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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have you ever used a mirror to identify the sex of the pigeon? Does it work? I just read that if you show a male pigeon a mirror, he will attack it. But a female will ignore it.
That makes me nervous, because the pij that I thought was female (and Im hoping is female!) just attacked a mirror. :p
I know it isnt 100%, of course. I was just wondering if anyone finds the mirror test even a little accurate.
Thanks!
 

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Have you ever used a mirror to identify the sex of the pigeon? Does it work? I just read that if you show a male pigeon a mirror, he will attack it. But a female will ignore it.
That makes me nervous, because the pij that I thought was female (and Im hoping is female!) just attacked a mirror. :p
I know it isnt 100%, of course. I was just wondering if anyone finds the mirror test even a little accurate.
Thanks!
It does work for most birds, when they have no other pigeons to interact with.

Remember they have to get used to seeing the image daily, so at first both sexes may see it as an intruder and attack.

Give the bird some time to get used to it, and eventually your bird may respond with loud roo-koos and a dance,-thinking that the image could be a future mate. This would indicate a male.

The hen would be more docile, and eventually might respond to the image by cooing and make the "come hither" move, accepting the bird. I would also be more inclined to think your bird is a hen, if she has little response to the image. :p

Nothing works better then introducing the bird to a coop full of pigeons, within seconds you will know. :p
 

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Have you ever used a mirror to identify the sex of the pigeon? Does it work?

* I just read that if you show a male pigeon a mirror, he will attack it. But a female will ignore it.

That makes me nervous, because the pij that I thought was female (and Im hoping is female!) just attacked a mirror. :p
I know it isnt 100%, of course. I was just wondering if anyone finds the mirror test even a little accurate.
Thanks!
* That's been my experience.

While Mikko, Beautiful and Phoenix don't attack the mirror they do spend a good amount of time 'courting' it. :p
And Mikko had two mates. :rolleyes: :p

Cindy
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So interesting!! As I mentioned, my (maybe) female attacks the mirror while my (definitely very) male ignores it! I think the female is just worried that the strange "pigeon" will steal her food. lol.
 

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I tried it with our 'Puffin' (male feral rescue) when I had him inside for a while. He ambled over to this new thing, pecked at it a couple of times, not exactly attacking, and walked away.Then he came back, walked to and fro in front of it, watching the 'other pigeon' and seemed to decide it was a window so walked round behind it. Not finding the 'other pigeon', he came back, took a couple more looks then totally ignored it.

John
 

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I've never done it. I suppose showing mirror to an unknown bird can show aggression if it is a male and passiveness if it is a female. The problem becomes when your males is tame and not aggressive. It might give the wrong info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh, I didnt take it totally seriously, I saw it as an old wives' tale. I was just wondering if it worked for anyone! :)
 

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Try this with humans

Try the mirror test with humans, LOL.

Both sexes will make faces, purse their lips, eye themselves. The males may check out their fighting stances, occasionally lash out and break the mirror -- sometimes feeling chagrin at their stupidity or carelessness, other times feeling satisfaction that they demolished the "enemy." Females may look aloof at their images.

I think one can observe sexually-linked behavior in humans in front of a mirror.

Pigeons know it is just a mirror, and are a bit more circumspect. (LOL).

I've observed my male pigeon rescued-as-babies-or-squeakers attack the mirror when they became juveniles and were practicing courting behavior. How the pigeons drank water also correlated: females taking shallow sips, males plunging beaks in up to the eyes. (Of course, my observations are based on a limited number of rescues, not on thousands of pigeons the world over).

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
lol. Larry that is so funny! Until you meet a feminine man and a masculine woman. lol.

I think you're right, the pigeons are smarter about the mirror! :)

I have also noticed that way they drink appears to work...
 

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I thought I read something about if an animal can recognise itself in a mirror it is a sign of intelligence...not sure if thats true, but seems like I heard that somewhere or read it....?:)
 

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I thought I read something about if an animal can recognise itself in a mirror it is a sign of intelligence...not sure if thats true, but seems like I heard that somewhere or read it....?:)
I believe it could indicate whether an animal/bird has a concept of 'self identity' for want of a better term. Problem might be getting 'em to tell us if they recognize themselves or not :)

You have brought in an interesting point, though. I don't know what 'experts' in the field have to say, but my own limited observation suggests that a pigeon does not necessarily know that a pigeon of another species is not its own kind. Some of our males will do their coo, puff up and tail fan at a woodpigeon, for instance - like they see it as if it were a particularly interesting feral hen. A woodpigeon we took to a sanctuary actually paired up with a white feral.

Heck, maybe that just shows that it's humans who separate the birds into species, and the pigeons don't care either way :)

John
 

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I thought I read something about if an animal can recognise itself in a mirror it is a sign of intelligence...not sure if thats true, but seems like I heard that somewhere or read it....?:)
Absolutely! And *they* say there are only a few species capable of doing this (of course, the same *they* state with certainty that only a few species are capable of feeling emotions and even fewer use tools). :rolleyes: That's why I found John D's response so intriguing.
 

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I never considered HOW the pijies drink water before, but DO notice that, at least, Mr. Squeaks WILL really "dunk" his beak...especially noticeable when I offer him a drink in a glass of water...no dainty sipper, he!

AND, Gimie, a feral Checker, is absolutely besotted with WoeBeGone, a Tortoiseshell West of England Tumber and HE with her...talk about an odd couple and "love at first sight!" There was NO doubt! Gimie gave up her "live in partner," Dom without a second glance! Poor Dom is now without a partner but he gets out and does see Gimie, and keeps trying to win her back...

Mr. Squeaks has no such problem...I AM his mate and no one else will do...any and all pigeons are attacked! :rolleyes:

Love and Hugs
Shi :)
 

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All of my pigeons dunk their heads in the water when they're thirsty :p
But usually by the time I'm concerned what sex they are, it's relatively easy to tell. So I don't pay much attention to their drinking.

And about the mirrors, yes pigeons have passed the mirror test. But just like there are smart and stupid people, I think there can be smart and stupid pigeons :p I also think (well, more like KNOW) there are some just plain cocky birds out there that would court a rock if it moves, just to show it who's boss :p And others who are so laid back you'd think they'd fall over.
So that mirror trick definitely isn't always right on.
 

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I thought I read something about if an animal can recognise itself in a mirror it is a sign of intelligence...not sure if thats true, but seems like I heard that somewhere or read it....?:)
I read that too. The article also said that pigeons were smart because they DID recognize themselves in the mirror. Okay then, that being the case, then why do they either try to kill the other pigeon in the mirror, or try to court it? LOL. They must either be suicidal, or really stuck on themselves.:D
 

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I did the mirror thing with my pigeon and she made this like honking kinda sound lol, i guess it was cooing, and she dipped her head down a few times, then ignored it. This means a girl right? Cause thats what i think she is.
 

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I read that too. The article also said that pigeons were smart because they DID recognize themselves in the mirror. Okay then, that being the case, then why do they either try to kill the other pigeon in the mirror, or try to court it? LOL. They must either be suicidal, or really stuck on themselves.:D
ROFL

That's the best one I heard all day :)

John
 
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