Pigeons Are Pretty Cool

nest-birds1-pigeonsOut of all the birds, the Pigeon has to be one of my favorites.  One reason is because I have always found it interesting how a group of pigeons perched on a building, would take off… fly around in circles and then land back on the same building.  Also, a childhood friend of mine (Chuck Plum) has a few pet pigeons and he talks a lot about them.  He got them from one his company’s clients.  He’s a tree guy for Seattle City Tree Service and one day while he was trimming a few trees at a home the owner asked him if he would be interested in taking care of some pigeons because he (the owner) was going overseas.  When the owner returned, he told Chuck he could keep the pigeons because he was starting to travel more.  Chuck is crazy about those birds and looks forward to getting home to look after them.  

Pigeons are characterized as a broader or meatier bodied bird with a shorter neck. 

A couple of things that make them so remarkable are both their high intelligence and natural navigational skills.  Their navigation is so incredible that you may recall seeing something known as a carrier pigeon from either a movie or cartoon that would deliver letters.  The particular species recognized for that is the Homing Pigeon.  It has been shown that these birds will use something in their nose that some scientist believes to be a natural compass experiments proved if the scientists interfered with these two internal magnets they carry in their nose that they would fail to find their way back home.  They can’t navigate by following their nose alone, though; they are smart enough to use the sun as well as make use of obstacles made by man like streets, or other landmarks.  With their hearing they can even detect and avoid storms at quite a distance. 

If you want to be further intrigued, I will also tell you that they are smart enough to be of few to be able to recognize their selves in a mirror, crazy, huh?.

Today for most common folk pigeons can be a bit of a pest leaving droppings on freshly cleaned cars, but at one point even their poop was a sought after resource for fertilizer! 

As a social bird, pigeons tend to stick around in flocks, and will typically only have two chicks together with their mate.  Although they can only lay two eggs at once, they will happily lay eggs multiple times throughout the year.

Pigeons are known to mate for life in which both parents take an equal role in caring for their young.  These birds live an average of about ten to fifteen years and are ready to leave the nest at around two months of age.  They have a unique way of feeding their young by feeding them a naturally produced form of milk that is obtained when the baby chick sticks their beak inside their parents mouth to a special lining inside that will release the milk.  Even more unique that this milk is not solely produced by the female bird it is also generated by the male as well!

Another interesting fact of pigeons is they are one of the birds that you can own as a pet, in some places.  I have known someone myself that cared for many pigeons and rescued them from harm. 

For the most part, pigeons enjoy eating seeds but will occasionally eat some insects.  They are great for indoor pets or outdoor pets if you can safely keep them away from predators who will want to kill them.  Although they should be kept safe, they have a history of living very close to humans, and as a pet can live in the same house as dogs peacefully as well as fearlessly.

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