Incredible Facts You Never Knew About Pigeons |Different Types of Species

1) Pigeons are the earliest domesticated birds of mankind.

The relationship between humans and pigeons can be traced back to the dawn of civilization, perhaps even earlier. Domesticated pigeons (also known as rock pigeons) were first depicted in hieroglyphics on clay plates of the Mesopotamian period, and their history can be traced back to 5,000 years ago. Some scholars even believe that birds were raised by Neolithic people, dating back 10,000 years.

2) Pigeons do some backflips in the air, but no one knows why

As we all know, many birds will perform excellent aerial acrobatics in order to hunt down prey or avoid themselves being eaten, but these moves are rarely more impressive than pigeons doing backflips. No one knows why certain types of pigeons will flip backwards in flight, although some people suspect that this is just for fun.

3) Pigeons have learned to ride the subway and are model passengers

The train drivers there said that since the early 1990s, they have seen pigeons ride the subway regularly-they are actually imitating passengers.

4) Pigeons know people who are friendly to them

Although they seem to be spaced apart sometimes, the pigeons still remember the faces they touched. In a study of birds in central Paris, two researchers provided food for birds or drove them away. After repeating the above steps in multiple visits, even if the pigeons were wearing different clothes, the pigeons started to avoid the chaser and were attracted to the feeder.

5) Pigeons use kaleidoscope to see the world.

Pigeons have extraordinary vision and can distinguish shades of almost the same color. For example, humans have a triple color perception system, while pigeon photoelectric sensors and filters can distinguish up to five spectral bands, making their world appear to be a virtual kaleidoscope.

6) Pigeons are the only birds that can absorb water.

7) Pigeons have been taught letters

Pigeons are not fools. A study found that birds can be taught to distinguish each letter of the alphabet from all other letters, and to recognize them in a very similar way to humans, even confusing letters that some people often make mistakes.

8) Pigeons are also very capable mathematicians.

Another study found that pigeons have the same mathematical abilities as non-human primates, demonstrating the ability to learn abstract mathematical concepts, distinguish between digital objects, sequence pairs, and accurately determine quantity. So far, except for humans, only equivalent mathematical skills have been recorded in rhesus monkeys.

9) Pigeons can learn to play table tennis   

In the 1950s, the psychologist B.F Skinner tried to prove that animal behavior is not only affected by instinct, but also by external factors. To prove his point, he successfully taught several pigeons how to play table tennis.

10) One of them rescued nearly 200 American troops in the First World War

In 1918, in the final weeks of the First World War, a group of 194 US soldiers were trapped behind the enemy and expelled by the advancing Germans and their allies by mistakenly thinking they were allies. Their only hope of getting rid of the difficulties is to bring a few hens with them.

When the first two birds were shot down, only one pigeon named Cher Ami was left to convey this message. Although the brave bird was shot several times after leaving the bunker, he survived and issued a life-saving notice. The dove was awarded the French Cross Medal for bravery, which is an honor awarded by the French army to foreign troops.

11) Pigeons can fly up to 100 mph

Although they are not always shown, some pigeons can fly very fast and can fly long distances, and some pigeons can burst briefly to reach a speed of 100 miles per hour.

12) In fact, sometimes they may be faster than the Internet.

In 2009, a pigeon named Winston proved to be faster than the ADSL service provided by the largest network company in South Africa. This birdie keeps pace with the data transmitted by Internet provider Telkon, carrying a 4GB memory stick on a 60-mile route. Winston can physically transmit data in just an hour, and uploading its digital data takes about two hours.

13) Pigeons helped establish Reuters.

In the 1840s, before beginning to become one of the largest international news agencies, Paul Julius Reuter tried to release information in a better way in a timely manner. His initial attempt to establish a news service involved using flocks of pigeons to deliver long-distance letters, although they lost their jobs shortly after Reuters switched to telegraph.

16) Pigeons have also become very good parents.

The cocks and hens share their responsibilities in the nesting task, and share the responsibility for hatching eggs with another pigeon to eat and rest. Pigeons do not build nests in trees, but want to start family life in a safe environment with rocky cliffs, or if in a more urban environment, hide them on the side of the building.

