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Interesting Pigeon Facts

Guest Author - Malika Harricharan

We always think of those birds as annoying pests, don't we? But take a closer look, and you'll find some interesting facts about pigeons.

One of the biggest annoyances about pigeons is poop, right? Did you know that in Europe in the 16th to 18th centuries, pigeon poop was considered highly valuable as a source of fertilizer? In addition, it was the main ingredient in gun powder during this time as well.

In early centuries, the pigeon was the main source of communication. It would carry news of sporting events. During wars, pigeons carried vital information across enemy lines, which lead to many lives being saved. During WWII, pigeons had a 98 percent success rate in accomplishing their missions. Astonishingly, pigeons were used up until 2004 in India as a form of relaying information.

Obviously, the fact that pigeons were used for so many centuries to relay information supports the fact that these are very intelligent creatures. They are even able to recognize themselves in a mirror. This is very rare in birds, as there are only 6 other species that can do this. In fact, birds can recognize all 26 letters in the English language. Researchers have also found pigeons can differentiate between pictures of 2 humans.

Homing Pigeons follow roads and go around traffic circles. Scientists that have tracked homing pigeons for more than 10 years with GPS units found that while birds might use the sun or other indicators to get their bearings, but once they've done a route once or twice, they look for easier signs to follow - as in roads clearly laid out beneath them.

Pigeons mate for life and have been known to live for 30 years. They can breed up to 8 times per year. Both parents take part in incubating eggs and in feeding the squabs (baby pigeons).



Pigeons have excellent sight and hearing abilities. They can see color like humans, but they can also see ultraviolet light and in some pigeons, distances of up to 26 miles. For this reason, they have been used by the US Navy to spot red or yellow life jackets.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Malika Harricharan. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Malika Harricharan. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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