Pigeons Sitting Down Photos & Why They Do It

Have you ever seen a pigeon sitting down like this?

While it’s rare to see it does happen, this article explores why they may sit like that as well as sharing plenty more pictures!

How Does a Pigeon Sit Down?

They sit down in two ways.

  1. They sit down in a roosting position where their legs are tucked under their abdomen, exposing their fluffier under-feathers to their eggs. This is the way you will commonly see a pigeon sit.
  2. Pigeons also sit down in a manner where they splay their legs in front of them. This is rare to see.

Pictures Of Pigeons Sitting Down With Splayed Legs

Thanks to social media, several viral images of pigeons sitting down with splayed legs have circulated.

Here are some of them:

Why Do Pigeons Sit Splay-legged?

It is suspected that pigeons sit like this due to a viral disease that eventually kills them, however there are many times when these pigeons are fine and go on to live long lives.

There may be something that pigeons are eating that causes them to sit splay-legged, but we cannot be sure what it is.

There is a theory that it is a dietary issue, such as because people have given popcorn or rice to pigeons which engorges their stomach and makes it hard for them to sit normally.

Some have suggested that the splay-legged problem happens around areas where rotten fruit exists, where the birds eat the fruit and become drunk, a bit like what happens to rabbits in orchards.

Another theory is that the chemicals used to clean fountains and other water features are creating the splay-sitting problem.

The truth is that we do not know why pigeons sometimes sit splay-legged but it does make for some amusing pictures! 


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.

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