How to Test the Intelligence Of Racing Pigeons

How to Test the Intelligence Of Racing Pigeons? Everything You Should Know

The winning potential of pigeons in the race depends on several factors; intelligence is one of them. That’s why you need to choose pigeons based on good learning and implementing ability. Hence, you have to test their intellect before a match to increase the success rate.

But how to test the intelligence of racing pigeons? Testing their memory and problem-solving ability is enough to examine their brain power. You can test these for pigeons in several ways, like discrimination of pictures or reaching a certain point. 

In this article, we will discuss the importance of every smartness parameter of pigeons. Besides, we will talk about the selection role of pigeons for breeding. Hence, stay with the article. 

The Importance Of Intelligence Of Racing Pigeons

Generally, pigeons who participate in races have to be intelligent. Because the brilliance of the pigeons plays a vital role in the success rate of the game. But it’s not the only matter here. 

The reason is, their intellect alone will not help much in winning the match. A good physique and physical strength are also necessary for success. 

Importance Of Intelligence Of Racing Pigeons

The race can be long-distance or short-sprint racing. Usually, a good physique and brain power are mandatory for long-distance racing. In racing time, they face many difficulties in staying in the race. That is where smartness is essential.

That’s why fanciers mostly use old pigeons in this case. Because the old ones will have more excellent problem-solving experiences during the match. 

The match could also be a short-distance sprint. Typically, in this type of match, the pigeons’ good physique and health condition are the main priority. Because, in this type of sprinting match, pigeons will encounter fewer troubles. 

Still, the pigeons will require a minimum level of brilliance. For example, they must have the basic ability to distinguish between the starting and finishing lines. Hence, intellect is an essential parameter for a higher success rate in the race. 

Memory Tests: Evaluating The Ability Of Pigeons To Remember

The pigeons which participate in the race are usually specially-trained homing pigeons. Generally, a trainer trains his racing pigeons to come back home after finishing the race. This is where the remembrance test is significant. 

Ability Of Pigeons To Remember

Usually, the pigeons participating in the race might have to undergo several remembrance tests. We are mentioning a few of their learnings from the tests:

  • Typically, flashing images in front of a pigeon is the way to train pigeons to remember anything.  If your pigeon has a good memory, it will return to you even after years of the race
  • Before your pigeon goes into the final race, you can flash images of your home and path in front of the pigeon 
  • However, pigeons are also capable of remembering their owner(s)
  • You should treat the pigeon in a good way. Otherwise, they won’t return if they feel any threat because of you
  • If you train your pigeon something before the race, it will remember it clearly. Also, they can apply this anywhere if the pigeon needs to solve any problems 

Problem-Solving Tests: Evaluating The Ability Of Pigeons To Solve Complex Problems

Amongst problem-solving animals, pigeons are one of the best, as their brain works like an artificial master. Typically, they have almost a 68% – 70% success rate in solving complex problems. 

Ability Of Pigeons To Solve Complex Problems

However, pigeons use a biological algorithm to resolve what they have gotten from nature. The pigeons who participate in the race must be experts in problem-solving to win. Here are their several abilities to solve complex problems:

1. Avoiding Raptors

During pigeon racing, they may face raptors who can hunt them. Intelligent pigeons are capable of avoiding them by recognizing and handling the situation. That’s why you have to train the pigeon before the final race to avoid such threats.

2. Integrating Multiple Procedure 

Pigeons have an excellent ability to integrate all the methods that trainers taught them. Typically, they sum up all their problem-solving and memorizing learnings when encountering complex situations.

One of the examples of a pigeon’s problem-solving testing methods is “reaching a banana.” 

  • Place a banana on a table and place the box far from the table. 
  • You will notice the pigeon will be confused at first. 
  • After a while, it will push the box toward the table and place it under it to reach the banana. 

However, the pigeons have to be familiar with pushing the box before and reaching the banana individually. But the pigeon wasn’t familiar with the problem. In this problem-solving test, the pigeon solved the problem by integrating multiple procedures on its own. 

