Many birds and animals, including pigeons, ensure the survival of their offspring and protect them from predator attacks. However, they can kill the squabs in rare cases when they have a valid reason to do so.
Why Do Pigeons Attack Baby Pigeons? Pigeons attack baby pigeons when they suffer from diseases that can risk other nest members’ lives. Moreover, squabs with birth defects or structural abnormalities only consume space and resources. They would kill the squabs that fell from the nest and squeak as they can grab the attention of predators. The foreign pigeons can kill the babies when they have entered the wrong nest or their parents are injured.
Baby pigeons have to lose their life when one of their parents die because the whole responsibility shifts toward the male or female, and a single parent cannot protect them well.
In contrast, the parents can also kill their babies when the conditions become unfavorable, and they cannot help them grow and provide nutrition.
Why do pigeons kill baby pigeons?
Foreign and parent pigeons can kill squabs for many reasons like they are not in good health conditions and unable to manage their lifestyle.
Pigeons do not keep diseased babies in their nests as they are useless to them. They are only consuming the food resources and nest space for no reason.
Moreover, it is common for squabs to get genetic diseases or bacteria and fungi from their parents who come back to the nest after roaming to different sites.
Diseased babies can pose a risk to the health of other nest mates, so they prefer to throw them out of their nest or kill them.
Their nest is made of small sticks and straws and provides a small space for them to live.
Accordingly, eggs having hatched babies can fall off the nest and get broken without making them die immediately.
There are fewer chances of a wounded baby surviving even after falling from a height, so their parents kill them to relieve the pain.
In addition, the fallen squabs begin to squeak, which can attract predators to their nests and threaten the lives of other members; that’s why their mother attacks them.
Pigeons are peaceful, loving, and calm birds and take care of their babies until they become independent and begin to collect their food.
Newly produced eggs can have birth defects or developmental malformations commonly seen in them. In addition, some skeletal anomalies and deformities can occur due to injury or genetic reasons.
Moreover, the parent pigeons can kill their baby pigeons when they cannot fly as their wings do not support them to take flight.
In addition, foot and leg deformities and malposition of toes are also seen in pigeons, affecting their lifestyle.
Such birds are only consuming space in the nest and food resources, so their parents kick them out of their nest to give place to new eggs.
They do not kill healthy eggs and are usually nurtured to help them grow well. However, inexperienced parents do not know how to care for their first baby and unknowingly kill them.
It is challenging for the birds who have given birth to their first squab as they do not know how to nurture them to ensure their safety.
One of them has to stay with the young ones to take care of their babies; otherwise, predators can attack and engulf the tiny eggs.
Furthermore, it happens in rare cases that they apply foot pressure on the soft shells of eggs resulting in the breakdown of eggs as they cannot tolerate the excessive stress.
Therefore, they can kill their young babies because they lack experience dealing with their eggs.
Entry into a wrong territory
Neighboring nests do not accept foreign pigeons due to the lesser space and nutrients available for their growth.
They will probably kill the squabs who have entered the wrong nest or moved out of their territory. They would consider these young squabs harmful or dangerous for the survival of their nests.
You can avoid such attacks by adding a barrier or wall between the two neighboring nests to restrict their entry into the wrong nest or territory.
Injured parent pigeon
Scalping or killing of baby pigeons occurs commonly when their parents are injured and cannot defend themselves to protect their babies.
The foreign birds attack the nest of sick and weak pigeons and kill squabs as they belong to a different parent or from another territory.
The squabs fall prey to foreign or neighboring birds because they can attract predators and pose a safety risk to all the nests in the surrounding areas.
Killed by a new mate
Pigeons mate with a single partner until it lives but search for another partner to mate with, increasing their population.
Adding a new mate to the nest can be the reason for killing babies of the old mate as they do not like the existing eggs and squabs.
Make space for new babies
They lay eggs after 10 to 12 days of mating with their male partner, which can take almost 2 to 3 weeks for hatching.
Moreover, the squabs can become able to take flight after 32 to 45 days of hatching and leave their nests. The existing babies have to go their nests before their development if the female pigeon mates again and lays eggs.
They are forced to leave their nest without resistance; otherwise, the parents attack and harm them, injuring them by pecking severely on their soft bodies. Sometimes, they even abandon their eggs.
How do you protect a baby pigeon from a pigeon attack?
You can take the fallen baby pigeon or those close to their nests when you see them in an injured condition or making efforts to live.
Most probably, they have refused to accept them due to physical disabilities or to place new eggs.
You can provide suitable treatment to those injured squabs by applying ointments on their wounds after sanitizing them with alcohol swabs.
Furthermore, give them nutritious food to continue their development as their parents will not feed them after abandoning them.
Choose a safe and secure place like an enclosed cardboard box or any other suitable container until they can fly.