Why Do Pigeons Sit On The Grass?

Pigeons are common in urban and suburban areas that keep moving from the air to the ground when they need food and frequently visit lawns or gardens.

Why Do Pigeons Sit On The Grass? Pigeons sit on the grass due to illness, lack of motion, drowsiness, and damaged legs after an injury. They can be dropping wings, near death, eating seeds, enjoying sunbathing, and anting by allowing ants to clean their bodies.

Many bird enthusiasts are curious about pigeons’ behavior. Sometimes, you can see them sitting in the grass.

Why does a pigeon sit on the grass?

A pigeon usually sits on the grass to relax their body muscles after flying for a long higher in the air. It takes a lot of effort to keep themselves in the air as they have to burn many calories.

Accordingly, they come to the ground and choose a comfortable surface to feel relaxed before locating another food source or returning to their nests.

However, other reasons also account for their sitting position on the grass, including sickness, fatigue or drowsiness, and injuries restricting them from taking a flight.


Pigeons can get ill as they can get infected with parasites and bacteria in their droppings. Moreover, they are directly exposed to harsh climatic conditions like cold or hot breezes.

Such bacterial and viral infections can lead to sickness when their wings tremble or necks can twist. These problems affect their flying behavior and make them sit quietly on the grass.

They can also suffer from disease-causing damage to their legs and feet, making it difficult for these birds to maintain their walking behavior and fly in the sky.

Furthermore, you can help an ill pigeon by taking it inside the house and providing warmth. Isolate it from other birds and let it recover from the disease.

You can take it to the wildlife rehabilitator to seek proper medical care for the sick bird to help it return to its natural habitat.


It is a maintenance behavior in birds when the pigeons allow ants to crawl on their feathers for disinfection purposes. These insects release chemical secretions to kill infectious agents.

The chemical secretions can clean their bodies as formic acid has antibacterial properties that can kill many types of infectious bacteria like Salmonella strains.

Ants produce pheromones from glands that can attract other ants, resulting in the accumulation of a large number of insects on the bird’s body.

Moreover, these birds can pick ants from the grass and rub them against their bodies to benefit from the secreted fluids.

Anting can be beneficial for pigeons because this rubbing process removes the fluids from ants’ body and make them edible for the birds.

Furthermore, they allow ants to crawl on their bodies because these insects can eat the parasites that can cause disease in birds, so it helps prevent the onset of disease.

Enjoying sunbathe

Pigeons usually enjoy sunbathing by sitting on the grass for a long, particularly on cold days when the environmental temperature is lower than the desired temperature.

Sunbathe improves the conditions of skin or feathers and ensures hormonal balance due to direct exposure to sunlight when the rays are not hot enough to dehydrate their bodies.

Moreover, they usually enjoy sunbathing in cold mornings to keep themselves healthy, as they do not feel comfortable on cold nights in winter.

It can also be beneficial for getting rid of parasites from the bodies because direct exposure to sunlight dislodges them as they do not tolerate heat.

Exposing wet bodies to sunlight leads to quick drying of their bodies as they cannot efficiently fly with wet feathers, so they can dry their bodies while sitting on the lawn.

Injury and lack of motion

Injuries are common in pigeons as their feet can get damaged when they touch sharp spikes on the roof while landing on the roof edges to take some rest.

In addition, their bodies can get deep injuries or minor cuts when their lightweight bodies cannot resist the strong winds pushing them down the building.

I found an injured pigeon in my garden sitting quietly on the lawn floor for many hours because it was suffering from pain due to a leg injury.

So, I took it inside my home to offer proper shelter and food with care and treatment, and it recovered from injuries within 2 days.

Fighting with predators like cats, a car hit, and the entangling of feet with a fishing line or other sharp objects on the building can lead to injured or broken legs.

Accordingly, they lose the ability to walk on the ground or fly in the air till recovery, so they land in safe areas of the ground. So, you can consider a bird is probably injured when sitting on grass.

Dropping wings

Pigeons sitting on the grass can drop their wings for different reasons, as these birds remove their wings when they are not feeling well.

It also happens when they are near death because a dying pigeon usually becomes inactive and isolates themselves from other birds in a flock.

Accordingly, they get separated from the flock and remain alone when feeling lethargic. In addition, they drop feathers during molting when the old feathers get replaced with new ones.

They remove wings in addition to those present on their necks, thumbs, head, etc., and get healthy or shiny feathers.

Furthermore, molting in pigeons occurs during the late summer, particularly in August, so you can get an idea that a bird sitting on a grassy floor is preparing for molting at this time of year.

Eat grass seeds

Pigeons do not consume grass, but they are fond of eating seeds from lawns, so they can sit on the grass in search of seeds to fill their bellies with nutritious food.

They prefer to eat juicy seeds enriched with healthy nutrients like minerals and vitamins and are easy to swallow in their tiny mouth.

Your plan of green carpet on the lawn floor can fail if these birds frequently visit the lawn and sit there.

So, you have to protect the garden or lawns from these birds by using netting or burlap sheets, allowing light and air to reach the seeds for better germination.

In addition, you can use repelling grass seeds with a thick coating; otherwise, offer an alternative food source to these birds to restrict them from sitting on the grassy ground.

How often do pigeons sit on the grass?

Pigeons reach grass often because they love to sit on the soft and comfortable platform while sunbathing during cold weather.

Moreover, they visit lawns and gardens repeatedly in search of food and water and land on the lawn floor while searching for a birdbath or feeders.

The frequency of sitting on the grass depends on their lifestyle as they search for food or take a break after continuously flying for many hours.

Additionally, these ground-feeding birds keep looking for suitable food sources on the ground, so they spend plenty of time on the lawn floor.

Furthermore, the time of day, location, and seasons also affect their frequency and the type of pigeons, as a few species occasionally come there.

What type of pigeons like to sit on the grass?

Every species of pigeon has varying behavior and demands for food, so their preference to sit on the grass also varies according to their environment and nature.

Most of these birds prefer to land on the lawn floor because these ground-feeding birds reach areas where they can find a food source and a suitable place to relax.

The mourning dove and the spotted doves also reach the ground whenever they need food and land on the fruits and vegetable plants or the grass to eat seeds.

In addition, this behavior is common in the rock dove, also known as city pigeons, because they are usually found in urban areas and perch on buildings or lawns.

Furthermore, the adult pigeons are commonly seen sitting or moving on the grass, while the squabs remain inside their nests on trees and buildings for 1 or 2 weeks.

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