|Species:|| Columba livia|
Wild rock pigeons have only one kind of plumage: the body and the head are light bluish-gray , wings are light grey (almost white) with two black bars and the neck has a metallic green and violet color. The iris is orange and feets and legs are pink-red; the bill is black (or dark gray) with white cere.
City pigeons and domestic races have very different colouriations: rusty, very dark gray, white (doves; people think doves are different from pigeons while they belong to the same species), brown, mottled...
These birds nest inside small areas such as boxes. Commonly, in pigeon
coops, when pigeons are owned by humans, there are boxes about one foot (50 cm circa) in width and one foot in length. The rock pigeons will nest in these tiny areas.
Wild rock pigeons usually live of cliffs near the sea, both in Eurasia and North America. They do not migrate but are very good flyers. They breed in small flocks and make nests with twigs and straw, lay about three white eggs. Parents are very protective and feed the chicks with "pigeon milk" a nutritive liquid produced by adult pigeons. The chicks have yellow down. Rock pigeons' predators are peregrine falcons, gulls (like yellow-legged gulls and herrig gulls), sparrowhawks, foxes, cats and others.
City pigeons nest mainly on terraces and eaves and are very numerous in big cities. They can easily find food in squres and parks, where people feed them with crumbs of bread, but they also eat seeds and small insects.
Rock pigeons don't instantly bond with another. Pigeon fanciers may notice this at the moment they purchase a rock pigeon. Pigeons take time to get used to one another due to their nature.
Pigeons prefer freedom, thus, the owners have their rock pigeons race in the outdoors. This also benefits the owner, once the pigeosn get back, the owner uses mathmatics and clocks to time their speed and how long it took them to get back to the coop.
Pigeons usually live from five to fifteen years, but can reach the age of thirty years (especially in captivity)
Relationship with humans Edit
As food Edit
Many humans prefer to eat pigeons. Rock pigeons have become very popular food in Europe. The White King pigeons, however, are dread to be eaten.
As pets, companions, and racing Edit
Pigeons keep good company. Many people prefer to keep them as pets. In times such as war, soldiers would use trained captive pigeons to carry messages to command posts. This was not always easy, sometimes the rock pigeon would lose the trail or drop the message. Today, captive pigeons are used for racing. These birds are more likely to develope a bond with each other than with a human.