Forget everything you think you know about pigeons


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People love to hate on pigeons for the way they foul up parked cars or flock to food scraps on the sidewalk. But with more than 300 species of wild pigeon found on Earth—many of them stunning—it’s past time the lowly pigeon gets its coo.

“Pigeons are biological marvels,” says Rosemary Mosco, author of A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching

They make milk for their young. They can take off almost vertically. They see colors we can’t, hear sounds we can’t, and find their way across hundreds of miles using mechanisms we don’t fully understand,” she says. “They’re the world’s most overlooked birds.”

Interestingly, there’s no scientific difference between pigeons and the much more beloved doves. Both birds are members of the Columbidae family, and while the term ‘pigeon’ tends to be applied to larger species and ‘dove’ to smaller ones, Mosco notes in her illustrated field guide that there is actually no scientific or evolutionary distinction to either group. 

What’s more, the ubiquitous pigeon found in cities worldwide descends from a bird known as the rock dove, which people long ago domesticated. (Read how pigeons first landed in cities.)


https://i.natgeofe.com/n/e3e32759-ba0f-4357-b01c-596455b8b738/NationalGeographic_2475933.jpg?w=1440&h=958A green imperial pigeon, Ducula aenea, flaps its wings at Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden in ​Ahmedabad, India.



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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sikiladi
    Jan 16, 2023 @ 08:30:57

    Interesting write up about pigeons.
    I have pigeons, crows and little birds come to my window every day to eat chapatti, the Indian bread that is freshly cooked for them every morning. They love eating millets as well, so during the day they keep coming to peck on these grain seeds from the seed bowl and take sips of water.
    Interestingly, they sometimes shoo away the little birds if they are very hungry and on some days, they are quite happy sharing the bowl with other birds.



    • Mohenjo
      Jan 17, 2023 @ 10:24:00

      Pigeons don’t have a great reputation in some circles, but I like them. in my case the starlings chase away the crows, five or six of them chase one crow.
      Thanks for the comment and visit!

      Liked by 1 person


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