Pigeons are very friendly with other pigeons and move together in circles. Sometimes, the birds become excited and communicate intensively during sunrise and sunset.
Why Do Pigeons Dance in Circles? Pigeons dance in circles as a defense mechanism to avoid predators and to confuse them. They move in circles when they want to communicate with each other about a threat and locate their destination and food resources. This pattern is essential for birds to preserve their body energy at higher altitudes. The male pigeon performs a mating dance around the female to express his desire. They can detect climate changes, move in circles before a storm, and prevent cold nights. A viral infection can also make pigeons move in irregular circular patterns.
There are many benefits of dancing in circles as it is one of the natural behaviors of birds to escape the predator. They continue to fly in the air in circles for several distances until the other birds join to enlarge the flock to make them safer.
To confuse predators
Pigeons can easily fall prey to the birds because they live in the same environment where hawks also live. Therefore, they use this method as a survival mechanism from predators.
Flying alone is risky for the bird because it becomes easy for the predator to target its prey. The hawk is the natural predator, and it always scares the birds.
It becomes difficult for an alone bird to escape from the hawk because it has easy access to that bird. Pigeons flying in flocks are safer because it confuses the predator to trace its right target to attack.
It becomes challenging for the predators to attack them, mainly when birds use this flying pattern.
They dance in circles and fly due to fear, especially when they see a cat that is a major threat to them.
They keep dancing in the air until the other birds present on the ground adequately join them.
Small pigeons are inexperienced and are scared of even small threats and start to dance in circles immediately to avoid the danger.
To signal the group
The bird flies in circles to communicate with each other by using auditory signals because communication is the key to keeping the group organized.
They dance in circles and produce sounds used as a signal for the flock to move together. They leave their nesting sites during the daytime and return to their places at sunset.
They fly during sunrise and sunset by producing cooing to convey different messages to the flocks.
To locate destination
The mapping of their homes is the reason they keep on dancing and flying in circles. They use an olfactory map to locate their home by using a strong sense of smell in the air.
The odor of atmospheric gases, clay, and dust helps them understand the map of their current and home location. In addition, they can easily find the smell of routes that are known to them.
Pigeons have tiny magnetic particles in their beaks, and they use them to locate their destination and sense the earth’s magnetic field. They use compass mechanisms to find the right direction for their homes.
They also use a mapping mechanism that helps them compare the sites where they are present and where they want to go.
Preservation of body energy
The birds dance in circles to use them as a source of preservation of body energy because flying upward takes extra energy.
Pigeons prefer to cover long distances in the form of a flock because it is helpful to save this energy. They fly effortlessly when they are at higher altitudes, especially over mountains.
These birds adopt circular patterns of movements to attract the other pigeons to put less energy into flight.
They move in circular patterns to create a thermal environment that draws less energy for their upward movement.
It is essential to move in circles to make the best use of a warm environment. This is because their thermal area depends on the size of the flock, and greater size will mean more preservation of energy.
They use thermal areas to keep flight easy and minimum energy-draining, especially while migrating to distant locations.
Signal for mating
Sometimes, a male pigeon performs a mating dance around a female.
When a male pigeon desires to mate, he lowers his head, puffs out his neck feathers, and starts moving around a female by performing a mating dance.
The male starts cooing to give specific signals to the female, and she responds to him in a friendly way as a signal of willingness.
To find a good hiding spot
These birds always need to find good hiding spots, and for this purpose, they start to move in a circle. Pigeons do not have a large brain, but they are intelligent in finding their spots for rest.
The birds can detect changes in their environment, and any threat or danger causes them to find their rest place.
For example, if they detect the threat of a storm, then they become quiet and start to fly in circles giving signals to the other fellows.
They also want to hide in warmth during cold winter nights and fly in circles for this purpose.
Find food sources
Food is an essential part of the survival of life, and birds always remain in search of food sources.
Food sources are remote from their resting point, but they require food and water from time to time to keep them fresh.
They always move in circles and align themselves to detect the earth’s magnetic field in search of food places.
Movement in a circle due to viral infection
A viral infection in pigeons occurs due to drinking contaminated water and direct contact with the feces.
This can damage the central nervous system of pigeons and causes neurological symptoms leading to orientation issues during flying.
This disease also affects their wings, and they lose their strength and begin to tremble, ultimately leading to the paralysis of wings.
They turn their head to one side, and they seem to start circling in the air in a very irregular manner.
How long can the pigeons dance in circles?
There is no limit for the pigeons to move in circles and will do so whenever they need to adopt this pattern.
For example, predators are always ready to prey on them, and they will start to fly in circles whenever they sense them.
The birds can dance in circles several times a day because there are many reasons for them to move in circles.