17) Pigeons children are cute, but rare

Little pigeons are rare, because their doting parents only allow them to leave after they are about to reach adulthood. This is what they look like:

18) Pigeons are everywhere

Today, there are an estimated 260 million pigeons inhabiting almost every city in the world, and there may be more people living and interacting with humans than any other animal on the planet.

It may be because they are so common that people often tend to ignore what kind of great animals they are.

19) Pigeons can find a nest 1300 miles away.

Even if birds are transported in isolation (with no clues to sight, smell or magnetism), birds can do this, and scientists rotate the cage so that they don't know in which direction they are moving. This is a mystery, but people began to use pigeon navigation skills at least in 3000 BC, when people in ancient times would let go of the caged pigeons and then follow them to the nearby land.

Their navigation skills also make pigeons a great long-distance messenger. It is said that sports fans in ancient Greece used highly trained pigeons to carry the results of the ancient Olympics. In the farther east, Genghis Khan keeps in touch with his allies and enemies through the pigeon-based postal network.

20) During the First and Second World Wars, they saved thousands of lives.

The return of pigeons can continue to shape the history of the 20th century. In both world wars, the hostile countries had flocks of pigeon couriers. (In World War II alone, the United States had 200,000 people available.) By providing important updates, birds saved thousands of lives. A bird racer named Cher Ami completed a mission and rescued 194 stranded American soldiers on October 4, 1918.

21) Pigeons are really good at multitasking.

According to a study, they are more efficient multitasking programs than humans. Scientists at the University of Bochum in Bochum formed a test group of 15 people and 12 pigeons, and trained them to complete two simple tasks (for example, press the keyboard once the light bulb was lit) . They are still in a situation where they need to stop one job and switch to another job. In some trials, participants must make changes immediately. During these test runs, humans and pigeons switch between jobs at the same speed.

But in other experiments, the test subjects were allowed to complete a task, and then they had to wait 300 milliseconds before continuing to the next job. Interestingly, during these runs, the pigeons started the second task faster after the stage. In the avian brain, nerve cells are packed more densely, which may allow our feathered friends to process information faster than we can under appropriate circumstances.

22) Pigeons produce fake "milk".

Only mammals can produce pure milk, but pigeons and pigeons (and some other birds) will feed their pups something similar-a white liquid full of nutrients, fat, antioxidants and healthy protein, called "Crop milk". Both cocks and hens produce milk from crops, which is part of the esophagus and is designed to temporarily store food. Like mammalian milk, the production of crop milk is regulated by prolactin. Newly hatched pigeons will drink crop milk until weaning in about four weeks. (If you have ever asked yourself, "Where are all the pigeons?" We have the answer here for you.)

23) Why do pigeons shake their heads?

The eyes of pigeons are installed on the side, which is different from that of humans and owls. Because pigeons have monocular vision rather than binocular vision, they will swing their heads to obtain the perceived depth. The dove's eyes function much better under still images, so when the dove takes a step forward, the head temporarily falls behind. Next move your head forward again, and so on. This can orient the bird correctly.

24) How do pigeons navigate?

There are many theories about how pigeons manage to return to "home" when they leave the loft 100 miles. The winning pigeons can be released 400 to 600 miles from home and returned within a day. This amazing feat does not only apply to "pigeons" or "home" pigeons. All pigeons have the ability to restore habitat. A 10-year study conducted by Oxford University concluded that pigeons use roads and highways to navigate, and in some cases even change the direction of highway intersections. Other theories include navigation cues using the earth ’s magnetic field, landmarks, the sun and even infrasound (low-frequency seismic waves). Regardless of the fact, this unique ability makes pigeons a very special bird.

25) Are pigeons smart?

Pigeons are considered to be one of the smartest birds on the planet, able to undertake the only protection task previously considered to be humans and primates. This pigeon has also passed the "mirror test" (to be able to identify its reflection in the mirror), and is one of the only 6 species with this ability, and the only non-mammal. The pigeon can also recognize all 26 English letters and can conceptualize it. In scientific tests, it was found that pigeons can distinguish photos after receiving food rewards, and can even distinguish two different people in the photos.

