Pigeons’ homing instinct is all down to smell

Pigeons’ homing instinct is all down to smell

Scientists have discovered the secret of pigeons’ remarkable ability to navigate perfectly over journeys of several hundred miles. They do it by smell.

Research found that pigeons create ‘odour’ maps of their neighbourhoods and use these to orient themselves. This replaces the idea that they exploited subtle variations in the Earth’s magnetic field to navigate.

‘This is important because it is the first time that magnetic sensing and smell have been tested side by side,’ said Anna Gagliardo, of the University of Pisa, who led the research.

The discovery that birds have an olfactory positioning system is the latest surprising discovery about bird migration. Birds know exactly when to binge on berries or insects to fatten themselves for long flights, and some species recognise constellations, which helps them to fly at night. Birds also travel immense distances: the average Manx shearwater travels five million miles during its life.

Research into navigation has included an experiment in which robins were released with a patch over one eye – some on the right eye, some on the left. The left-eye-patched robins navigated well, but those with right-eye patches got hopelessly lost. ‘It is a very strange finding,’ said Graham Appleton, of the British Trust for Ornithology . ‘It is clear the cues robins use to navigate are only detectable in one eye. Why that should be the case, I have no idea.’

In the Pisa experiments, Gagliardo, working with Martin Wild of the University of Auckland , followed up experiments done in 2004, which showed that pigeons could detect magnetic fields. She argued that this did not mean they actually did.

So in 24 young homing pigeons she cut the nerves that carried olfactory signals to their brains. In another 24 pigeons she cut the trigeminal nerve, which is linked to the part of the brain involved in detecting magnetic fields.

The 48 birds were released 30 miles from their loft. All but one of those deprived of their ability to detect magnetic fields were home within 24 hours, indicating that it was not an ability that helped them to navigate. But those who had been deprived of their sense of smell fluttered all over the skies of northern Italy. Only four made it home.

Gagliardo and her team conclude that pigeons read the landscape as a patchwork of odours.

Every spring, hundreds of millions of birds head north in order to exploit new resources. Gulls head to the Arctic to make use of the 24 hours of daylight prevailing there, while swallows and other birds leave Africa to exploit the British summertime.

The navigation involved in these long journeys is still a cause of considerable debate among scientists. Among the main theories are suggestions that some birds remember visual maps of the terrain they fly over; that they follow the lines of Earth’s magnetic field; and that night-time flyers remember star maps of the sky.

However, the discovery of pigeons’ prowess at exploiting smells is considered important because their navigational abilities are some of the most acute in the natural world. Pigeons excel at getting home when released in unfamiliar locations. That they achieve such accuracy using smell is all the more surprising.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Don’t Feed the Pigeons Here. But Over There, O.K.

Don’t Feed the Pigeons Here. But Over There, O.K.

“Safe pigeon-feeding zones” may be designated around the city as part of the negotiations between animal rights groups and the Brooklyn city councilman who has proposed fining pigeon feeders as much as $1,000 as strategy to control New York’s pigeon population.

Fines, which had been used successfully in Basel, Switzerland, to limit pigeon proliferation, were the most concrete proposal in a pigeon report issued by Councilman Simcha Felder’s office in November. Other ideas in the report included pigeon birth control and a pigeon czar.

But the report and the proposed fines brought out a number of pigeon proponents who defended the urban birds’ rights to co-exist with humans in New York’s sprawl. Since November, Mr. Felder’s office has been meeting with a number of groups over the fine-for-feeding legislation. In December, at one of those meetings, the Humane Society brought up the idea of safe pigeon-feeding zones with Mr. Felder’s office.

“If our idea was, there are too many pigeons around where people are walking, waiting for the subway, sitting in parks, etc.,” said Eric Kuo, a spokesman for Mr. Felder. “Someone brought up, if there are areas where people are not around, what’s the harm of allowing feeding there?”

