Guest Author - Mavis Metcalf
For many of us, pigeons are the birds that hang around bridges and open courtyards in most cities in the world. For others, there are many different purebred pigeons that are raised and shown or raced around the world.
Doves and pigeons will lay 2 eggs on breeding and normally successfully raise both babies. Wild pigeon babies are seldom seen because the babies do not leave the nest until they are fully feathered and almost full size.
All the current show and racing pigeons as well as the wild pigeons in the citys of the world have originated from the wild rock dove that is thought to have come from southern Europe and northern Africa.
Homing Pigeons are probably the ones that most people know. These are the birds that you sometimes see flying in flocks as their owner lets them free each day knowing they will return home after a good flight. They do not land anywhere other than back at home. There are occasional ones that do not return home and these ones often join the wild flocks where they will live and breed in the wild. The Homing Pigeons can be any colour and it is the white ones that are usually used in place of doves for “white dove releases” at weddings or funerals.
Fantails are also known to many people. Their tail fans up and around and they hold their head back towards the tail as they strut
Rollers are pigeons that perform backward somersaults during flight.
Swallow Pigeons come in different varieties, but all are very striking, with long feathers on their feet and colourful feathers.
Trumpeter Pigeons are known for their call and are usually not good at flight.
Carrier Pigeons are well known for their ability to carry messages, but today it exists only as show birds. Many human lives were saved because these birds carried vital information during war times.
Frillbacks have frilly feathers on their backs, on top of their wings and may have crested heads. I assume they can fly because their flight feathers appear to be long and straight.
There are far more pigeons that I have ever heard of and you can read about more of them as well as see pictures of these species and more at Pigeons.