26) Pigeons never forget, never forgive

One of the most surprising facts about pigeons is a study a few years ago. According to a 2011 study, wild pigeons have the ability to recognize faces, and it is difficult to be fooled.

In this study, two researchers with similar appearances wore two different color lab coats in the park. There, they treat pigeons very differently. One person stays calm and allows the pigeons to eat, while the other person is aggressive and drives the birds away when they try to eat. After that, the two researchers returned to the scene, neither of them tried to drive away the birds. From then on, the pigeons will avoid a researcher who has chased them in the past. Even if the researchers changed their colored lab coats, the pigeons were still able to determine who had chased them in the past. This shows that these birds can distinguish researchers based on facial features alone.

This also reveals to a certain extent ...

27) Pigeons have quite a long memory

Among other little-known facts about pigeons, do you know that the bird has excellent memory? The above research on facial recognition is proof. The study was repeated several times and the results were similar. The pigeons remembered the researcher who drove them away. When they came back later, they still remember the researcher even if they wore different clothes.

Another study further tested the pigeon's long-term memory. A study conducted by the Mediterranean Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience measured the memory ability of pigeons and baboons. Pigeons and baboons are given pictures and colors, and are trained to remember the colors associated with each picture. Pigeons can remember 800 to 1200 picture color combinations. Although they do not remember how many combinations baboons have, they still remember a considerable number.

28) Pigeons can be extremely colorful

When you think of the word "pigeon", what kind of bird do you imagine? Do you think of a medium-sized gray bird wandering on the city street? Most of us do this. However, these are just a pigeon. Pigeons and pigeons are all over the world, many of them are shockingly beautiful. For example, fruit pigeons are a group of pigeons, they usually show bright hues of green, yellow and red.

29) Pigeons grab seeds not necessarily to eat

Sad pigeons-when they grab seeds from the ground, they do not necessarily eat them. Instead, they are storing for future digestion. The seeds are collected in "crops", which are just the enlarged part of their esophagus.

What do pigeons like to eat?

In the world's major cities, pigeons are ordinary birds. Many people think that pigeons will be annoying, and there are scavengers such as crows and hi. The cooing of pigeons is similar to the cooing of pigeons. People tend to treat pigeons as dirty pests and pigeons as a clean symbol of peace, but they do come from the same family. The reputation of pigeons as a pest can eat anything in most cases should not be.


The common name that pigeons are most likely to see is the rock pigeon. The scientific name of the pigeon is Columba livia, from the Columbidae family, there are more than 300 kinds. They originated in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The pigeons first arrived in North America in Nova Scotia, Canada with Europeans in the 1600s. Some of them were domesticated and trained as racing pigeons and homing pigeons. Today, pigeons are considered wild because they are descendants of escaped domestic pigeons.


Domestic and wild pigeons like to eat grains and seeds. Wild pigeons also eat bread crumbs, popcorn, and food left by others. If they had to choose between bread and bird food, then a wild pigeon would choose bird food, which usually contains various seeds and grains. Domestic pigeons cannot eat leftover lunch in the park, so their diet includes their favorite food: cereals, including corn, peas, wheat and sorghum. The grain was not cooked or burst, but was fed to the raw pigeons.

Eating habits

Pigeons will swallow the whole food, store it at the bottom of the throat, and then pass it to the digestive system. Pigeons need gravel (pebbles or rocks) to process food in order to break it down into nutrients. Wild pigeons can easily find gravel, but the owners of domestic pigeons need to provide gravel. Drinking water helps digestion and is also important for pigeon bathing-debunking the myth of pigeon dirty.


The reputation of pigeons as a disease-carrying bird is wrong. Feces left by pigeons may carry disease, not pigeons. People living in the city often take a bath to keep themselves clean. As we all know, wild pigeons eat a lot of human food, such as bread crumbs, popcorn and other leftovers. This leads people to believe that when all they do is clean up people, this bird is a scavenger and annoying.

What do baby pigeons eat?

Both male and female pigeons (and pigeons) produce "crop milk" to feed the young chicks in the nest during the first week of their life. This is the shedding of cells in the lining of crops.

