Forget everything you think you know about pigeons
There are more than 300 species of pigeons in the world—many of which are drop-dead gorgeous. “They’re the world’s most overlooked birds konohatoto78 . 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 gets its coo.
“Pigeons are biological marvels,” says author of
“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.