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Pigeons are a species that is often discussed when people are thinking about animals and romance, because their natural inclination is to mate with the same female for the season, and in some cases the couples will come back to mate regularly throughout their lives. Although pigeons are not entirely monogamous, it is interesting that they like to return to the familiarity of the same partner repeatedly. The pigeons also both play a part in incubation and raising the chicks, which is different to many species where this is only carried out by the female.
How The Male Courts The Female
The male will usually start to court the female by approaching her with cooing noises, while fluffing up their feathers and trying to make themselves appear as large as possible. The female may walk away originally, to see if the male follows her, and the quiet sounds that they make are actually quite private. In some cases, the males have been seen regurgitating food to feed the females.
Pigeons Nesting Together
The mating itself is actually quite quick, with the male mounting the female for less than a minute, rearing backwards in order to carry out the act. They will then build a nest where the female will lay two eggs, and the building of the nest is usually a dual effort, with both male and female bringing nesting materials.
Incubation Of The Eggs
Once both of the eggs have been laid, both the male and the female will play a role in incubating these eggs and ensuring that they are kept warm, while they also continue to support each other during this process too. Both the male and the female may leave the nest at times in order to forage for food, and they will do so separately, so that one of them is always in the nest with the eggs.
Raising The Chicks
The partnership in raising the chicks continues to see both male and female involved, and during this process it will be important to feed the chicks well. This will mean that both birds will spend more time out of the nest foraging, and both will then regurgitate food for the chicks. This will then continue for about thirty days, until the chicks start to become able to fly and will eventually leave the nest and start foraging for themselves after around thirty days.
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