Pigeons can poop while flying, but they don’t.
Since a pigeon has to tuck its legs in so tight during flight, it is not easy to poop.
There are several reasons for this, but you also have to remember that pigeons don’t have any control over their bowels.
They defecate when their body says they have to, they don’t choose where or when they poop.
But I Was Hit By Bird Poop?
If you were hit by bird poop, and you weren’t standing under power lines or a building’s window sill, then it was probably a different bird that pooped on you.
Many people seem to mistake seagull poop for pigeon poop.
Do Pigeons Poop When Taking Off?
Actually, the jolt of energy that a pigeon uses to get off the ground is often enough to make them drop a poop.
In places like London and Venice, you can see people surrounded by them and when the birds fly away they leave a present on the person’s coat or jacket.
This was done as the bird was setting off and didn’t have its legs tucked in. It may seem like they were hit while the bird was flying, but it was just setting off.
What About Piles of Poop on Windows and Statues?
If you are seeing piles of poop, then a pigeon is probably to blame.
Most smaller birds will hop around all over the place, but a pigeon will happily sit on the branches above your car and poop on it all day if the weather is right.
One of the reasons some people don’t like pigeons is because they don’t just leave a small splodge on their window sill.
The bird can sit there for hours and pigeons can produce a lot of poop.
Again though, the bird is pooping when it is standing still, but almost never when it is flying.
Is Pigeon Poop Harmful to Humans?
Under general circumstances, pigeon poop is not dangerous. You cannot become ill from just being pooped on.
There are pigeon-poop-related diseases but prolonged exposure is required for the poop to be toxic to humans.
The risk of pigeon-related diseases is rare.
People most at risk from these diseases are those who have a compromised immune system.
There are numerous diseases carried by pigeons.
It is possible for pigeons to pass diseases on to other pigeons, but you could walk through a flock of pigeons that have Cryptococcosis, Histoplasmosis and Psittacosis and still catch nothing.
The illnesses are harmless, but to put your mind at ease, here is all you need to know.
1. Cryptococcus Neoformans
This is not actually something that exists in pigeon poop.
It is a fungus (like a mushroom) that grows on very old pigeon poop that has turned dusty.
Healthy people can breathe this stuff and even eat it (don’t eat it!!) and never get sick.
Our bodies are very well equipped to fight off these types of fungus, which is why people can swim in swamps and somehow never get sick.
However, people with a very low immune system, such as people with HIV/AIDs may have trouble fighting off the fungus and over time may become ill if the fungus is allowed to spread into their lungs.
This is also a fungus that doesn’t exist in pigeon poop.
It actually grows in certain types of soil that also have lots of bird or bat poop present.
The fungus isn’t very resilient and something as simple as rain can kill off most of it in the soil.
Even if people are exposed to massive amounts of this stuff, they don’t become sick, but some may get a cough if they work around it all the time.
People with a very weak immune system, such as people with HIV/AIDs may take longer to recover if they are heavily exposed to the fungus.
Perhaps the most common infection among people who clean out bird cages for a living.
It is a bacteria that loves the taste of all types of bird poop, and when people are cleaning out cages and use things like jet washers without using a mask, then the bacteria finds its way into their nose.
It only causes mild illnesses or at worst a lung infection.
Still, it is far less dangerous than exposure to the bacteria that exists on dog and cat poop.
The best way to be safe is to clean pigeon poop effectively from your window sills, garden or car.
How Often do Pigeons Poop?
This is a tricky one to figure out because there have been several studies about the probability of being pooped on.
People want to know these things because they like to make quotes about winning the lottery or being hit by a comet, and they know these sorts of statistics are great for those types of arguments.
The best guess is that pigeons poop between 10 and 15 times per day.
The reason this is so difficult to test is that birds in the wild will poop based on how much they have eaten, and some birds may be eating better than others.
Birds in labs and in captivity will poop more because they are standing around more and are not flying, plus captive birds tend to be fed the right amount, whereas wild birds often have periods of hunger and starvation.
Nevertheless, if you are walking in the open and you are pooped on, it is very unlikely that a pigeon was to blame.
Some people even consider it to be good luck for a pigeon to poop on you.