Sex and the Pigeon

Spring in New York City means different things to different people.

Flowers in this morning's spring snow.

The return of color to the city, buds and leaves, lengthening days, unpredictable weather – I could go on and on.But for me, it means pigeon sex.  A few weeks ago, my air conditioner resumed its spring function as a pigeon boudoir.

Pigeons nest on ledges, tucked out of sight in the gap between my building and the one next door. They land on my air conditioner when taking a break from shared nesting duties. Sometimes a single pigeon commandeers the ac, but often a pair will land.  Paired pigeons work together to incubate eggs and rear young.  Perhaps one reason pigeon couples seem so deeply bonded is the frequency with which they have sex.

The light scraping sound of pigeon feet on metal and a particular deep rhythmic cooing make me look up from work to catch the unmistakable signs of pigeon foreplay: synchronized head-bobbing, followed by the female placing her beak in the male’s to be fed.


After a little more head-bobbing action, the female lowers her back until it is pretty much level with the surface of the air conditioner.

The male hops lightly aboard her back.

The female tilts forward and the male, with a great flapping of wings, manages to touch his cloaca (the all-purpose opening of both males and females) to hers for a moment.

Then he hops off and the two stand side by side for a second or two, surveying their domain.

A few days later, they’re at it again.

Getting on board




Explore posts in the same categories: 2011, Birds, In the City, March, Seasons, Spring, Wildlife/Natural History

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10 Comments on “Sex and the Pigeon”

  1. […] more on the love life of urban birds: Sex and the City Bird Sex and the Pigeon The Pigeons Outside my […]

  2. […] and the City Bird Sex and the Pigeon The Pigeons Outside my Window Urban Fledglings Share this:PrintEmailMoreDiggLike this:LikeBe the […]

  3. […] like to know more about the love life of urban birds, you may enjoy reading: Sex and the City Bird Sex and the Pigeon The Pigeons Outside my […]

  4. […] well, I felt a degree of attachment to the naive and ungainly trio.  After all, I had watched the parents mate – repeatedly, I might add – on the air conditioner outside my […]

  5. Barbara Says:

    Too funny – as Wild Bill says – great lab on your windowsill. Thanks for some insight into city birds! And for the chuckle this morning, still smiling.

  6. Charlotte Says:

    Ah to be in nyc again (where all the action is)!

  7. Wild_Bill Says:

    Pretty funny! The will to procreate is right up there with breathing and food. That you have this pigeon laboratory right in front of you is pretty interesting. Kind of like looking into an ant farm?

  8. mthew Says:

    Lhude sing cuccu.

    (Wrong season, wrong bird, but still somehow apropos, I think).

  9. nycedges Says:

    pigeon porn!!! thanks for the laugh

  10. daddy0 Says:

    Ah to be a pigeon–sgain?

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