Why Do Pigeons Fly in Circles

Why Do Pigeons Fly in Circles? 5 Major Causes!

Pigeons are often seen in the sky flying with their folks in a circle. You will never see a pigeon flying straight while taking off or in a messy way.

Many people ask, why do pigeons fly in circles? Pigeons fly in circles for many hidden benefits. They can find their nest or residence easily as they can easily smell their familiar elements. Also, pigeons can sense the earth’s magnetic field, and navigate easily in a circular motion. 

This movement also helps them to warm their body and be safe from prey. That’s not the end. You can get a broad idea about this topic and other additional information in this article.

Why Do Pigeons Fly in Circles?

The sustainability of pet birds depends on them. If they feel comfortable with wild birds, they will not come back. But pigeons are uncommon in that case. They are roaming in many places away from their owner. But they come back before sunset.

Why Do Pigeons Fly in Circles

Here’re the reasons why pigeons fly in circles. 

Cause 1: To Find Out Their Residence Or Navigation

Pigeons have the special power to recognize and smell their residence. They fly in a circle, and the circle covers a large area. It helps to smell their known things easily. Flying in a circle, they can navigate easily with the help of the earth’s magnetic field.

To Find Out Their Residence Or Navigation

Humans and many other animals cannot sense the magnetic field. But pigeons can sense earth’s magnetic field. A mixture of smell, the earth’s magnetic field, and flying in a circle helps them easily find their home.

Cause 2: To Cover A Large Area With Less Energy

It is a hard task for the pigeon to fly straight to reach their suitable height. That quickly decreases their energy and cuts off a lot of calories. Rather they fly in a circular way in which they gradually go upwards with less energy.

To Cover A Large Area With Less Energy

Flying in a circle, it covers a large area. That invites other pigeons to fly with them. Pigeons can easily increase or decrease their movement for flying in a circle.

Cause 3: To Stay Safe from Prey

Falcons, hawks, and eagles mostly attack pigeons while they are in a sitting position. For flying in a circle, it is hard to catch them. The birds of prey can not focus on a particular place to attack the pigeon. For circular movement, pigeons can escape easily.

To Stay Safe from Prey

Cause 4: To Find Foods

They can find food easily in a circular movement. This movement helps to catch very tiny insects. Also, for this movement, insects can not analyze the next turn of the pigeon. Mainly pigeons collect plenty of food in a group in a circular movement.

To Find Foods

Cause 5: To Fly in Groups

Pigeons try to stay connected with each other. The homie pigeons love to fly in groups. They create a wave around them to stay connected. The wave also helps pigeons to locate the distance from their home.

The frequency wave made by pigeons helps them to know the distance from their groups. The frequency acts as an invisible thread to connect them.

Flying in a circle also is a part of their daily exercise. Pigeons cut off their extra calories by flying. They raise the young birds and also teach them to escape and save themselves from hunting. They remain in a thermal pool for this motion.

Why Do Pigeons Mostly Come Back In Their Nest During Sunset?

Pigeons mostly come back to the home before or during sunset. Two main reasons are behind it to practice this culture. It is closely related to the sun.

The temperature of the dawn is quite fresh and cold. It gradually increases the temperature with the sun. The thinner air gets warm. For the atmospheric pressure of thin and warm air, the warm air goes up, and the thinner air of high altitude takes the place.

Why Do Pigeons Mostly Come Back In Their Nest During Sunset

Pigeons cleverly fly at that time to save energy and fly in high with airflow. Similarly, in the evening, they apply the same tricks and come down with the flow of air. As the air exchange occurs in a circular movement, pigeons also follow this rotation.

Another reason to come back before sunset is that they can not see in the dark. During the sunlight, it is easy to find their home following the central magnetic field.

If you’re interested in learning more about pigeon biology and breeds, you might find our articles on what does a baby pigeon look like and Archangel pigeon helpful. Our article on what does a baby pigeon look like provides insights into the physical characteristics of young pigeons, while our article on Archangel pigeon offers an in-depth look at the history, characteristics, and care of this unique pigeon breed. Check them out to deepen your understanding of pigeon biology and breeds.


These are some frequently asked questions by people about pigeon flying habits.

1. Do pigeons fly at night?

Pigeons rarely fly at night. They can not see anything in dark. If there is any disturbance created, then they fly. Like if there is any attack by cats, foxes, or humans, then they try to save their life and fly.

2. Why do pigeons fly in groups?

Pigeons fly in groups for protection. Birds like eagles, hawks, crows, and owls attack them frequently, while pigeons fly alone. So, they try to fly in groups to support themselves if any outsiders attack them. Also, they love to stay connected while flying.

3. Why do pigeons suddenly fly away?

Pigeons suddenly fly away for migration. Though they do not do that commonly, this type of incidence can sometimes be seen. They might not feel safe or find a better home, in that case, they migrate with their folks and suddenly fly away.


That’s all about today’s topic of why do pigeons fly in circles. Pigeons are never seen flying in haphazard conditions. They feel safe flying in a circle. This flying technique keeps them away from birds of prey. Also, they remain connected easily in this movement by creating a broad wavelength.

This movement helps them to find food easily for them. The most important cause of this movement is to navigate or find out their home easily. Pigeons save a lot of energy by flying in a circular motion, so they can fly high. Don’t worry about their flying behavior, it is normal!

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