Can Different Species of Wild Pigeons and Doves Home (Columbiformes, Columba)?


Jun 12, 2016
Ya, I've searched all over the web to find out if All wild pigeons and Doves home? Can they find their way back home or only Rock pigeons/ domestic pigeons can? Can different types of Pigeon species home like the Nicobar Pigeon, and what about other Doves except the captive ones? Can they home as well, The Homing instincts in Pigeons has interested me and I want to know if all Columbiformes can home? From a 'WILD'= Nicobar pigeon to a Wood pigeon and Ringneck doves to White tipped doves/ Bleeding heart Doves, Do all Columbiformes have an homing instinct?

This will be GREAT INFORMATION, Please reply and also from people who had expriences with trying that.

Oh also, what about hybrids? Wild rock pigeon and a wild dove hyrbid XD can they also Home? FACTS.htm
Can different types of Pigeon species home

All birds posses some homing instinct otherwise they could not return to their nest to raise their young.
When it comes to the domesticated doves there are basically 4 types of birds the homing pigeon, the ornamental, the utility pigeon, and the trick flying or performance pigeon. All are descendants of the wild ROCK DOVE.
Every whip stitch you will hear of some of the three other classifications of birds returning from a distance of we will say 100 miles for example but it is rare and uncommon and it usually takes days.

So to answer you question on Homing pigeons.

Homing pigeons are unparalleled when it comes to homing instinct. They have been know to travel well over 700 miles in a single day (they only fly in daylight hours as a rule)

The longest homing pigeon flight ever recorded was 7,200 miles, from Arras, France, to Saigon, Vietnam. The flight took 24 days.

Then there is the case of back In the late 1800 the most heroic recorded flight was from a pigeon that was released in Africa and took 55 days to get home in England. Traveling over 7,000 miles (the pigeon died from exhaustion on arrival).

Other species of doves are at or near their limits when they are let out to fly from the loft. Yet again some wild doves are solitary birds and prefer isolation and do not respond to captivity with other birds of the same species.

Personally other breeds of pigeons are only a bird to make me wish I had a good homing pigeon.

Homing pigeons are in a class of their own and should only be compared with migratory birds.

Did you know facts on pigeons check out the link: FACTS.htm

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All wild pigeons and doves can home... but not like racing / homing pigeons.

Just think about the wild doves and pigeons that migrate depending of the season... turtle doves fly from Africa to Northern Europe, morning doves are also migratory as are many others. But they can not be trained to fly to a coop when you take them far away for a race... they are not into that kind of thing!!

Even the species of doves and pigeons that don't migrate... they know their way over a large area of land as they territory and to find food, nest, etc.

The reason domestic pigeons are so good at homing for coops and lofts is that is mimics what they do in the wild.. they roost and nest in the same place each time... and fly far away during the day to find food... so they have to know the way back to their roost even from long away places they have never been to before.
I slowly conditioned and taught my show ringneck collard and laughing doves, with my corturnix quail chickens budgies cockatiels etc rescued larger hookbills. So sure could be done with others.
My only extended bird experience is with feral Rock Doves (a.k.a. pigeons), and wild American Crows, but from observing other wild species, I'm pretty sure that given the right temperament, birds are pretty damn smart and can be taught anything. The human 5000+ years associating with the Rock Dove has given us insight how to train them. First off, the racers and homers are not just returning to where they come from. They have an incentive: their mate. I think that any bird that leads a monogamous life-style would be far easier to train because you don't have to provide the incentive; they do that for you. Also, flock birds prefer to be around their own flock. Rock Doves are extremely social, though it can vary by the individual.

While a Mourning Dove is also monogamous, they are not flock oriented, and not as social as the Rock Dove. However, if there were another candidate for homing, the Mourning Dove would be on the top of the list. Another factor for homing or racing is speed, and the Mourning Dove has that as well.

On a 103 degree day, in August of 2018, I was walking from work to the gym, and I spotted a red-tailed hawk sitting on the roof of a single story house. I wouldn't have remembered it, but moments later a low-flying Mourning Dove passed over my head, just slightly higher than the roof of the house. At first I assumed that it must be injured because I hadn't ever seen a bird flying at half-pace.

Many of the larger birds don't need to flap much once they're aloft, but pigeons and doves have to keep their wings moving.

This entire story happened in a matter of a few seconds, but it's impossible to relate all of the details in writing in that short of a period of time. I stopped, turned and kept watching the Dove. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the hawk lift off. Apparently it had the same idea that I did, and he decided that it would be an easy meal.

Now, the moment the hawk was in the air and on the chase, the Mourning Dove changed its wing beat to normal speed - and the hawk landed on the first utility pole that it came upon. And that was that. Not worth the effort, because they are too fast.

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