How Long Do Wood Pigeons Nest For?

You may know this, but wood pigeons are known for their unique nesting behavior, and in this article, you will learn ‘how long wood pigeons nest for.’ Here, we will talk about the nesting duration of wood pigeons and the factors that may influence their nesting habits. In addition, we will also look at their nesting season, nest construction, nesting stages, and nest success. But before I tell you all these things, let’s first find out the answer to the frequently asked question, how long do wood pigeons nest for?

How Long Do Wood Pigeons Nest For?

How Long Do Wood Pigeons Nest For?

Wood pigeons typically nest for a period of around 17 to 19 days. But the nesting cycle of wood pigeons may last approximately 6-7 weeks from the start of incubation until the young one flees. Firstly, the female pigeon lays her eggs & ends when the eggs hatch. During this time, both the male & female pigeons take turns incubating the eggs, sharing the responsibility. 

Once the eggs are successfully hatched, both parents will continue caring for their chicks until they are ready to leave the nest, which usually takes 25-32 additional days. Overall, the nesting cycle of wood pigeons may last approximately 6-7 weeks from incubation until the young seasons fledge. Wood pigeons are widely distributed in various habitats, including Woodland parks and gardens.

Consider reading our recent articles on Where Do Wood Pigeons Nest? to learn more. Since these birds are very attractive in both urban & rural environments, you should consider monitoring them, as wood pigeons are known to exhibit interesting behavior. Not only do they build their nest on trees and shrubs but also on buildings. Also, you should note that the wood pigeons’ nest site selection usually depends upon factors like proximity to food sources, Shelters, and breeding sites. These factors contribute to the sustainability of the nesting locations for raising their young.

In most cases, they are known to go with dense trees or tall shrubs that can keep their nest protected. These kinds of locations provide ultimate protection from predators and weather conditions. According to a study by the University, wood pigeon nests are often located at least 3 m above the ground. To help you learn more, we have discussed the duration of wood pigeon nesting in depth below.

Nesting Season & Timing

In normal circumstances, wood pigeons typically engage in their nesting activities during the summer & spring months. To know more about the wood pigeon nesting season, read my recent articles on ‘When do wood pigeons nest?’. The exact timing of wood pigeon nesting behavior depends on reason and local climate conditions.

According to my recent articles and the data from the national bird observatory, wood pigeons in North America will start nesting in April & continue until August. During this nesting season, the wood pigeon is busy constructing their nest, incubating their eggs, and caring for their nestlings. Also, you should know that the duration of nesting seasons will depend upon various conditions & factors.

Their nesting season, on average, lasts for approximately 2-3 months. But make sure that you also note each nest in duration made depending upon factors like age, climate condition, availability of food, water sources, and more.

Nest Construction & Maintenance

There are a few valuable insights to learn about the nesting process of nest construction. The process of nest construction is an essential part of wood pigeon nesting behavior, and they are known to build relatively larger nests made Of twigs, Grass, and leaves. Also, you should note that these nests tend to have a flat structure with a shallow depression in the center for properly holding the eggs.

Also, wood pigeons are considered to be meticulous nest builders who take care in constructing their nest. They also gather suitable materials and arrange them in a well-organized organized manner. As per my observation, I learned that they typically spend seven days on average constructing their net. But, the exact timing may vary depending upon the parent/breeding pair and climatic conditions.

Once wood pigeons complete building nests, they engage in regular maintenance activity. You will find them the nest by adding additional materials or repairing any damage caused by environmental factors like strong winds, rainfall, or sudden temperature. This maintenance behavior further ensures the structural integrity of the nest throughout the nesting period.

Incubation Period

Once they build the nest, they will lay their eggs and incubate. You will find male and female pigeons taking turns one by 1 to incubate eggs for successful hatchlings. Also, the incubation period will last for around 17-19 days, as documented by various studies and observed by me. During the incubation process, you will find wood pigeons diligently warming their eggs using their body heat for proper development & successful hatching. The shared responsibility of incubation between both the parents, male & female, enables them to take breaks for feeding and resting.

