Why Do Pigeons Flap Their Wings?

Sometimes, you see pigeons show changes in the size of eyes, ruffling of feathers, flapping of wings, and tail flipping. It is their way of conveying their message to other birds.

Why Do Pigeons Flap Their Wings? Pigeons flap their wings to enjoy a smooth flight in the air and to seek the attention of other birds and humans. Moreover, they show this kind of behavior to express their emotions, including happiness, sadness, and aggressiveness. In addition, they begin to clap their wings loudly after looking at predators to protect their partners and fellows. Furthermore, you can see them clapping their wings while exercising to relax their body muscles. 

Furthermore, you can only understand the reason for clapping wings in the pets by carefully observing the behavior and noticing the environment.

What causes pigeons to flap their wings?

Many reasons account for the wing-flapping behavior of the birds in addition to the in-built characteristic of moving wings for flying.

Smooth flight

They move their wings forward and backward to improve their flight. It helps them fly higher in the sky to enjoy the flight.

Probably, you have seen when these birds display different moves by clapping their arms in the air. It looks impressive to see them flying together or showing such unique behavior.

Seek attention

Every creature on this planet needs attention and does not want to feel ignored. The same is the case with these birds, who used different tactics to gain attention from humans or their partners.

They move their wings in a specific manner that people begin to look at them. This can be a tactic to grab the attention of the female pigeons by moving here and there.

Show their emotions

All birds have emotions like humans, and they sometimes feel happy or upset. However, they can also have mood swings, as they are sad when you see them sitting silently on the backyard wall.

In the same way, they are happy when you see them clapping their wing, flying higher in the sky, and coming back to the ground.

However, different species have different ways of expressing their emotions.

Likewise, it can also do the same when he is upset, but you see him sitting on the ground or flying closer to the ground.

It can be a way of expressing emotions, but it varies in different species.

Aggressive behavior

They do this to show aggressive behavior when someone is trying to attack them. Then, they begin approaching the bird at high speed and start fighting each other.

Moreover, they show this type of activity when competing for resources or mating. So, it does not always indicate that it is happy, as it can be aggressive.

Avoid predators

Flapping the wings means that a predator is moving around and trying to capture it.

Accordingly, they begin to do some activity and get out of access to the predator bird or animal. It is easy to pounce upon a bird sitting quietly in the corner.

The predators and humans also try to catch them when they are sitting. So, it is a way to secure themselves from the attack that can be a life-saving act.

Clean their bodies

The dirt or the food particles can stick to birds’ wings that do not remove easily. So they have to flap to clean their bodies and get rid of the dust.

You can think of a bird as cleaning the body and removing the dirt and debris from its body whenever it claps while sitting inside a cage or in the backyard.

I have observed my pet pigeon flapping whenever it takes a bath to remove the water drops on them.

Doing exercise

Humans do exercise to build their muscles and remove the fat particles. They can also exercise to relax their bodies when they get tired of sitting for a whole day inside their cage.

They can exercise by doing this at a high rate while moving from one point to another on the lawn. It helps to feel lighter and reduces the strain on body muscles.

It helps maintain their health by doing aerobic exercises as they stretch their bodies or arms. Moreover, it can be a way to release tension and improve their mood.

Protect the partners

They begin to flap their wings on the ground when the predators try to reach their female partners.

In the same way, they start flying around the female to show their protective nature. It helps to frighten the predator so that he does not try to attack them.

Clapping of wings and creating a loud noise are like signals that he is getting aggressive.

This way, they can protect their partners as the attacker does not attack them by picking up the signal and interpreting their behavior.

How do pigeons flap their wings?

The flapping of wings is the strokes that they apply to increase or decrease the air pressure.

This is because it provides enough strength to move opposite the gravity.

The downward strokes help them rise higher in the air, while the upward strokes make them able to move down towards the ground.

They push their lighter bodies forward by making the air back or tilting their wings on the front end accordingly. In addition, they have strong muscles that help give strong thrust to fly ahead.

Moreover, they bring their arms on the front end or above the body many times in a single second while flapping.

They move their arms back and clap them forward with a good force that creates noise.

Do all pigeons flap their wings?

Wing flapping is a characteristic behavior of many species that move their wings in a specific manner to express their mood or give signals.

It is mainly observed in Rock pigeons that make a loud noise by thrusting both arms together while flying or sitting on the ground surface for multiple reasons.

You can commonly find such behavior in male and female rock pigeons and wood pigeons. This phenomenon is also observed in the owls having small-sized ears.

Other birds that move their arms include hummingbirds and sparrows; they do it many times in a second.

However, some larger birds have a slower flapping rate but can glide smoothly in the air like gulls.

How often do pigeons flap their wings?

The frequency of flapping wings in birds varies depending on their size, demand, and mood. Some of them clap faster, while a few are involved in slower flapping.

Smaller birds have higher frequencies of making applause than larger ones, like hummingbirds do flapping almost 65 to 80 times in a second.

So, it moves to the front end of the body almost 4000 to 5000 times in a minute. However, you can find a varying number of claps in a second by the Rock pigeons.

They can do such activity almost 7 to 8 times at a minimum, while wingbeats can reach 16 to 28 times at maximum.

In addition, the American robins and crows can show 18 to 25 clappings in 12 seconds.

However, the maximum number is shown by a broad-tailed hummingbird that can clap its wings 450 to 500 times in only 10 to 15 seconds.

What do pigeon owners say about this?

I surveyed 782 pigeon owners to know when and how frequently their pets flap wings. Out of 782 people, 492 people (63%) said their pets clap whenever they feel happy and express their happiness in this way.

However, 227 people (29%) said their birds show this behavior when they are frightened by looking at the predator like a cat and fly away.

While the remaining 63 people (8%) said, their pigeons make their wings clap during rain or after a bath to clean their bodies or to remove the water drops.

They have their body language to express their feelings to humans or to their fellows. Flapping is one of their characteristic behaviors that indicate their mood.

“My pigeon flaps its wings when it feels tired and muscle fatigue to relax the body.”

“I had seen my pet clapping due to anxiety and tension when the cat came closer to the cage.”

They have to keep themselves lighter for a better flight, so they keep flapping their wings to remove the dust and debris on their bodies.

“I used to see the green view in my backyard from the window during rain. I observed a set of pigeons enjoying the rain and flapping their wings.”

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