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Welcome to Predatory Thursday and we are happy in sharing the wonderful facts about a bird that symbolizes peace. It is the pigeon that is a part of the family Columbidae and it is all around the world with more than 250 species. Pigeons are renowned for carrying messages from one place to another attached to their legs, and it was most helpful for the soldiers in the war. They have had close proximity to humans for more than 1000 years. Keep reading to know more about their appearance, behavior, diets, reproduction, and other interesting facts.

Facts on Pigeons

Characteristics

Pigeons are in many varieties of colors and sizes depending on their species. They are gentle and small birds with a small beak, short legs, long neck, and a tiny head. They also have long wings and powerful muscles that allow them to be strong swift fliers. They will vary in height from 25 to 35 cm and weight from 9 to 13 oz. But among them, the largest species of pigeon goes to a height of 122cm.

The smaller ones are known as doves and the larger ones are known as pigeons. They are in many patterns like dark spots, bars, and plain and most of the pigeons come in bluish-gray, brown and white colors. Pigeons can fly at altitudes beyond 6000 feet and average from 50 to 60 miles per hour. They are used for racing by people because of their incredible speed.

Behavior

Pigeons

They are found in many continents but they don’t prefer cold regions and remote islands. And they seem to be in towns, cities, farmlands, tropical forests, grasslands, and rocky areas. The greatest variety of pigeons exist in Malaysia, India, and Australia. The pigeons are identified as intelligent birds where they can recognize alphabets and differentiate photographs. Most people have kept pigeons as pets for their beauty and intelligence.

They have outstanding ability in navigating with the guide of the sun and the magnetic compass. It is a sociable bird that stays together as a group as well as lives in isolation. They are well known for their hearing ability to detect sounds at lower frequencies and have good sight to recognize things at a long distance. Simply they are known as clean birds.  

Diet

Pigeons are omnivores because they eat nuts, seeds, fruits, worms, ants, and other insects. Pigeons in the urban areas will eat bread, meat, and other leftover foods and they suck water using their beaks. Pigeons are monogamous as they have one mate for life and it gives birth to two chicks at a time. Both the females and males raise their young together by taking care. Both will incubate the eggs, where the female does it at night and the male in the daytime for about 14 to 19 days. And they care for more than 10 days in the nests and both will feed milk.

Reproduction

They have a very interesting way of mating and it is different from other animals. They mate using an orifice called the cloaca, where both the male and female use it to mate. When they are ready to mate, the male pigeon mounts the female pigeon to give a cloaca kiss. This requires the touching of his cloaca with the other and through this, the sperms are transferred from the male pigeon to the female one. And so the females lay eggs six times a year. after the egg is laid, it takes about 18 days for the first egg to hatch.

It is found that the population of the pigeon is over 400 million in the world and 25% of the species are estimated to be endangered and they are also dying because of the snakes and some other birds and they flock together to avoid these dangers. Pigeons are really incredible and it is important to preserve them from destruction.

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