Do Pigeons Have Ears? Surprising Facts!

Whenever you properly look into a pigeon, you won’t find ears of them. This may make you wonder if pigeons have ears at all or not. But even if you make a slight sound, they immediately fly away. Well, pigeons actually do have ears that are hidden underneath with special feathers. Let’s get to know more about it.

Do Pigeons Have Ears

Can Pigeons Hear?

Certainly, pigeons can hear sound. It’s not some sensory powers they use. Instead, they have real ears like other birds, but they get covered up by their feathers. So, unlike humans, they don’t have protruded ears.

Nevertheless, they have excellent sound detection ability. Pigeons can hear as low as 0.5 Hz sounds. They can detect hazards like earthquakes, distant storms, volcanic eruptions, etc.

They are even considered as one the best navigators because of their outstanding navigation skills and hearing ability.

You might be curious about how pigeons hear so effectively then. Well, rather than having extended ears, they have ear-opening situated under their feathers on the head side. You can imagine the ear position simply how humans do have.

It’s the shape of the head that helps them to detect various frequencies of sound waves. Using their internal ears, they measure the sound wave that passes through their head. That’s how they can tell the source and direction of the sound.

Where Are the Ears on a Pigeon?

Pigeons’ ears aren’t usually visible from the outside; they are situated on both sides of the head, slightly below the eyes’ range. We can classify pigeon ears into three categories. These are-

External Ear: It’s nothing but a small opening connected with a tube-like eardrum.

Middle Ear: The eardrum is the middle part connected by the tube.

Inner Ear: It’s considered a sensor receptor that usually decodes and processes the sound wave.

However, the ears of pigeons are covered with a special type of feathers. The feathers that cover the pigeon’s body have grid-like composition. Whereas the feather on the ear-opening area has a fan-like attribute.

Because the fibers’ gap is significantly larger than usual, they are called auricular feathers. They help the sound to pass through smoothly rather than muffle the sound.

Do Pigeons Listen to Humans?

pigeon on human hand

Scientific research has shown that untrained and feral pigeons have the capability to listen to humans. They even recognize individual persons even if they change clothes.

They can recognize human voices and detect individuals based on that. They can distinguish between different human voices as well. Also, they are quite domesticated and build an excellent understanding with humans.

For instance, people in ancient times used to send pigeons to different places as messengers because of their homing instinct.

So, pigeons understand humans quite well. As pigeons are very social, docile, and calm creatures, they tend to understand humans more often than others. Plus, domesticated pigeons are usually very tame towards the owner.

Similarly, pigeons can also recognize humans based on facial characteristics. Pigeons are considered so smart that they hear, feel, and see things that people can’t. Undoubtedly, they have efficient hearing and sensing abilities.

Pigeon Ear Capability

Pigeon has excellent sound hearing capability

Pigeons are known for their outstanding hearing capabilities. They are capable of decoding sound levels from 9.1 Hz to 7.2 kHz. They also hold the sound pressure at the level of 60 decibels. However, their best sensitivity is around 2.6 decibels in the 2 kHz hearing range.

What Are Bird Ears Called?

Well, technically, there’s no specialized name for bird ears. There are differences between mammalian ears and birds’ ears. Birds don’t have the extended ear composition like humans named Pinnae.

However, birds have an outer ear that connects with the eardrum. Additionally, they have middle ears and inner ears too.


Now we are aware that pigeons have ears with excellent hearing capabilities. Unlike mammals, they don’t have external ears. They have ear-openings covered with feathers.

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