Why Do Pigeons Die When They Mate?

If you have pigeon pets at your home, you will be conscious of the statement or myth that pigeons die after mating.

Some animals like chameleons and a particular type of spiders die after breeding, but these birds are not included in this group.

It is a common myth about suicidal mating that pigeons usually die when they mate, but nothing is closer to reality.

Why Do Pigeons Die When They Mate? The pigeons do not die after mating, but other factors leading to death are associated somehow with their reproduction process. According to our research and experience, it is not the breeding process itself responsible for the pigeon’s death but environmental fluctuations like high or low temperature and hormonal imbalance cause their death. In addition, mating pigeons are more susceptible to predation due to their less focus on attacking predators. Few of them die as they cannot cope with the post-mating stress.

Pigeons do not generally die after they mate, but some possibilities can cause death in some birds at this stage. Some of the possible risks that can lead to a pigeon’s death are mentioned in this article.

I conducted a survey to determine the death ratio in pigeons after mating and included 463 people in it. All of these have pigeons as pets at home, and they shared their experiences.

Only 51 people (11%) have observed death in their pets after mating and mentioned that reason was stress.

In addition, 268 people (58%) have added that their pigeons did not die after breeding. While the remaining 144 people (31%) were unaware that the mating process affects the lives of pigeons.


Pigeons die after mating if they are old. Aging is one of the prominent factors that lead to their death after pairing, as they cannot cope with the stress.

Older birds have a weaker immune system and cannot fight predators. So, they are more prone to death.

Environment factors

One of the stressful stimuli for pigeons is an extreme temperature that can lead to death, especially after mating.

After breeding, their body temperature rises from the normal when they pass through psychological stress.

Furthermore, their body temperature is higher than the humans as they are warm-blooded. Therefore, their body temperature regularly rises if the external temperature exceeds their tolerance limit.

Similarly, the colder environment is also not suitable for them to survive, and they need a warm place to get heat.

So, extreme temperatures, including cold and hot or changing weather, can be deadly for these birds as they cannot tolerate both extremes.

Hormonal imbalance and lesser energy 

They feel lazy and lethargic after mating due to a lack of energy. As a result, they show aggressive behavior during the breeding process that produces a high cortisol level in their body.

The average concentration of cortisol regulates metabolic processes like energy uptake and mobilization.

However, a high cortisol level suppresses their defense system by degrading the muscle proteins. Therefore, they can die due to lesser energy and compromised immune system.

Susceptible to predators

Many predators take advantage of pigeon mating when focusing on the reproduction process.

Therefore, it is easy to attack them as they are more vulnerable to predation at this time.

Accordingly, it results in the death of pigeons that you can associate with mating. Predators like hawks, crows, and cats do not miss the opportunity and attack on them instantly.

They are successful in making birds their prey at this time.

Lesser availability of food 

Birds cannot survive without food for longer, and the same is the case with pigeons. They can live without food for just 2 to 3 days.

Moreover, they are dependent on humans for their food and can die during scarcity. They feel low energy and exhausted, so they need food to meet their body energy requirements.

Additionally, they can die if they do not get food at this time. Therefore, the leading cause is the unavailability of food rather than the reproduction process.

Mating Stress

Reproduction is a stressful process that affects the health of all birds, including pigeons. The stress can occur during or after breeding and leads to illness.

The reason behind the death of the animals is the post-mating stress, which they cannot handle.

Therefore, their death is not a pairing process, but the real factor is stress. So, we cannot say that pigeons die due to mating or after it.

Do all pigeons die after mating? 

Pigeons are a monogamous species means they live their whole life with a single partner until they die. Moreover, you can say that they mate for their complete life.

All birds do not die after mating; it is not a reason for their death. However, there can be secondary reasons that cause their death, like diseases or stress.

It is estimated that every pigeon gives birth to almost 28 new birds in life. So, it is enough to negate the statement about the death of all birds after breeding.

Pigeons mate themselves for a long time unless their mating partner dies due to some reasons like diseases or accidentally.

Moreover, the birds start searching for a new mate if their partner dies, and this process takes more than a month.

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