The pigeon-friendly zones could include less-densely trafficked areas in Central Park and Prospect Park, Mr. Kuo said. The City Council’s lawyers who draft legislation have been asked to see if such a plan is feasible.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

ROCK PIGEON

ROCK PIGEON

The recently changed name of Rock Pigeon reflects its traditional nesting site on rocky cliffs (replaced by buildings for feral populations) and its membership in the genus Columba, most of whose approximately 54 species are known as pigeons (Monroe and Sibley 1993). This species can be seen in a variety of colors, ranging from the white of “homing pigeons” to the mostly gray of the Old World wild population.

DISTRIBUTION. During the 1987-1992 field work seasons of the TBBA project, observers found breeding evidence across the state for Rock Pigeons, although breeding was more widely scattered in the Rolling Plains, Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos regions (see the region map in Lockwood and Freeman [2004]).

The 3 most common introduced species found on TBBA maps are in order: House Sparrows (Passer domesticus), widespread in all regions except the Trans-Pecos;  European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), widespread in Texas except for the Edwards Plateau and Trans-Pecos regions, and the Rock Pigeon. Of the doves and pigeons in Texas, atlasers found Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) to be even more widespread than any of the introduced species or other doves or pigeons.

This pigeon is found in the New World from south-central  Alaska, along the west coast of Canada and across the southern part of that nation to the Atlantic Coasst. From Canada the range extends south to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America. The species is either native or introduced to most of the Old World and many oceanic islands (Johnston 1992, Am. Ornithol. Union 1998, Sauer et al. 2007).

SEASONAL OCCURRENCE. Rock Pigeons are residents in Texas, breeding  year round, but less commonly in the coldest months (Oberholser 1974).

BREEDING HABITAT. Rock Pigeons in Texas are found primarily in cities, towns and agricultural areas (Oberholser 1974) similar to Colorado and Arizona where almost 90% of breeding was observed in these areas (Kuenning 1998, Wise-Gervais 2005). The nest, generally built in or on a building, is a carelessly arranged platform of grass, straw, feathers and debris on a solid surface. On this platform the female usually lays 2 smooth, glossy, white, unmarked eggs which are incubated by both parents for 17-19 days. The nestling period varies seasonally from 25-32 days in summer to as long as 45 days in mid-winter.   The fledglings usually remain near their parents for 1-2 weeks and may be driven away after that if they do not leave (Harrison 1979, Johnston 1992).

STATUS .Rock Pigeons are common in Texas  (Lockwood and Freeman 2004) with relative abundances as high as 10-30 pigeons per North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) route in a few parts of the state, although in most areas relative abundances range from <1 to <10. BBS trend data from 95 routes in Texas suggest little population change has occurred since 1980, consistent with the statistically significant survey wide trend of -1.0% annual population change (Sauer et al. 2007).

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Contesting Tradition: The Deep Play and Protest of Pigeon Shoots

Contesting Tradition: The Deep Play and Protest of Pigeon Shoots

Pigeon shoots are examples of “contested traditions” that invite comparison with other controversial spectacles of killing animals, such as cockfights and dogfights. In the United States during the late twentieth century, mass protests of America’s largest public pigeon shoot occurred in Hegins, Pennsylvania. This article offers a folkloristic perspective on the contested tradition by analyzing how the protest rhetorically served to present tradition as a “problem” in the ethical modernization of society. The clash between animal rights protestors and supporters of the shoot became a moral drama based on a clash of rural and cosmopolitan values in modern America that derives from fundamentally different views of human dominion over the land and its creatures. The interpretation of the event hinges on a semiotic layering that takes into ethnographic consideration the different meanings of symbols for various participants in the event. Compromise became impossible in controversies over pigeon shoots because the sides perceived symbols so differently. For protestors, the shooters represented predatory, phallocentric rapists who promoted violence for its own sake, whereas, for supporters, they symbolized a pioneer and biblical heritage based on human dominion over the bountiful land. For protestors, the process of the ritualized shoot perpetuated cycles of abuse and patriarchy; for protestors, it acted to regenerate the land, confirming the wholesomeness of agrarianism. The pigeons could be symbolized as profane, dirty pests or sacred doves of peace. The widely publicized controversy implied larger questions, and fundamental conflicts in America, about the role of tradition in modernity.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

Scientists give extinct passenger pigeon a place on the family tree

Scientists give extinct passenger pigeon a place on the family tree

With bits of DNA extracted from century-old museum specimens, researchers have found a place for the extinct Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) in the family tree of pigeons and doves, identifying this unique bird’s closest living avian relatives for the first time. The new analysis, which appears this month in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, reveals that the Passenger Pigeon was most closely related to other North and South American pigeons, and not to the Mourning Dove, as was previously suspected.

