Sunday, April 10, 2011

Columba livia

It looks like this one is getting ready to build a nest

Most people consider these birds to be pests or, at best, a nuisance. I have had a more neutral attitude towards them but, like squirrels, I'm trying to appreciate them more. I think if I had never seen one before I would think they were downright beautiful, especially the males' bright, iridescent feathers in their breeding plumage.

The Pigeon, Common Pigeon, Carrier Pigeon, Rock Pigeon or Rock Dove, is native to Europe and Northern Africa but has been introduced to nearly the entire world, especially the continent of North America. In their native habitat they used the sheer faces of cliffs as nesting sites. This is one of the reasons (besides the overabundance of human leftovers) that they have taken so well to our cities. Tall buildings mimic their natural nesting places nearly perfectly.

The diet of the Pigeon is mainly seeds and since we grow a lot of it here in North America it has become mainly corn on this continent. In cities they eat pretty much anything that has a grain base to it: popcorn, bread, peanuts, even cake. The females need slightly higher protein and calcium intake for egg development so their diets may be slightly different from the males.

male and female

Source: EOL

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