Do Pigeons Leave Their Eggs Unattended?

Pigeon eggs need to be properly incubated in order for the chicks to grow inside and eventually hatch. This is why pigeons won’t leave their eggs unattended. The mother or the father pigeon will always be sitting on the eggs to keep them warm and guarded while the other flies off in search of food.

Do Pigeons Leave Their Eggs Alone? (In Detail) 

Pigeons have great parental instincts when it comes to their unhatched eggs – both the male and the female parent.

In fact, they share the duties when it comes to looking after the egg. 

When a female lays an egg, it generally won’t leave it alone.

The female will sit on the egg for half of the day from the afternoon till the nighttime.

After which, the male will take over the egg sitting shift.

Even when the baby pigeons hatch, they continue to require care from their parents until they grow their feathers and are able to fly.

Pigeons sit on their eggs to protect them, so they won’t go out and about when their fragile eggs haven’t yet been hatched.

The female pigeon won’t even leave the egg to go eat.

Eventually, when it is time to have some food, she will wait for the male to come back first to protect the egg before she goes to have her meal.

If the pigeons leave the eggs unattended, they risk the eggs not hatching.

One exception to the rule is that the egg is the first of a clutch.

Mother pigeons prefer having their babies hatch around the same time, so they will often avoid incubating the first egg until she lays at least one more.

But what if a pigeon has to leave their eggs?

Can they do this and for how long?

Let’s find out

How Long Can a Pigeon Leave Its Eggs?

The short answer: pigeons shouldn’t leave their eggs unattended.

An egg that is exposed to the elements likely is an abandoned egg for various reasons.

Without proper incubation, pigeon eggs will perish.

Eggs need warmth in order for the fetus inside to grow into a baby chick.

Instincts will take over when pigeons become parents and they will do their utmost to protect their eggs.

However, in rare cases when a pigeon leaves its eggs, the eggs can survive for up to five to seven days without incubation.

If this time-frame passes, the chicks inside will die.

The best thing to do if you see an abandoned egg is to incubate it yourself.

You can do this by using a good heat incubator that you can find easily online.

And the best part is that at the end of the tunnel, you’ll have a cute baby bird to look after!

Pretty cool right?

Here’s an interesting question –

Why Would a Pigeon Abandon Its Egg?

Pigeons should take care of their eggs and their young, but there are many reasons why a pigeon might abandon its nest.

  • The egg is infertile – the female pigeon needs a male pigeon in order to lay a fertilized egg. Instinctively, if they have not mated, they will often not sit on the unfertilized eggs. Similarly, female pigeons can tell if an egg is unhealthy and won’t incubate an unhealthy egg.
  • The mate is nowhere to be found – female pigeons rely on their mates to share half of the burden of incubating an egg. Without the male coming back to the nest at nighttime, the female pigeon won’t be able to leave the nest to look for food.
  • A predator has scared the parent pigeon – pigeons will generally lay eggs in a safe area, but if a predator or human comes by the nest, it may scare the parent pigeon away. It may come back if it’s just a one-off scare, but if it continues, the pigeon may completely abandon its nest.

Wrapping Up 

Parenting is difficult and is often considered a two-man job.

Pigeons certainly understand this!

The male and female pigeons will take turns sitting on their eggs, waiting until their eggs are hatched.

The eggs cannot be left alone as the chicks inside may die if they’re not properly looked after.

Unfortunately, there are several reasons why a pigeon may abandon its nest and its eggs.

The egg might be infertile or damaged, or the parent might have been scared off.

But if you find an abandoned egg, try taking it home and incubating it yourself!

Pigeons make surprisingly good pets!

Here’s some pretty interesting articles about pigeons which I’m sure you’ll love to read!

Do pigeons eat bananas?

Why do pigeons coo constantly?

Where do pigeons go to die?

Why do pigeons fly into windows?

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