How Long Do Pigeons Live?

The lifespan of pigeons differs depending on whether they are feral or wild pigeons that we see in our woodlands and city streets or if they are pets or racing pigeons.

Feral pigeons can live up to 10 years but lifespans of 3-6 years are more typical. Pet pigeons and racing pigeons live between 9-15 years but have been known to live longer than 20 years.

Feral Pigeons Lifespan

A feral pigeon can live up to 10 years, but the average lifespan of these birds is between 3-6 years.

This is because of the dangers that they face and the conditions in which they live.

a feral pigeon

These birds aren’t protected from the elements. They are out in all weather, from extreme heat to extreme cold, depending on the season and where they live.

They also have plenty of natural predators and face many man-made dangers.

Traffic and cats are some of the major ones, but much of the food waste that they eat can also cause them harm.

Woodland pigeons may also face danger from pesticides.

Pet Pigeons Lifespan

The average length of time pet pigeons survive is anywhere between 9-15 years.

Pet pigeons have the advantage over their wild cousins in the respect that they are guarded against natural predators most of the time.

As they live in cages or coops, even if their owners release them sometimes, they are mainly protected against the dangers wild pigeons will encounter.

pigeon in pigeon coop

Not only that, but their owners care for them.

They don’t have to struggle by scavenging for food every day.

Good quality pigeon food is provided for them every day without them having to scavenge and risk their lives for it as feral pigeons do. Good owners will ensure that their pets get a well-balanced diet to keep them healthy.

Pigeon owners will also see to their care promptly if they come down with any ailments.

Racing Pigeons Lifespan

Racing pigeons can live up to 20 years.

This is due to the fact that their owners are experienced pigeon keepers and often have paid a lot of money for their birds, it makes sense that someone who paid a lot of money for a bird will take extremely good care of them.

holding a racing pigeon

Another reason for their longevity is that racing pigeons have a purpose. The racing gives them the exercise that other captive birds don’t get, which is important for their health and wellbeing.

Another factor is that these birds are tough and determined. This can be seen in their history of being messenger or rescue birds. They seem to love a challenge, battling the odds and the elements.


Dan has been fascinated with pigeons since his youth when he used to feed them breadcrumbs at the local park. With a background in SEO Dan noticed a few years ago that there were very few websites around dedicated to his favorite bird so he set out to change that by starting Pigeonpedia.

Recent Posts