Baby Pigeons Are Really Kind Of Ugly, In A Sort-Of Cute Way

Amy Pilkington 12 Oct 2019

It is a truth universally acknowledged that baby animals are adorable. That truth is almost as universally acknowledged as the fact that this Jane Austen reference is totally over used.

But seriously, baby animals are cute. That's the law, right?

Like, it doesn't matter how weird or ugly the grown-up version is, the babies are adorable.

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Of course, there are animals we're more familiar with seeing the babies of. Puppies, kittens, and even farm animals like colts and calves and piglets.

We're also familiar with the babies of urban animals living around us, like squirrels or skunks. In particular, baby birds are everywhere in the spring.

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Yet even though pigeons are EVERYWHERE in many cities, it's kind of weird how we don't really see the babies.


Spotting a pigeon baby, or squab, is so rare that you start to wonder if the birds just emerge grown-up and out to steal your bagel.

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It turns out that maybe they're just embarrassed by how ugly they are.

I mean, that is a face only a mother could love.

And yet, somehow still kind of cute, because babies can't not be cute.

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So why don't we see squabs in their nests all over urban cities?

Apparently, it's due to pigeons' very close cousins, the rock doves.

Pigeons descended from rock doves and are still very similar.

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Rock doves live among coastal cliffs and other rocky areas, and they are very secretive when it comes to nesting.

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They are very good at hiding themselves deep inside narrow crevices, and pigeons still have the same instinct. So their nests are hidden away wherever they can hide them, and the squab stays in the nest for about 40 days.

By that time, they look pretty much the same as their parents.

So now you know what a baby pigeon looks like and why we never see them! Do you think they are cute or are they just plain ugly?

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