After the first week, adult chickens will begin to feed chicks with seeds and other plant matter and soften them by keeping them in their crops for a period of time. As the dwarfs grow, they are weaned from milk and softened seeds and do not reach adulthood until about four weeks old, mainly seeds and / or fruits (depending on species and habitat) and some worm and insect diets.

The different of species

1) Rock Pigeon

It is bigger and fuller than the pigeons in the morning. The color is variable, but most birds are blue-gray, with two black bands on the wings and a black tip on the tail. Most birds have iridescent throat feathers. The wing pattern may contain two bar graphs with black dots or may be flat. The tail is usually dark. Pigeons are familiar birds in towns. You will also see them around the fields and in the rocky cliffs of the prototype habitat.

2) Mourning dove

They are mainly seed eaters, not insect eaters. They can and do eat weed seeds, which is undoubtedly valuable for gardeners, farmers, and people living near the weeds. (However, they do like corn.)

CooooOOOOO-woo-woo-woo's calls are almost always made by males instead of females, and (waiting) is a kind of call, which is a temptation to a partner or potential partner.

3) Passenger  Pigeons

The male body is pink with a blue-gray head. Place a white egg in a fragile branch. There may be more than 100 nests in a tree. The natural enemies of passenger pigeons are eagles, owls, weasels, skunks and arboreal snakes. Pigeons sometimes forage in newly planted grain fields, but little damage to crops

Why are passenger pigeons extinct?

Although turtledove is a victim of human hunters, we still cannot know exactly how the species has dropped from billions to zero in 50 years.

With the extinction of the species, the extinct pigeons are indeed a remarkable achievement of mankind, which is unparalleled in recorded history: due to our passion for brutal killing and the destruction of large-scale habitats, these iconic birds The number has dropped from billions to only zero years. In the 1800s, the environment of pigeons suddenly changed due to hunting.

4) Eurasian turtledove

They are larger than mourning pigeons, but slender and long-tailed than rock pigeons. Eurasian turtledove is a light brown to grayish yellow chalk bird with white patches on its tail. The bird's collar is a narrow black crescent on the neck. During flight and perching, the wing tip is darker than the rest of the wing. Eurasian collared turtle doves live in cities and suburbs in most parts of the United States (except for the Northeast region).
The diet is mainly seeds, some berries and insects. The diet in North America is unknown. In Europe, it feeds on the waste cereals of many cultivated crops, as well as the seeds of many plants. Eat some berries and small insects, rarely snails. They also eat bread crumbs and other human food.

5) Pigeons with banded tail

The banded turtledove is a large pigeon with a purple-grey head and a gray body. Adult pigeons have a white crescent or collar on the nape. The upper half of the tail is dark gray, while the lower half is light gray. The banded turtle dove has red eyes and a unique yellow beak with a black tip. The wings are pointed and the tail is long. Males and females look similar, but females look darker. The juvenile is evenly tan and has no neck.

The banded turtledove makes an owl-like ot or —call when it chirps. These voices are deep, but the tone is soft. They tweet in a similar way to other Columbus. During the flight, the banded turtledove's wings clapped loudly when they met above the rear.

Tailed pigeons are found in many habitats on the West Coast and Southwest of the United States and throughout Mexico. Tail pigeons can also be found in southern Alaska and South America.

6) White-winged pigeon

White-winged pigeons are plump square-tailed pigeons with relatively long, thin banknotes and small heads. Most pastures are on the ground, but they are also planted in trees, shrubs, and cacti. It is often seen on the top of the giant cactus saguaro and feeds on fruits or flowers.

It is possible to build nests in colonies, especially in isolated groves where nesting sites are surrounded by good foraging areas. In the courtship display, the male slapped and then fell sharply. When perching, the male lifted his tail and quickly fanned the fan shape to open and close to flash the black and white tail pattern.

7) Nicobar Pigeon

The body is plump, with long tail, short legs, short stature, and the head is particularly small compared to the body. The long, pointed tail is unique among North American pigeons.

This pigeon can be found from the Nicobar Islands to the east through the Malay Archipelago, the small islands and coastal areas of the Solomons and Palau.

