Can Pigeons Talk? What Does Science Say?

The pigeon is a popular bird among pet owners. For their attachment and interaction with the owner and message-delivering capability, many people wonder if pigeons can talk. Pigeons cannot talk or mimic, but they can understand commands and carry away messages successfully. Let’s know in detail why pigeons cannot talk and how they communicate with themselves or their owners.

Can pigeons Talk

Can a Pigeon Speak?

Pigeons can not speak or sing. But they communicate by making cooing and whistling sounds, fluffing feathers, preening, and billing to show affection, find food, and alarm other pigeons about potential danger.

Can Pigeons Talk To Humans?

Though you can talk to your pigeons as much as you like, they will not talk back. But yes, sometimes you may get a devoted pigeon who listens attentively to you. Though pigeons can’t speak, you can train them to distinguish different objects and words and command them to deliver messages.

Why Can Pigeons Not Speak?

Pigeons do not have a specialized vocal system like the other talking birds. Talking birds like parrots have a voice box named Syrinx at the bottom of their trachea. These birds regulate the muscles of the syrinx wall to produce and shape sounds.

Can Pigeons Understand Humans?

Human and pigeon- Urban walk
Urban Walk – Human and Pigeon

Pigeons can understand humans, especially who feed and take care of them. They can also recognize their owner in different clothes and appearances. Domesticated pigeons generally prove to be very loyal to their owners. Even feral pigeons can recognize individual people with different appearances.

A recent study reveals that pigeons have been able to identify dozens of meaningful 4-letter words from about 308 gibberish and meaningful words. One of the smart pigeons has even managed to recognize 58 words.

How Do You Call a Pigeon?

To feed or bathe the pigeons, you will often need to call your pigeons. If you are a new pigeon owner, you will just need some practice to learn the technique. To say hello to your pigeons, you can easily make a pigeon call by blowing a whistling sound with your hands.

At first, cup your hands together and place one hand into another in a way that they form a pocket. The chamber should be spacious, hollow, and tight so that no air should get in.

Press your thumbs over your index fingers in such a way that it creates a small hole between the two thumbs. Keeping the knuckles of your thumb in the middle, position your upper and lower lips. Blow the small hole downwards between the thumbs to attract your pigeons.

Which Birds Can Talk?

Talking birds may have varying levels of talking capability. Crows and some other corvids such as magpies, ravens, blue jays, choughs, rooks, and jackdaws can mimic and speak a few human sounds and words, while some Budgerigars have a quite large vocabulary of 2000 words.

The Mynah is popular for its talking ability, while its other relatives in the Sterling family are proficient in mimicry.

Some talking parrots are claimed to have some degree of cognitive understanding of the words and phrases they learn.

For example, Amazon parrots are popular for their unique talking abilities, quite large vocabulary, and voice clarity, Quaker parrots for their talking skill and big vocabulary, Indian Ringneck Parakeets, and Eclectus Parrots for their excellent speaking capabilities.

African Grey Parrots can mimic human speech and possess a richer vocabulary. On the other hand, Budgerigars/Budgies or parakeets can learn hundreds of words though they have a rough voice. Wild Cockatoo, Severe Macaw has also proved to learn human speech.


Pigeons cannot talk, but these feathered pets can be amazing and loyal companions for humans. It would be great if pigeons can talk and mimic us like Parrots and Mynahs. Even though they are very friendly and sociable creatures.

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