How Much Does a Pigeon Weigh?

Stroll through a city park or gaze upon the sky, and you’re bound to see pigeons. They are a familiar sight in urban and rural environments alike. However, not all pigeons are the same. There are several species of pigeons, each with its unique characteristics and, notably, weight.

A question that bird enthusiasts and curious minds often ask is: How much does a pigeon weigh? The answer is not straightforward, as it greatly depends on the species. The average weight of a pigeon can range anywhere between 9 ounces (255 grams) for smaller species like the Rock Pigeon to 2.5 pounds (1135 grams) for larger ones like the King Pigeon.

The fascinating world of pigeons is full of diversity. Their weight is an important aspect that sets different species apart, influencing their lifestyle, flight ability, and much more.

Weight of Common Pigeon Species

Let’s delve into the specifics of the weight of some common pigeon species.

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Rock Pigeon Weight

Rock Pigeons, often found in cityscapes worldwide, usually weigh between 9 to 13 ounces (255-370 grams).

Wood Pigeon Weight

Wood Pigeons, prevalent in rural and woodland areas, have a weight that can range from 12 to 17 ounces (340-490 grams).

King Pigeon Weight

King Pigeons are among the heaviest of pigeon breeds, typically weighing between 1.5 to 2.5 pounds (680-1135 grams).

Band-tailed Pigeon Weight

Band-tailed Pigeons, natives of the North American west coast, usually fall in the weight bracket of 12 to 20 ounces (340-570 grams).

a wild pigeon

Factors Influencing Pigeon Weight

Multiple factors can influence the weight of a pigeon.

Age and Pigeon Weight

Young pigeons, or squabs, weigh significantly less than adult pigeons. As they mature, their weight increases.

Gender Differences in Weight

In most pigeon species, males are slightly heavier than females. However, this difference is usually minor.

Diet and Its Effect on Weight

A pigeon’s diet can greatly impact its weight. Pigeons who have access to abundant food sources tend to weigh more.

Seasonal Variations in Weight

During winter, pigeons often gain weight to better insulate themselves against the cold, whereas in summer they might be slightly lighter.

Pigeon Weight Compared to Other Birds

Understanding the weight of a pigeon in relation to other birds can provide interesting insights.

Weight Comparison with Sparrows

Sparrows are much smaller than pigeons and usually weigh between 0.8 to 1.1 ounces (24-31 grams).

Weight Comparison with Hawks

Hawks, being birds of prey, are generally heavier than pigeons. They weigh between 1 to 3 pounds (450-1360 grams).

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Weight Comparison with Parrots

Parrots’ weight varies significantly based on species. Small parrots like budgies weigh around 1 ounce (30 grams), whereas large parrots like macaws can weigh up to 3.75 pounds (1700 grams).

Interesting Facts About Pigeon Weight

Here are some fascinating facts related to pigeon weight.

Weight Lifting Capacity of Pigeons

Pigeons can carry up to 75% of their body weight during flight. This remarkable feat is crucial for their survival and ability to transport food or nesting materials.

Weight Implications on Flight Speed and Duration

A pigeon’s weight can impact its speed and endurance during flight. Lighter pigeons can usually fly faster and for longer periods.

Lightest and Heaviest Pigeon Records

The record for the lightest adult pigeon is held by the Dwarf Fruit Dove, weighing around 1.3 ounces (37 grams). On the other hand, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon is the heaviest, weighing up to 7.7 pounds (3500 grams).

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can a pigeon carry?

A pigeon can carry up to 75% of its body weight during flight.

Does a pigeon’s weight affect its speed?

Yes, a pigeon’s weight can impact its speed and endurance during flight. Lighter pigeons usually fly faster and for longer periods.

What is the heaviest pigeon breed?

The heaviest pigeon breed is the Victoria Crowned Pigeon, weighing up to 7.7 pounds (3500 grams).


The weight of a pigeon, much like the birds themselves, is a topic full of surprising intricacies and diversity. From the lightweight Rock Pigeon to the hefty King Pigeon, the scale spans a wide range, shaped by species, age, gender, diet, and seasons.

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These differences in weight not only serve to distinguish one pigeon from another but also affect their flight ability, lifestyle, and survival strategies. Understanding these variations allows us to appreciate these often overlooked birds in a new light.

As we navigate through our own lives, perhaps we can take a moment to marvel at these ubiquitous creatures soaring above us, each carrying its unique weight, yet bound by a shared sky. The world of pigeons, it seems, is more than meets the eye, and it all starts with the simple question, “How much does a pigeon weigh?”

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