“This research demonstrates the remarkable potential of DNA to answer questions about species that no longer populate our planet,” says Dr. Jack Dumbacher, Curator of Ornithology at the California Academy of Sciences. “The Passenger Pigeon has been extinct for almost 100 years, but with the help of museum specimens and DNA analysis, we’re still learning new information about the bird’s evolutionary history and its place on the tree of life.”

Naturalists have long lamented that one of North America’s most spectacular birds was also one of the first to be driven to extinction by humans. In the early 1800s, the Passenger Pigeon was the most abundant bird species on the planet, even though its range was limited to the eastern and central forests of the United States and parts of eastern Canada. Flocks of Passenger Pigeons included millions of birds–they were so vast that they darkened swaths of the sky up to a mile wide.

Passenger Pigeons followed their food, settling down in forests that periodically produced a superabundance of acorns and chestnuts. The pigeons nested in dense colonies covering hundreds of acres. This made them easy targets for human predators. Intensive pigeon hunting in the mid-to-late 19th century disrupted the birds’ ability to breed. These hunting sprees, coupled with habitat destruction, rapidly drove the Passenger Pigeon to extinction. (The last of her kind, a Passenger Pigeon named Martha, died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.)

To find the Passenger Pigeon’s place in the evolutionary history of pigeons and doves, Dumbacher and his colleagues compared sequences from two of its mitochondrial genes with those of 78 species of pigeons and doves from around the world. Their analysis revealed a surprising result. Most scientists had assumed that the Passenger Pigeon’s closest relative was the Mourning Dove, a smaller species that shared the Passenger Pigeon’s relatively long tail. However, the DNA comparison showed that the extinct bird’s closest living relative is the Band-Tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata), a bird that is commonly found in California.

North America’s largest pigeon, the Band-Tailed Pigeon is distinguished not only by its large size but by its distinctive coloring, with yellow legs, a patch of iridescent greenish-bronze feathers on its neck, and a yellow bill with a black tip. Despite its large size, the bird is surprisingly adept at feeding on berries and seeds in the tops of trees. In northern California, it is found in mixed evergreen forests and redwood forests.

The research team was lead by Kevin Johnson, an ornithologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois. Additional team members included Jack Dumbacher from the California Academy of Sciences, Dale Clayton from the University of Utah, and Robert Fleischer from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard

 

Where do pigeons go to die? All you need to know

Where do pigeons go to die? All you need to know

All animals go through the circle of life, they are born (or hatched in the case of pigeons) live and die. But where do pigeons go to die? This article goes into it.

Pigeons look for dark secluded spaces to die. This includes holes, crevices, ventilation shafts and various building openings to spend their last moments. They do this to have peace away from predators in their last moments and they do this to not become a hindrance to the flock.  They then die in peace in these spaces

At some point, everything comes to an end. It’s an inescapable fact of life.  As humans, we have our final resting places, but what about birds? Considering how many pigeons are in existence one would assume that we would see more dead pigeons lying around, but we don’t. So, where do pigeons go to die?

Pigeons are one of the oldest domesticated and versatile birds of all times. They have been kept as pets, used as food, guides and otherwise. They are intelligent, they can recognize colours, measurements and have homing capabilities.

These animals are loyal, reliable and travel really fast, no wonder they’ve been messenger birds and travel guides. These birds are herbivores eating grains, vegetables, and fruits. They exist all around the world in large numbers and yet not many people have ever seen a dead pigeon.

Where do pigeons go to die?

These animals have a relatively short life span. They are also a tasty meal for any cats in the neighbourhood as well as predatory hawks. With so many pigeons dying often, how is that we never see dead pigeons everywhere? Do their feathered friends bury them or do they have someplace that they go before they reach bird haven?

