Do Pigeons Like Music?

Pigeons like listening to instrumental music and classical music but will also react to vocal music.

Nearly all birds communicate by melodic and vocal expression, so it is not surprising that even pigeons have been known to enjoy a nice tune.

Music has been known to help lone pigeons become less stressed in the wild, and some farmers say that music helps their hens lay their eggs faster, which some have translated into the pigeon breeding world.

do pigeons like music

Though in the case of pigeons, it is possible they lay eggs more efficiently because the sound of nice music blocks out other more stressful sounds like cars, cats, and people yelling.

Some people play classical music while crating their pigeons before a race, as this will calm them and again acts as a way to filter out some of the more stressful noises that a bird hears while it is being transported.

If you see a pigeon nodding its head from side to side, it means the bird is enjoying listening to the music.

Though this seems like anthropomorphism and/or pushing their own feelings on the birds, it is hard to deny the many social media posts showing birds enjoying music.

Some birds show that they like a certain music channel or song by being very loud, flapping their wings, cooing, and flying on top of the speaker stand.

Musical Signposts Are Pretty Common

There are many animal sanctuaries that allow their birds to fly free, and many have music or tunes playing throughout the day. Sometimes it is simple soothing music and other times it is jungle or other bird sounds.

Though these appear to be solely for the benefit of human visitors, they are also a good way for flying birds to identify where they live and where they will be fed.

The birds, be they exotic or a variety of pigeon, are able to find their way back to the sanctuary by simply listening for the music or tunes being played.

Do Birds Have a Favourite Song?

One would assume that most birds enjoy the sort of music that most mimics their own bird song, but that is not the case.

There isn’t much scientific evidence for which birds like which songs, but the internet and social media is loaded with anecdotal stories about which birds like which songs.

From the Venusian people in the great squares in Venice, playing songs to attract pigeons, to people claiming their pigeons lay more eggs if they listen to certain types of music, there are plenty of stories to be heard.

pigeon music

According to a forum poster on, it would seem that most birds do not like listening to the music of Kenny G, Barry Manilow, or dance music.

According to several stories online, they will become stressed by Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and Nightcore.

They will, however, happily listen to Hawaiian music, cowboy music and jazz.

Wild and tame birds will start to mimic the sounds around them if they hear the same tune enough times, such as the ringing of the phone, sounds from the TV, music from the radio, a person singing or other birds.

Some owners will put relaxing music on, as this will help drown out the other sounds around them that may scare the pigeon.

It is possible that EDM, Nightcore and dance music mimics the high pitch warning noises that birds use to communicate that there is danger around.

Birds use singing and whistling as a way of communicating with each other, for example, if there is a cat out in the garden. Birds will let out a high-pitched screech in order to warn others of the cat’s presence.

They quite often use a repeating tone, similar to that of dance and EDM music.

Playing For Your Pigeons

If you happen to be playing an instrument or singing in your garden, your pigeon may be listening to you.

Timothy J. DeVoogd, a professor of psychology at Cornell University, who has studied the brains of a bird and a human, has shown that a bird’ brain responds to songs the same way as a human brain.                                                                                                                                                      

Pigeons are very social creatures and researchers think that is the reason why they like to sing along to the music.

So, If you happen to leave the radio on while you go out, you may notice that your bird starts to whistle, sing, head bop, dance along to the music.

This means they are enjoying themselves.

Studies have shown that music has a very positive effect on birds, as birds are able to tell the difference between notes, tones, and pitches, as this will help when they need to communicate.

If a bird does not like the song that is on, it will also bop its head, screech, flap its wings, thrash its head back and forward, and sometimes peck at you to get you to turn off the music.  

A Song for Pigeons

Pigeons sing by making a cooing sound. The sound’s pitch may depend on the bird’s mood. For example, if it were very excited, it would make a mixture of clucking sounds like a chicken and the cooing sound.

They also use the cooing tool to communicate to other pigeons, and a male pigeon will coo to get the attention of its mate and to tell off other males to stay away from its mate.

They will also use a variety of vocalizations to inform other birds of danger. In that regard, birds do listen to other species of bird, which is why when one species gives the alert, all the other birds fly away too.

Some pet birds will happily sit by a speaker, or mobile phone, and sway/move with the music.

Also if you happen to be trying a few old-fashioned ring tones, your bird may bounce up and down to try and copy the bell tune that is going off.

The Takeaway

To answer the question if pigeons like music, it seems that all birds are in some way affected by music, and pigeons are no different.

Since they are the tamest of all wild birds, it is easy to imagine that they have learned to appreciate the many varieties of music that humans have created from the sounds they hear coming out of people’s houses, to the open-plan town centers with music playing.

Denise Bereford

Denise Bereford is a full-time writer and researcher with a long-standing passion for pigeons.

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