Why Do Pigeons Open Their Wings in the Rain?

Many pigeons like to come out in the rain and do different activities to enjoy the weather. They open up the wings to make their presence prominent and adopt different postures to get warmth.

Why Do Pigeons Open Their Wings in the Rain? Pigeons open their wings in the rain for natural bathing, stretching, and to give warmth to their body. Moreover, they do so to ease the tough molting time and to show attention-seeking behavior. They make their feathers slightly waterproof by preening and flapping their wings in the rain.

They take this as an opportunity and sit out in the rain to remove the mud they got during flying. In addition, they get tired from flying continuously, so they sit and relax by stretching their body and wings in several ways. 

What makes pigeon open their wings in the rain?

Opening wings in the rain is their common practice, and they do so whenever it rains. Rain showers become a natural bathing system for pigeons which they utilize and enjoy.


They love to take bathe and go anywhere they see some extra water to do so. However, sometimes they do not reach for bathing resources, so they take advantage of the rain to clean their body.

In addition, they sometimes have mud or other dirt on their body, so they bathe in the rain to wash their body.

It helps them to get rid of mites from their feathers.


They do so to provide comfort to their tired body. They keep their bodies for a longer time on their feet, so they become tired and need some relaxation.

Continuously spending more time on the feet needs to improve their blood circulation. So pigeons use a specific technique to do this by opening up one side of the wing and stretching the opposite side of the foot.

This process improves muscle performance and increases blood circulation in the body. 

To take warmth

They make a special kind of posture to get warmth in the rain. Sometimes they do not want to leave the rain and need some warmth simultaneously, so they use their air pockets for this purpose. 

Pigeons open up their wings and spread them over their body to completely cover them. As a result, their body produces some heat and helps to maintain the temperature in this situation. 

To ease molting

They do this to ease the long molting time because it is a difficult period for them. Moreover, opening the wings in the rain relieves the pain of this process, so they open them to their maximum extent.

It is a process in which their feathers shed, and new ones take their place, like the autumn season in which trees lose their leaves to get the new ones. It can happen due to many factors, for example, extra preening and infections.

Pigeons also do this in stress conditions, mainly when you keep them in a place other than their nests. This changing habitat also becomes a reason for this molting because they get sick in this situation.

Small feathers replace almost all around the year, but large ones are shed at a specific time. A healthy pigeon completes this process in about 150 to 180 days according to their health condition and breed. 

Attention seeking behavior

Pigeons are social creatures and remain healthy and happy when they get a lot of attention from you. However, you have to pay attention to their behavior because they use different gestures to show their need. 

They also use some tactics to get your attention for many purposes. For example, opening wings in the rain is also their strategy to attract you to ask for food when they see you with any pack of grains or nuts.

They also open their wings to show their presence, making them more noticeable. 

Why do pigeons lift one wing in the rain?

Pigeons play and perform several other kinds of activities in the rain. For example, they repeatedly lift their wings one by one in the rain to get a good soaking in them.

They slowly open one wing and slightly tilt it to let these droplets reach their body. Raindrops slip down their feathers and do not absorb in those feathers because they can not fly effectively with wet wings. 

Why do pigeons flap their wings in the rain?

Some pigeons flap their wings to warn the predators. However, sometimes predators consider them unaware of the attack due to enjoying the rain and try to attack them from behind.

But primarily, they sense the presence of this predator and start to flap their wings in a specific way.

They touch the end of one wing to the other and make a noise to tell the predator they know its presence. Mostly rock pigeons do so to protect themselves in dangerous situations. 

Can pigeons’ feathers get wet in the rain?

Their feathers are essential for effective flying because they push the air down and increase their speed.

These feathers are not water resistant by nature, so they do some tricks to make them waterproof. First, they use the preening process and spread the natural oil on their body to get maximum resistance to water.

Pigeons hit their beak to the base of the neck to get this oil and to spread it over their feathers.

This oil penetrates in their pours and makes a kind of insulation layer to stop water from penetrating them. But, it is essential to describe that it provides slight resistance and does not make it completely waterproof.

They do not get wet in moderate rain showers because the raindrops slip over the surface of their wings.

However, they get completely soaked in a heavy storm, and the preening process fails to protect them from this heavy rain. 

What happens if a pigeon gets wet in the cold rain?

They have several air pockets under their wings to help them fly higher in the sky, filling with air to assist them in their flying. 

You need to pay special attention to your pigeons because they can become sick if the rain is cold. They get cold when these air pockets fill with cold water and can become life-threatening if they remain in the rain for several hours.

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