Pigeon Facts

Pigeon Facts
Pigeon is a bird that lives in close proximity to humans for thousands of years. There are over 300 different species of pigeons that can be found throughout the world (except in the Sahara desert, on the Antarctica and Arctic). Greatest variety of pigeons exists in India, Malaysia, Asia and Australia. Pigeons inhabit woodlands, tropical rainforests, grasslands, savannas, mangrove, rocky areas and even deserts. These birds are often kept as pets because of their beauty and intelligence. Beside large number of pigeons in the wild, hundreds of thousand pigeons live in captivity. Some species of pigeons are endangered due to habitat loss, predation and diseases.
Interesting Pigeon Facts:
Size of pigeon depends on the species. Large pigeons can reach 19 inches in length and 8.8 pounds of weight. Small pigeons can reach 5 inches in length and up to 0.8 ounces of weight.
Pigeons can have dull or colorful plumage, depending on the habitat and type of diet. The most common type of pigeon (that lives in the cities) has grayish plumage. On average, pigeon has 10 000 feathers on the body.
Pigeons have strong muscles used for flying. They can fly at the altitude of 6000 feet.
Pigeons can move their wings ten times per second and maintain heartbeats at the rate of 600 times per minute, during the period of 16 hours.
Pigeons can fly at the speed of 50 to 60 miles per hour. Fastest known pigeon managed to reach speed on 92 miles per hour.
Because of their incredible speed and endurance, pigeons are used for racing. Winner of the 400 miles long race can earn million dollars.
Pigeons were used as mail carriers during the First and Second World War. They saved numerous lives by delivering information on the enemy's fire.
Pigeons are herbivores (plant-eaters). Their diet consists of seeds, fruit and various plants.
Pigeons are highly intelligent animals. They are able to recognize themselves in the mirror, to find same people on two different pictures and to recognize all letters of the English alphabet.
Pigeons have exceptional eyesight and ability to identify objects on a distance of 26 miles.
Pigeons have very sensitive sense of hearing. They are able to detect distant storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Pigeons are social animals that live in the groups (flocks) composed of 20 to 30 animals.
Pigeons are monogamous creatures (one couple mate for a lifetime). Couple of pigeons can produce up to 8 broods per year when the food is abundant.
Female lays 2 eggs that hatch after incubation period of 18 days. Young birds depend on their parents during the first two months of their life. Both parents take care of the chicks (called squabs) and feed them with milky substance produced in the crop.
Pigeons can survive more than 30 years in the wild.

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