8) Dodo pigeons

The dodo, which is larger than the turkey, weighs about 23 kilograms (about 50 pounds). It has blue-gray feathers, a big head, a 23-centimeter (9-inch) black banknote, a hooked needle tip with a red sheath, small useless wings, thick yellow legs, and a cluster of curly feathers tall at the rear . The Reunion Solitaire may be the white version of the dodo. Brown Rodriguez cards are taller, taller, slimmer, with smaller heads, short banknotes without bulky hooks, and knobs on their wings.

The largest and strangest pigeon is the Dodo (Dodo), a huge bird (three feet tall and weighing up to 40 pounds), similar to the giant found only on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius (Eden without predators) Incubator. It could not survive the first contact with our species. It was killed contemptuously as a healthy food. It was a tough food for visiting sailors and a healthy food for corned beef. When the concept of extinction did not even exist, the dodo disappeared in 1662.

9) Yellow-footed green pigeon

This pigeon is a stout bird, 33 cm long, greenish yellow, with black wings and yellow edges. It has a small patch of lilac on its shoulder. The iris is blue and the outer circle is pink. The bill is soft and the bottom is swollen and green. Gender is similar, although women may appear dull by comparison.

10) Thick-billed green pigeon

The male has a light green bushy base, a red base, broad green earrings, a gray crown, maroon wings, and most of them are green undersides. Females are similar to males, but lack maroon wings. Both sexes are similar to females, but males will soon begin to show adult feathers.

11) Nilgiri Pigeon

The Nilgiri wooden pigeon (Columba elphinstonii) is a large pigeon that is 35 to 40 cm long and weighs 380 grams.

The head area and lower part are light blue. The mantle is purple maroon. The back neck has black and white patterns, caused by black feathers with white tips. The tail is dark gray. The bottom of the bill is red, and the tip of the bill is light yellow. The feet are red. Their calls are low-frequency calls.

Ecosystem and habitat

These Nilgiri wood pigeon species are highly dependent on the forest. These species occur at an altitude of 50 to 2250 meters. They are actually limited to moist evergreen and semi-evergreen forest ecosystems.

Nilgiri wood pigeon species inhabit tropical and subtropical humid lowland forests, tropical and subtropical humid mountain forests, humid evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, shola forests, dense ravines, foothill forests, plantations And humid deciduous forests in rare cases.

12) Crowned pigeon Scheepmaker

The southern crowned pigeon (Goura scheepmakeri)-also known as the chestnut-breasted pigeon or Scheepmaker's crowned pigeon-is a large pigeon restricted to the lowland forests of southern New Guinea. It has blue-gray feathers, a delicate blue lace crown, a red iris and a very deep chestnut breast.

The species was first discovered by Otto Finsch, who found a live bird obtained from trader C. Scheepmaker at the Amsterdam Zoo and named it after him .

13) Wanga Pigeon

The Wonga pigeon, or Wonga Wonga, is a large, plump ground-dwelling pigeon with a small head, short and wide wings, and a long tail. The upper part is mainly gray, and the face is pale, the chest has a clear white V shape, the lower part is white, and the dark brown crescent and wedge are prominently marked on the upper part. The eyes are dark reddish brown, with pink eye circles and black fluff (the area between the bill and the eyes), bills, feet and legs from dark pink to red.

The food for Wonga Dove is the seeds of local and imported plants, as well as fallen fruits and occasional insects. It only feeds on the ground and usually walks a long distance along a clear route. It mainly eats in the early morning and afternoon, sometimes forming large groups in food-rich places.

14) Socorro pigeons

Socorro pigeons (Zenaida graysoni) are extinct pigeons in the wild. It is endemic to Socorro Island in the Revlagilagedo archipelago; the last time it was discovered in its natural habitat was in 1972. There are no more than 200 purebred birds in captivity, and maybe less than 100. The reintroduction process is in the early stages of preparation.

Socorro pigeons are medium-sized terrestrial pigeons with long legs and are suitable for Zenaida pigeons. It is 26.5–34 cm long and weighs 190 grams on average.

15) Marc Imperial Dove

The Marquesan Imperial or Nukuhiva pigeon (Ducula galeata) is a pigeon unique to Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. Found only in some valleys west of the island.

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