Most probably, you have seen pigeons with a tail in an upward direction when they move their head down to reach the food on the ground. However, such movements of the tail occur naturally, but these birds can also raise them intentionally to relax the muscle.
What Does it Mean When a Pigeon Puts its Tail Up? When a pigeon puts its tail up, it means that they are interested in mating and trying to show its interest to female by getting their attention. Moreover, it can also be a sign of happiness and back off alert for predators. Furthermore, they do this to relax muscles and maintain their balance.
It is essential to understand the behavior of birds as their body language helps us know about their needs or requirements and how they feel.
In the same way, it can be a way of communicating with their owner or related birds.
Why do pigeons put their tails up?
There are many reasons for making pigeon raise their tails higher in the air, including the desire to mate and show happiness.
The male and female pigeon keep their tails high when they are willing to mate. Moreover, males usually show this behavior when they want to seek attention from females.
Not only do they bring changes in tail position, but they begin to bob their heads. In the same way, you can see them flapping wings and moving heads to adjust their position for climbing.
She can also tilt it to expose her cloaca so that male birds can mate with her. They can show interest in mating by spreading the quill feathers that help communicate their interests.
Sign of happiness
This movement can help understand the emotions and situation of birds and what they want to communicate.
There are different means of these movements, as they can show contentment, aggressiveness, happiness, or feeling sad or upset.
You can consider that they are happy when moving their tails upward. It can be present in close proximity to food or enjoying rain when they change its position.
They can do multiple activities like flapping wings or wagging their tails when they want to express their emotions.
Indicator to back off
A raised tail of a pigeon indicates that it can be a signal to keep the predators away from their nest. They have to become aggressive against the predators to avoid the risk of attack.
They can get upset after seeing a cat or predator bird in their periphery and begin to move here and there on the ground while keeping it in an upright position.
It becomes difficult to respond to an attack when any fierce animal approaches you in no time; that’s why pigeons have to stay alert and inform others by bringing changes in their behavior.
Moreover, the changes in its positions can be a sign of the entry of predators that can help alert other birds to get ready for defense.
Engage in communication
It can be an effective method to engage other birds in communication as it can be a male, female, or even young one that cannot talk and move to fulfill their desires.
The baby birds or squabs can raise their tails when they want to convey a message to their parents, as they can show happiness and contentment.
Moreover, the adult males and females can talk to each other as it helps understand that they want attention from their partner or indicate a threat.
Relax tail muscles
Pigeon tails have only a few types of muscles controlling their movement. However, non-striated muscles are present in their feathers that can allow easier movement.
They can relax the muscles by frequently raising them and returning to their normal position.
When you see them being engaged in this movement, it indicates that they are relaxing their tails and trying to get rid of tiredness when they fly for a long.
Pigeons use their tails to maintain balance
Feathers can help these birds to maintain balance when they are not feeling comfortable in any position. Moreover, its position also changes when they are flying down to the ground.
This behavior can also help them change the direction of movement and stabilize the pitching movements. It gives a suitable lift when flying at a high acceleration in the sky.
A balanced position is achieved by maintenance of aerodynamic stability, and this help controls the angle of wings when they are going to attack instead of flying.
How do pigeons put their tails up?
It is pretty easy for a pigeon to put their tails up and raise them in the air as it contains a lot of feathers and a few muscles.
Almost 25 to 40 quill feathers in the tail region give it a fluffy appearance. These quill feathers are present around the uropygium and form a tail collectively.
Moreover, these are arranged semi-circularly, giving them a fan-like shape. However, a few muscles are present in their tails and trunk, but they are strong enough to control their motion.
So, these birds tighten up their muscles and raise it higher. It is accompanied by spreading feathers in a fan-shape sometimes when they want to communicate with a partner or predator.
What type of pigeons puts their tails up?
Most probably, the pigeons raising their tails upward are males as they are trying to get the attention of females by doing such activities, including bowing and circling.
The females only show this type of behavior when they want to give male birds access to the cloaca for mating purposes.
Additionally, this behavior is common in adult birds as the baby birds are in the growth phase and unaware of such movements.
They do not have to impress the females for mating or maintain balance as they remain inside the nest until they become adults and can manage the nest tasks.
However, this type of movement can only be seen in babies when they want to express happiness and try to communicate with their mothers.
How often do pigeons put their tails up?
The frequency of raising tails in pigeons depends on the circumstances when they need to put it up.
This behavior is commonly seen in the mating season, like in summers when you observe the male birds circling around the female and showing desire for mating.
In addition, they can also put them up whenever they see cats or falcons around them.
It depends on the situation, as they can raise tails frequently while trying to maintain balance and signal the predator to step back from their nest.
Accordingly, such movement indicates that these birds have seen their predators and are ready to defend themselves to ensure survival.