their wings, come closer, and perch on the body to express their emotions of love or affection to humans. They are sensitive birds and respond happily if you treat them in a good way.
Do pigeons have thoughts?
Many people consider pigeons mindless creatures, but this is not true as they are intelligent birds, according to bird keepers and enthusiasts.
They are also ranked among intelligent organisms belonging to the animal kingdom because they have successfully passed the mirror test.
They are capable of self-recognition and identifying themselves after seeing in the mirror, which means they have great consciousness about their existence.
It indicates that they can process information and make decisions after analyzing the situation. It is difficult to know about their thinking patterns, but their decisions show that they have thoughts.
They are capable of solving problems and memorizing the situations and faces to deal with them accordingly. They remember your face whether you behave aggressively or affectionately.
Do pigeons get jealous?
Pigeons can have complex emotions like jealousy, which is a combination of many basic emotions like suspicion, fear, and anger, particularly when they feel a threat from others.
They can get jealous when other pigeons try to get closer to their partner and invade their territory or resources. They try to compete for the rewards when they see other birds getting a reward.
Moreover, this emotion exists in these birds primarily due to their territorial nature, as they do not tolerate any interference in their territories.
In the same way, they are possessive of their partner and mate for life, so they cannot see another pigeon trying for an opportunity to attract females for mating.
Sometimes, they feel jealous in captivity when they see you providing food and toys to other birds in their cage and react aggressively due to jealousy.
Do pigeons feel loneliness?
Pigeons are social creatures that prefer to live in large flocks, so they can feel lonely when you keep them alone in a separate cage.
Some adapt to live with humans when they are kept alone, but it takes a long time to develop a strong bond with humans and feel affection for them.
It is better to keep them in pairs, particularly when you cannot spend enough time with these little birds. They need good companions to live happily; otherwise, they feel lonely.
In addition, the feeling of loneliness is associated with sadness and grief when they remain alone for a long without seeing any fellow.
You can see them feeling sad when missing their partners and babies. They mourn over dead partners and babies if not even a single member of the flock remains alive.
Do pigeons have empathy?
Pigeons have a feeling of empathy as they can understand and feel the emotions of other birds. They can understand when their fellows are feeling sad and try to make them happy.
They show affection to the flock members and console them for any bad incident in their lives. They develop emotional attachments for them and help them recover from injuries.
Moreover, they try to provide comfort to injured fellows that are suffering from pain and distress. It indicates that they understand the conditions of others and share their emotion to show empathy.
In addition, they can help avoid predators if one of their fellows is not strong enough to defend against attacks, as their mutual cooperation can keep a larger predator away from the flock.
Furthermore, they adjust their behavior according to the responses, indicating that they have emotional awareness, but their level of empathy is not highly advanced.