Thursday, February 18, 2010

PIGEONS

Pigeons are birds with kind of shiny feathers that look pretty in the sun.  And also they have beady orange eyes.  Pigeons used to be sometimes called Rock Doves, but now they are officially called Rock Pigeons.  And their fancy scientific name is Columba livia.  Pigeons and doves are all part of the same bird family, except usually the bigger ones are called pigeons and the smaller ones are called doves.  They all make that "coo coo coo" sound, which is nice to listen to, and they all like to poop on statues.


Rock Pigeons were named that because they build nests in rocky places like cliffs.  But they also build nests in barns or trees or on the ground or under the eaves of your house.  The nests are mostly just a pile of sticks with that sort of thrown-together look.  I guess pigeons have more important things to do than designing fancy nests.


When pigeons mate, they stick with that same mate, which is called being monogamous.  Dogs don't do this, but some birds do it and so do some people.  Anyway, the happy pigeon couple makes one or two eggs, which they put in their stick nest, and then both the mom and dad pigeon take care of the eggs and the babies, which are called "squabs."  Here's a picture of some squabs, which are really ugly, if you want my opinion.  Puppies and kittens are way cuter!


Pigeons are pretty sociable, so they like to roost together in groups in places like the local park or on buildings or on telephone lines.  One important question I have about pigeons is how they know which telephone pole to sit on.  Because, if you have ever noticed, you will see a whole bunch of pigeons sitting on one particular pole and the wires around it, but not on other poles.  I was hoping to find the answer to this question while doing my research, but I didn't find it, so if anybody knows the answer, could you please tell me?


I have never eaten a pigeon, but I think they are probably very tasty.  I say this because pigeons have a lot of predators, and here's a list of some of them:  falcons, hawks, owls, eagles, possums, raccoons, owls, and cats.  Also people sometimes hunt pigeons and eat them.

Pigeons can also be kept as pets.  Back in the old days, pigeons used to be trained to carry messages.  Some pigeons have carried messages during wars, and have even won awards and medals for doing this, just like war dogs have.  Which is pretty amazing for a bird, if you ask me.

We don't really have any pigeons in our neighborhood where we live right now, but where Mom used to live, there were pigeons.  One time, a pair of them built a nest in a little place under the eaves on her house, and then they had babies.  But the roof was slanted, so the nest kept trying to slide down.  But the squabs still managed to grow up and be adult pigeons.  After which, the nest slid all the way down and clogged up the gutter.  It's stuff like this that makes some people not like pigeons, but Mom still likes them because she thinks they are pretty, and she likes the cooing noise they make.  And I like them because I would really like to catch one and eat it!

2 comments:

  1. Dear Piper,
    Pigeons LOVE to stick together, so when a pigeon decides to go on some random telephone wire, the other ones decide to go there too so yeah... I can see they are a little too sociable, don't you think?
    Love,
    Tas

    ReplyDelete