Interpreting The Results Of Intelligence Tests In Racing Pigeons

Interpreting The Results Of Intelligence Tests In Racing Pigeons

Pigeons are so intelligent in learning, memorizing, and handling complex situations you had never thought of. However, in past years, scientists developed many tests for pigeons to check their intellectual level. Here is a test results interpretation of those tests:

  • Surprisingly, the pigeons passed every brainpower test quite quickly. As a result, They have a nearly 70% success rate
  • Usually, pigeons’ smartness performance is better in one-dimensional stimulus than in multiple dimensions
  • You can teach pigeons to respond in complex situations
  • They typically respond in logarithmic functions
  • In addition, they can tell other pigeons by their behavior which response they should make

Here is a YouTube video that may help you to know pigeons’ smartness:

The Role Of Intelligence Testing In Selecting Racing Pigeons For Breeding 

The success of quality breeding will depend on the stock pigeons entirely. Generally, if you bred from winner pigeons, the produced birds will also be winner pigeons.

For breeding champions, you have to breed from champion pigeons. You can also choose birds bred from champions or generations of champions. To determine the winning ability of those stock birds, you must test their winning history or potential.

Role Of Intelligence Testing In Selecting Racing Pigeons For Breeding

Generally, breeders always choose intelligent pigeons as parent birds to ensure the produced bird quality. Here are a few reasons why the brainpower testing of participant pigeons is mandatory:

  • Smartness testing plays a vital role for the homing pigeons, which usually participate in races. However, you should give priority to intelligent pigeons
  • In the case of breeding, the female pigeons are more intelligent than the male ones. However, if both are intelligent, then the breeding will be more smooth and efficient 
  • You can efficiently train and teach an intelligent pigeon about breeding. The pigeon will carry out those learnings during breeding
  • If the stock pigeons can’t pass the brainpower tests, you should not proceed with breeding them 
  • Breeding of failed pigeons in those tests will result in unsuccessful racer pigeons 

Some Amazing Facts of Testing The Intelligence Of Racing Pigeons

Pigeons are one of the most intelligent and sophisticated birds in the animal kingdom. The first brainpower test for pigeons was to discriminate between pictures of  Picasso and Monet. 

Testing The Intelligence Of Racing Pigeons

From then, the pigeon’s brilliance got famous to everyone, and people started using them in various ways. Here we are mentioning some tests that the pigeons passed:

  • This bird has the best memorizing ability. It can memorize 800 to 1,000 images at a time
  • If you think they remember images in an orderly manner, you are wrong. They remember these separately and react immediately after you show them randomly
  • The pigeons which compete in the race can solve any issues during the race. They are capable of overcoming many obstacles to cross the finish line
  • By Integrating several methods that a trainer taught before the race, the pigeons cross the finish point and also return home
  • Pigeons can categorize pictures of humans and other things
  • They also passed a mirror test by recognizing their reflection 
  • It is a surprising thing that pigeons can learn the alphabet
If you’re interested in learning more about training racing pigeons, you might find our article on how to train a racing pigeon helpful. Our article on how to train a racing pigeon provides valuable insights and techniques for effectively training these birds for racing competitions. Additionally, if you’re interested in the process of banding young racing pigeons, you can check out our article on how to band a young racing pigeon, which explains the purpose and methods of banding as a means of identification and record-keeping in the racing pigeon community.


In this FAQs section, we will answer some of the most common questions about the brainpower of pigeons. 

1. Are Pigeons As Smart As A human?

Pigeons can have brilliance as humans. But, pigeons aren’t as smart as adult human beings. But, a few types of research showed that pigeons have the intellect of 3-year-old children. 

2. What Makes Pigeons Smarter Than Any Average Birds?

Pigeons are smarter than other birds because of their better eyesight and homing instinct. They even can find their home even if they have been blindfolded. This ability is missing in other birds, and that’s why pigeons are smarter than any average bird.  

3. Why Do The Trainers Most Likely Choose Homing Pigeons For Training?

Homing pigeons are best in case of memorizing and remembering anything. The brains of homing pigeons are usually larger than other pigeons. So, they can learn anything more easily and quickly than any other pigeon. That is why homing pigeons are the favorite choice of trainers.


Pigeons are great creatures based on learning and smartness parameters. They can quickly solve any problem by integrating their learning method. The smartness of a pigeon is an essential factor parallel to the skills to win the race of pigeons.

Throughout the article, we talked about how to test the intelligence of racing pigeons. Before going into the race, test your pigeon in several ways that can give you the confidence to win the race. Don’t forget to train your pigeon to return home by memory test. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *