5 Cool Facts About The Pigeon

5 Cool Facts About The Pigeon

Facts About The Pigeon

If you live on earth, chances are you’ve seen a pigeon before, if not on the daily. But do you really know anything about the pigeon other than the fact that they leave their droppings everywhere? (Which could be really annoying. Check out our products here https://www.pigeonpatrol.ca/) Here are 5 cool facts about pigeons you may have not known!

1) AT ONE POINT, MORE THAN ONE-QUARTER OF ALL THE BIRDS LIVING IN THE U.S. MAY HAVE BEEN PASSENGER PIGEONS

The passenger pigeon or wild pigeon is an extinct species of pigeon that was endemic to North America. Its common name is derived from the French word passager, meaning “passing by”, due to the migratory habits of the species. The scientific name also refers to its migratory characteristics

Wild/feral rock pigeons reside in all 50 states, which makes it easy to forget that they’re invasive birds. Originally native to Eurasia and northern Africa, the species was (most likely) introduced to North America by French settlers in 1606. At the time, a different kind of columbiform—this one indigenous—was already thriving there: the passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius). As many as 5 billion of them were living in America when England, Spain, and France first started colonizing, and they may have once represented anywhere from 25 to 40 percent of the total U.S. bird population. But by the early 20th century, they had become a rare sight, thanks to overhunting, habitat loss, and a possible genetic diversity issue. The last known passenger pigeon—a captive female named Marth who died on September 1, 1914.

Why did the most abundant bird in the world go extinct in just 50 years? |  CBC Radio

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2) THEY CAN FIND THEIR WAY BACK TO THE NEST FROM OVER 2000KM AWAY

Another cool fact about pigeons is they have extraordinary navigational abilities. Take a pigeon from its loft and let it go somewhere it has never been before and it will, after circling in the sky for while, head home. This remarkable capacity extends to places tens even hundreds of kilometers from its home and is all the more remarkable to humans because we are apparently incapable of it ourselves.

But we have long made use of the pigeon’s homing ability, principally for carrying messages in the past. And for several decades now the pigeon has played center stage in scientists’ attempts to understand the map and compass mechanisms fundamental to bird navigation.

We’ve now learn that pigeons repeatedly released from the same site soon learn a habitual route home which they stick to faithfully even if it is not the quickest. Different individuals learn, and stick to, different routes. Routes often follow linear landscape features, such as roads or field margins, but are learnt most effectively over landscapes of intermediate complexity. This means that urban landscapes may in fact be too complex for optimum route learning.

Pair birds with different ideas about how to get home from the same place and the result is an elegant exposé of each bird’s propensity to lead out or follow others. Birds that are more faithful to their own route when homing alone are more likely to emerge as leaders when homing socially.

So if the pigeon’s brain contains a network of learnt routes, how are these memories acquired and how do they interact? Recently, my colleagues Andrea Flack and Dora Biro showed that having to learn three routes in parallel doesn’t cause pigeons any additional confusion. Route-learning is memorized independently, regardless of whether the sites they are released from are encountered sequentially, randomly intermingled or in strict rotation.

Treating the art of pigeon homing as a natural learning laboratory is a new science into which we are just taking the first steps, and it seems that we have yet to find the boundaries of the bird’s abilities. Clearly, we still have much to learn from the pigeon.

On to the next pigeon facts

3) PIGEONS WERE USED AS MESSENGERS

Pigeons were effective as messengers due to their natural homing abilities. The pigeons were transported to a destination in cages, where they would be attached with messages, then the pigeon would naturally fly back to its home where the recipient could read the message.

The earliest large-scale communication network using pigeons as messengers was established in Syria and Persia around the 5th century BC. Much later, in the 12th century AD, the city of Baghdad and all the main towns and cities in Syria and Egypt were linked by messages carried by pigeons. This was the sole source of communication. In Roman times the pigeon was used to carry results of sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, and this is why white doves are released at the start of the Olympic Games today. In England, prior to the days of telegraphs, pigeons were often taken to football matches and released to carry home the result of the game. Their use as a messenger in wartime resulted in many pigeons being awarded honors by both the British and French Governments. Incredibly, the last ‘pigeon post’ service was abandoned in India in 2004 with the birds being retired to live out the rest of their days in peace.

Homing Pigeons | Warhammer Wiki | Fandom

4) THEY SAVED THOUSANDS OF HUMAN LIVES DURING WORLD WARS I AND II.

Pigeons’ homing talents continued to shape history during the 20th century. In both World Wars, rival nations had huge flocks of pigeon messengers. (America alone had 200,000 at its disposal in WWII.) By delivering critical updates, the avians saved thousands of human lives. One racing bird named Cher Ami completed a mission that led to the rescue of 194 stranded U.S. soldiers on October 4, 1918.

 

PHOTO:  Pigeons used on the Western Front by German troops to keep commanders in the rear up to date on the action and enemy movement.

5) THEY MIGHT BE THE FIRST DOMESTICATED BIRD.

The common city pigeon (Columba livia), also known as the rock pigeon, might be the first bird humankind ever domesticated. You can see them in art dating back as far as 4500 BCE in modern Iraq, and they’ve been a valuable source of food for thousands of years. The rock pigeon is the world’s oldest domesticated bird. Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets mention the domestication of pigeons more than 5,000 years ago, as do Egyptian hieroglyphics. Research suggests that domestication of pigeons occurred as early as 10,000 years ago.

And there you have it! 5 Cool facts about pigeons! Which one was new to you?

About Pigeon Patrol:

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 Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

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

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Inside the fascinating and sometimes brutal world of pigeon racing in China

Inside the fascinating and sometimes brutal world of pigeon racing in China

Pigeon racer holds prized bird

By Karoline Kan, CNN • 6th April 2019

Every day during the racing season, 55-year-old Zhang Yajun wakes at 4 a.m. and carefully loads bamboo cages containing his 76 cherished racing pigeons into a van. Then he drives up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) from his Beijing apartment to release them. They are in training for the October and November racing season, during which time millions of dollars can be won in total prize money across races.

Zhang is just one of some 100,000 pigeon breeders living in Beijing, according to Sun Yan, the deputy general-secretary of the Beijing Changping District Racing Pigeons Association.
“Pigeon racing is a culture, but it’s also a sport,” Sun says.
On a crisp fall morning, Zhang opens the cages in a cornfield at Niutuo in Hebei province, 80 km (50 miles) south of Beijing. Forty minutes later, he uses his phone connection to a rooftop camera to watch the birds arriving home. He’s happy with their speed.
Zhang, who was a state-owned beverage factory manager before retiring in the early 2000s, says he spends about 100,000 yuan ($14,900) a year on his pigeons. That covers food, medicine, race entry fees and transport costs for training sessions — as well as equipment such as his rooftop camera gear.
Each spring, Zhang says, some 100 pigeons are born on his roof but by fall only about 20 are left. The rest have either succumbed to illness or died of injuries suffered from hitting telegraph poles or other obstacles. Or else they just got lost on the way home.
But pigeon racing also has a darker side.
Zhang says “bird-napping” — when pigeons are baited and netted during training sessions before being sold off — is a common problem.

And then there is the cheating.

In April last year, two men hid their birds in milk cartons and caught a bullet train in Henan before releasing them in Shanghai, 750 km (466 miles) away. But the birds’ unusually fast speed aroused suspicion, and the men were fined and given suspended three-year prison sentences for fraudulently obtaining prize money totaling about $147,000.

 

However; Beijing is becoming less and less friendly to bird fanciers.

In the spring of 2017, under a city beautification campaign targeting two-story buildings in the lanes known as hutongs, many rooftop pigeon lofts were subsequently demolished.
The government classified them as illegal buildings.
Breeder Zhang Jian says four large pigeon cages on his roof were demolished, although he still surreptitiously keeps four other cages housing about 100 pigeons. Most of his neighbors have known Zhang Jian since he was a boy and he says they understand his passion for the birds.

 

About Pigeon Patrol:

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 Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

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

Chicago: Pigeon Hitches A Ride On The Brown Line

Chicago: Pigeon Hitches A Ride On The Brown Line

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Sometimes it’s faster to take the train than fly to where you’re going, even if you’re a bird.

A pigeon perched on a seat on the Brown Line during the morning rush on Monday.

Other commuters seemed to be unflappable, appearing to not even notice as the bird enjoyed its ride.

There was a brief delay on the Brown Line as the pigeon was escorted off the train at Armitage.

The CTA said it could not confirm if the bird paid its fare, but officials were checking its account.

 

Tired of Pigeons hitching a ride?  

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol 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 Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

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

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For Pigeons, Leadership Simply Depends on Speed

For Pigeons, Leadership Simply Depends on Speed

For pigeons, it seems, leadership is largely a question of speed.

Researchers compared pigeons’ relative influence over flock direction to their solo flight characteristics. The studies showed that a pigeon’s degree of leadership could be predicted by its speed in earlier flights.

“This changes our understanding of how the flocks are structured and why flocks of this species have consistent leadership hierarchies,” said Dora Biro of the University of Oxford in London.

The latest GPS loggers allow the researchers to track not only the birds’ overall routes, but also the sub-second time delays with which they react to each other while flying as a flock.

“We can control the composition of the flocks and the starting points for their homeward journeys,” said Benjamin Pettit, first author of the study.

When the researchers tested the birds individually after a series of flock flights, they found that leaders had learned straighter homing routes than followers.

The new findings offer an elegantly simple explanation for the phenomenon of leadership in birds, with important implications for how spatial knowledge is generated and retained in navigating flocks.

“We also have a good understanding of their individual spatial cognition, in particular how their homing routes develop over repeated flights in the same area,” Pettit noted.

“Some birds are naturally faster and consistently get to the front, where they end up doing more of the navigation, which means on future flights they know the way better,” Biro added.

“You can compare this to a ‘passenger-driver’ like effect: drivers in a car have to pay attention while passengers are often unable to recall the route they were driven along, especially if they remained passive in the navigation process,” Biro explained.

A very simple, self-organising mechanism–such as that based on variation in speed–is sufficient for leadership to arise.

Have a Pigeon Problem?

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 Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

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

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

Rescuers Looking For Owner Of Mysterious Bedazzled Pigeon

Rescuers Looking For Owner Of Mysterious Bedazzled Pigeon

Image may contain: bird

Blinged out Bird!

A lot of us look at pigeons less than fondly – but clearly not all of us. A bird shelter in Arizona, USA, is looking for the owner of a pigeon found wearing a rhinestone-covered vest. The bird, now nicknamed  ‘rhinestone bird’ and ‘Liberace’, was given to the Fallen Feathers rescue and rehabilitation facility for birds in Phoenix.

According to local reports, the pigeon was found by a woman in Glendale, wearing a blingy flight suit.

The woman said he wouldn’t fly away and she was afraid an animal would eat him, so she turned in the bedazzled bird to Judy Kieran – the founder of Fallen Feathers.

The bedazzled bird received instant online fame once Judy shared his picture on Facebook a week ago, in hopes of tracing his owner. Comments quickly flooded in, ranging from ‘fabulous’ to ‘fancy’ to ‘rhinestone birdy’.

“Looks like it’s maybe El Chapo’s pigeon with that fancy gold encrusted vest,” wrote one person in the comments section. “You have to name him Elvis!!!” joked another.

In fact, the lost bird received so much attention that Judy shared some better pictures later.

(We must say he’s a fabulous bird)

“Apparently he did belong to somebody, because he does keep going to cages and being as friendly as he is, he’s missing his home,” said Judy.

The search is still underway for Rhinestone Pigeon aka Liberace’s owner.

Have a Pigeon Problem?

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 Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

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

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