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Pigeons and Doves

Introduction to a Web Documentary about Pigeons & Doves

Pigeons - you cannot miss them when visiting Trafalgar square in London, the Duomo in Florence, Central Park in New York or possibly even sitting on your own balcony.

Pigeon drinking from statue in Rome

About Pigeons and Doves

Pigeons are considered one of the most common birds in the world - and yet throughout history hundreds of thousands of people have been dedicated to breeding these birds for messaging services, competitions, racing, and much more.

They are known for their loyalty, love, family life as well as being the most recognized symbol of peace. Sounds positive? Yet, a substantial market has developed for the purpose of trying to get rid of them …without much success.

carrier wattled beak pigeon

The Columbidae Family - The pigeon, first-cousin to the dove, is a bird that belongs to the Columbidae family.

There are many types of pigeons, most of them originating from the Rock Pigeon – a wild species that typically lives within crevices of rocky terrain. More than 300 species of the Columbidae family exist around the world including various types of doves, fantails, highflyers, tumblers that do somersaults while flying, etc.

The Columbidae family has a few unique characteristics that distinguish them from most other types of birds – they feed their young on a form of milk rather than on insects, seeds or worms; they are devoted to their families and they can navigate their way back home under surprising circumstances.

Read more about characteristics of pigeons and doves and members of the Columbidae family…

 

Bruner Pouter Pigeon

 

Doves and Pigeons Throughout History - Raising pigeons for food, communication and pleasure was already popular in the ancient world.  The pigeon, and its cousin the turtle dove, is mentioned in the bible more than any other bird. It is first mentioned in the story of Noa and the flood.  

The ancient demand for domesticating pigeons gave rise to the development of the columbarium - a man-made structure of pigeon holes designed for breeding on a large scale.

The cultivation of pigeons continued throughout history - mainly for food although they were also bred for other purposes such as racing, hunting and showcasing, as message carriers and, in biblical times, for religious purposes. At a certain point in Europe breeding pigeons was considered a special privelege of the nobility.

Read more about doves and pigeons in history....

Canadian stamp of dove

Columbarium in Beit Grovrin

Engraving of korban

 

Pigeon Breeding - There are many thousands of pigeon fanciers around the world.

Thesepigeon breeders manipulate planned matings (forced marriages) between domesticated pigeons in order to produce and emphasize specific desired traits - much like dog and horse breeders. The result is hundreds of unusual and sometimes strikingly beautiful pigeon breeds.

Read more about different pigeon breeds...

 

Fancy white fantail pigeon

 

Pigeons as a Nuisance - Most town pigeons are descended from cultivated pigeons that became wild. They breed frequently, multiplying at a rapid rate, and have become a substantial problem for the people they live beside.  When they were in captivity and under human control, their fast reproduction was an advantage, but when they started to breed as free agents they became a nuisance.

They often build their nests in inconvenient locations such as church steeples, chimneys, window ledges, roofs etc. They are known to carry bacteria and viruses, and their droppings present serious hygienic problems for many communities.

As a result, an industry has developed to help people get rid of the pigeons that have settled in their neighborhoods.

Read more about pigeons as a nuisance….

Wire netting against pigeons

Spikes against pigeons

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In this DocuWeb you see short videos showing the development of an undomensticated pigeon, from birth through to first flight. A second group of short videos capture how the mother and father feed a baby pigeon and how the parents communicate.

Videos - Part 1: Life of a Baby Pigeon

This group of videos shows the changes in a baby pigeon during its early period and then concentrates on the father's patient endeavors to teach the youngster how to fly. (13 short videos)

Watch videos of a first born wild pigeon...

Mother feeding baby pigeon

Videos - Part 2: A New Family Member

This second sequence of videos shows a new sibling squab born to the same parents before the first baby even knows how to fly.

In this sequence we watch the parents feed the squab and we also get a glimpse of the way that pigeons communicate with each other. (5 short videos)

Watch videos of a new sibling…

 

Father feeding baby pigeon

Back to Top

Overview| Videos - Part 1 | Videos - Part 2 | Columbidae Family| Pigeons in History | Pigeon Breeding | Pigeons as a Nuisance

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