Some call them symbols of peace, some call them rats of the sky. If you’re Mike Tyson – you love ’em. If you’re somebody who has to clean their feces of the ground – chances are you don’t think too highly of them. But one thing that we can be certain of – there is a lot that is not known about them. So, let’s discuss just that! Let’s discuss 15 Unbelievable Facts About Pigeons.
- Pigeons are actually really smart. They can pass the mirror self-recognition test, that very few animal species can. They can also recognize each letter of the human alphabet, differentiate between photographs, and even distinguish different humans within a photograph.
- Pigeons are very sociable and often live in flocks of 20 to 30 pigeons.
- Pigeons are monogamous, they mate for life and often produce 2 chicks
- Both – female and male pigeons take care of their offspring. They take turns incubating the eggs and both sexes even produce milk that they feed their young with.
- The earliest known history of human and pigeon interaction dates back to 4500 BCE, Mesopotamia, modern Iraq. There is art of common city pigeons in there.
- Although pigeon dropping are now seen as disgusting, just a few centuries ago, they were seen as incredibly valuable fertilizers and there were many pigeon coops build that were often defended by soldiers to prevent others from stealing from them.
- Pigeons can fly up to and beyond altitudes reaching 1800 meters or 6000 feet and they can easily reach speeds of 125 kilometers or 77.6 miles per hour. The fastest pigeon recorded, reached almost 150 kilometers or 92.5 miles per hour.
- Even though they are nowadays seen as dirty, studies show that they are actually very clean animals who don’t really transmit deceases.
- Pigeons have amazing hearing and they can hear sounds that are at a far lower frequency than humans and, therefore, they can hear quiet sounds coming from far away that we couldn’t. They can easily detect storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcano eruptions coming from far away and fly to safety.
- They’re also great navigators that can find their nests when transported 2100 km or 1300 miles away. This made them crucial as messengers across many various cultures during times of peace and war. They even saved thousands of human lives during both world wars serving as messengers.
- Pigeons are omnivores who eat foods like fruit and leaves, but also insects and worms.
- They have an average life span of 3 to 5 years.
- Pigeons live all around the world, except for Antarctica, Sahara and the high Arctic. They mostly live in coastal areas, but also have adapted to live in urban environments.
- Pigeons are also able to do backflips mid-air. It’s not exactly known why, but it is thought that they do it purely for fun.
- They’re the only birds that can suck water up.
And that’s it. Interesting birds right? Most people don’t realize how intelligent and useful for us they can be. And we’re learning more about them everyday, which is easy to do considering that they live along with us. And that’s it for this 15 Unbelievable Facts About Pigeons article.