Do Pigeons Have Teeth in Their Beaks? Pigeons Park

Have you got surprised to notice your newly bought pigeons cracking nuts, seeds, or grains? You are not alone who are on google to know if pigeons have teeth. Pigeons do not have teeth. Then how can they crack things so easily? This article is going to answer all of your queries.

Do Pigeons Have Teeth

Do Pigeons Have Teeth?

Pigeons do not have teeth. Instead, they have beaks or bills. There are numerous assumptions and explanations for why pigeons do not have teeth.

Firstly, A pigeon’s beak full of teeth might not allow it to be lighter as it is now. The weight of teeth would affect their flight, making it difficult.

Secondly, teeth take a considerable amount of time to develop. But most birds generally hatch within a concise time (about two weeks) and take almost the same time for fledging.

If pigeons had teeth, it would take more time for hatching and fledging to develop their teeth. But these two stages are the most vulnerable in a pigeon’s life.

Thirdly, it is also believed that birds lost their teeth and developed beaks/bills at the end of the Mesozoic. The evolution of beaks is thought of as an ecological adaptation.

Birds can swallow the food and grains wholly. The foods then reach their stomach through Esophagus. Their gizzard (a muscular stomach that can process hard food items) grinds the food there.

Therefore, it is believed that modern birds have beaks instead of teeth because beaks are more convenient for eating the foods they like.

Some studies indicate another trigger for birds’ tooth loss. According to the studies, change in gene regulation is the main trigger for this adaptation, not the change in diet.

Do Pigeons Have Teeth in Their Beaks?

Pigeons have no teeth in their beaks. Pigeons pluck and crack food with their beaks, like the other birds. Their beaks can crush nuts, seeds, and other hard things.

The pigeon’s beak has a thin layer of keratin, making it thicker and stronger than a human fingernail. Though they do not chew foods as we do, they can bite the foods and turn them into smaller pieces with their beaks.

A close view of pigeon beak

How do pigeons drink?

Most birds typically fill their bill in the water and tilt their head back to swallow the water.

Pigeons drink water differently as they can suck liquid while keeping their head down. When pigeons need to drink water, they dip their beaks completely in the water and suck it up.

How do pigeons grind up their food?

Pigeons are eating food

Another question that may be knocking on your mind is how pigeons grind up foods without teeth.

Pigeons grind up their food like most other birds. They normally do not chew the foods in their mouth. With their beaks, pigeons peck foods into smaller particles and swallow those foods to send them to their stomach.

These foods come in contact with digestive juices in the stomach and reach the gizzard.

Gizzard grinds the food particles into smaller fragments so the bird can easily digest them.

Do Squabs Have Egg Teeth?

Squabs develop a tooth-like structure that they use to break the shell during hatching. This is considered an egg tooth. But baby pigeons can not retain their egg tooth for long. After one week or so, the tooth-like structure does not appear anymore.

Squab develops egg tooth

Frequently Asked Questions

Which bird has teeth?

The last known bird having teeth-like structures was named “Ichthyornis“. This extinct seabird genus used to live more than 66 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period.

However, during the incubation period, most birds develop a tooth-like thing that they use to break the shell while hatching and coming out.

What bird has teeth on its tongue?

Many people think that geese have teeth on their tongues. If you notice closely, you will see saw-like tooth structures on their tongue. These tooth-like sharp and hard cartilages are called Tomia that are part of a goose’s beak and tongue.

Some other birds have a tooth-like structure, such as Penguin, Toucan, Tooth-billed bower bird, etc.


Pigeons do not have teeth, and no bird has real teeth like mammals. So next time your feathered friends want to eat from your hands, do not panic!

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