Nestling Stage & Fledging

Once the eggs hatch successfully, the nestling stage begins when the broods are initially small blind & dependent on the parents for nourishment. You will find wood pigeon parents feeding their nestlings with a substance called pigeon milk, a regurgitated liquid produced in the crop. Also, this nestling stage will last for approximately 20-25 days, and the young pigeons will grow rapidly with the help of their parents.

You will find the young ones developing feathers, gaining strength, and becoming more active daily. As soon as the nestlings mature, they can fend for themselves. On average, you can consider a wood pigeon nestling fledge or leave the nest at around 28-30 days of age. I have shared an in-depth article on When Do Pigeons Leave The Nest. As I told you earlier, a few factors can influence the nesting duration of wood pigeons. Therefore it’s worth exploring some of the factors and their impact on the nesting process of wood pigeons.

3 Factors Affecting Nesting Duration

3 Factors Affecting Nesting Duration

Environmental Influences

Environmental conditions play a huge role in wood pigeon nesting durations like temperature, rainfall, and food availability. All these affect not only the timing but also the success of nesting. A study by the University found that a warmer & drier climate tends to be the best influence during the nesting season for the breeding success of wood pigeons.

During favorable environmental conditions, the wood pigeon will be more active in building their nest & protecting it. You will also find wood pigeons having higher reproductive success in the nesting season. On the other hand, adverse & poor weather conditions or food scarcity can negatively impact the nesting behavior of wood pigeons, leading to shorter nesting duration or lower breeding success rate.

Predation & Nest Success

Another thing that you need to consider is the Predator. You should know that Predators pose a significant threat to wood pigeon nests and can impact their nesting duration too. There are many common predators, including birds of prey like hawks and mammals like squirrels or cats, that not only destroy wood pigeon nests but also prey on their eggs & young ones.

Predation not only destroys the nest or loss of eggs & nestlings but also increases stress on the breeding pair, significantly reducing the chances of successful incubation or hatching. A well-known wildlife Research institute revealed that predation tends to be the leading cause of nest failures in wood pigeons. 30% of nests tend to be predated every year during the nesting season by predators. These kinds of predation events are not only destroying the nesting process but also potentially shortening the nesting duration.

Human Interactions & Disturbance

Last but not least, human activities are also significantly affecting our little alien friend’s nesting behavior & duration. Continuous urbanization, habitat destruction, and human presence near nesting sites are causing a disturbance that further disrupts the nesting process of wood pigeons. This kind of disturbance is not only causing nest abandonment but also reducing breeding success.

Human disturbance, particularly near the nesting sites, can significantly decrease wood pigeons’ reproductive success due to loud noises, construction activities, and direct human interference. All these factors are negatively impacting the nesting duration of wood pigeons. Therefore, we should work towards minimizing the disturbance caused by us by promoting awareness and implementing proper conservation measures.

We should also work towards creating protected areas and providing suitable nesting habitats that further help mitigate the negative effects of human disturbance on wood pigeon populations. However, to deter pigeons from nesting on your home roof, consider reading our articles on ‘How To Stop Pigeons Nesting‘ or ‘How to Get Rid of Pigeon Nests.’ 


I hope I have given you a complete understanding of the nesting durations of wood pigeons. If you have found some valuable insight into their breeding behavior that helps you with their conservation, consider sharing the article. I have given my best to give you an in-depth knowledge of how long wood pigeons nest for. We have shared an article on the primary species’ nesting duration also.

If you want, consider reading our articles on ‘How long do pigeons nest for,’ which provides more accuracy and in-depth knowledge for successful breeding. There are not only environmental influences but also other factors that can influence the nesting behavior and duration of wood pigeons that we have shared in that article.

After reading this article, I hope you know what best practices you need to adopt for wood pigeon nest conservation that may contribute to protecting these magnificent birds. No doubt that safeguarding their nest and creating suitable habitats is required for their long-term survival & maintenance of the surrounding ecological balance.

After reading this article regarding how long wood pigeons nest for, consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn about the intricate behavior of wood pigeons as well as how long wood pigeons nest for. Check my other helpful guide on pigeon care & maintenance, especially on pigeon nesting behavior. See you in the next post, till then, take care & goodbye.

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