Feral pigeons that live in cities look for dark covered spaces when they feel ill or are wounded. They’ve been this way for 1000s of years. They do this as a last-ditch attempt to recover in a safe space away from predators and not wanting to endanger the flock.

Pigeons will look for holes, crevices, ventilation shafts and various building openings to spend their last moments. Their small bodies decay very quickly after death. This explains why we don’t often see them dead and lying all over the place

Another reason why dead pigeon seems to disappear is to keep their dead bodies away from predators. These predators include cats, hawks, foxes, raccoons, and other opportunistic predators that will prey on weak and or dead and dying creatures. These predators are quick to attack so chances are before the sick pigeon can hit the ground they’ve been swooped up and snatched off as a meal.

 

How long do pigeons live?

How long pigeons live for is dependent on a couple of factors. While it is very unlikely for them to survive until old age in the wild, they may not do much better in captivity either. A pigeon in the wild can live up to 10 years.

The average number of years pigeons in cities live up to is 3 to 6 years. This is because they are easy prey, they get hit by passing cars, or fly into windows and mesh nettings around buildings which can be fatal for them.

Pet pigeons, on the other hand, can live between 9 to 15 years. This is if the pigeon is not being raised for food, they live this long if they are treated extremely well. Treating a pigeon well can be a job on its own, they need space, lots of open-air for flight, variety in their diet and can become sick if isolated from a flock.

What causes pigeons to die suddenly

Pigeons are susceptible to a wide range of diseases. Pigeons are zoonotic creatures, they can act as disease carriers. Often pigeons die because of these diseases. As pigeon age, their immune strength, agility, sensory and digestive systems decline, this causes them to die suddenly.

How do you know if pigeons are dying?

Sick or dying pigeons often isolate themselves, they remove themselves from the pack and go to dark shaded spaces. Their activity levels drop, and you hear them cooing less and less. In addition, their eating habits change for the worst and they don’t interact with the flock. Remember to be careful around these birds as they can carry and transmit a variety of diseases.

Do birds bury their dead

No, birds do not mourn or bury their dead flock members. You may have noticed birds “mourning” a dead member of their flock. The sounds that a dove or pigeon make can sound like mourning over their friend as they gather around it but this does not mean they are in mourning. Rather it means that they are trying to get some sort of response from the fallen bird to find out what happened and where the death-causing threat came from.

What if a pigeon dies in your house?

If a pet pigeon dies in your house, especially from old age or from an unknown cause, its best to hire professionals to get rid of the bird. If you decide to bury the bird make sure that you use disposable gloves for handling and seal bags for the disposing also burry the bird very deep in the ground.

Conclusion

Pigeons naturally look for dark crevices when they are sick and dying, this is so that they are out of sight when they die. These animals have a low life expectancy rates both in the wild and in cites if they aren’t taken care of.  If a pigeon dies on your property it would be best to contact pest controls services to remove them

If you’re interested in pigeons you may also be interested in these articles: What do pigeons eat in the wild? When do pigeons leave the nest? What do pigeons like to eat? Where do pigeons go in the winter? Click the links to read more

Source

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Bird Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products ten years in a row.

Contact us at 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD, (604) 585-9279 or visit our website at www.pigeonpatrol.ca

Pigeon/Pigeon Patrol / Pigeons Roosting / Vancouver Pigeon Control /Bird Spikes / Bird Control / Bird Deterrent / Pigeon Deterrent?  Surrey Pigeon Control / Pest /Seagull deterrent / Vancouver Pigeon Blog / Birds Inside Home / Pigeons in the cities / Ice Pigeons/ What to do about pigeons/ sparrows , Damage by Sparrows, How To Keep Raccoons Away,  Why Are Raccoons Considered Pests/ De-fence / Pigeon Nesting/ Bird Droppings / Pigeon Dropping/ woodpecker control/ Professional Bird Control Company/ Keep The Birds Away/ Birds/rats/ seagull/pigeon/woodpecker/ dove/sparrow/pidgeon control/pidgeon problem/ pidgeon control/flying rats/ pigeon Problems/ bird netting/bird gel/bird spray/bird nails/ bird guard