Why Do Pigeons Sleep At Night?

December 15, 2023

Pigeons are known to frequent urban areas, and they love spending time on building ledges and windowsills during the day. They often roost in groups for safety and warmth. They also search for sheltered spots that aren’t too exposed to their predators and the elements. This is why they’re so attracted to places like bridges, rooftops, and abandoned buildings.

Although they might look asleep, pigeons are still more aware of their surroundings than you think. They sleep with one hemisphere of their brain shut down and the other awake to protect them from collisions, predators, and other dangers. This is called unihemispheric slow-wave sleep (USW) and it’s a vital part of their survival strategy.

Why Do Pigeons Sleep At Night?

In wild environments, pigeons typically use their nests for mating and raising young. They abandon their nests once their offspring are grown and choose to roost in a more secure place during the dark hours of the night. This gives them a better view of their environment and allows them to keep an eye out for nocturnal predators, such as cats, dogs, falcons, and rats.

Pigeons are also known to roost in crammed spots, such as bridges, rooftops, and abandoned buildings, to provide them with more warmth and security. This also helps them to regulate their body temperature, as well as prevent any harmful pathogens or parasites from infesting their sleeping area. They can even cling to surfaces using their claws and a flexor tendon, so they don’t fall off during the night. However, if their perching sites are too exposed, they’ll be more likely to lose control of their bodies and fly away, which can lead to injuries.


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