Rock Pigeon 11/27/09

rockpigeon

Lots of folks consider pigeons to be little better than flying rats. I like them for their consummate flying, acrobatic, and homing skills, and that the abundant flocks found in cities and towns today attract and help support the resurgence of spectacular raptors like the once endangered Peregrine Falcon. Officially they are called Rock Pigeons, and were first brought to North America from Europe early in the 1600s. Their natural habitat is coastal rocky cliffs, but urban, suburban, and agricultural buildings (and other structures like bridges) have become a suitable substitute so that today they can be found in temperate and tropical climes all over the globe. Three of the most common color morphs can be seen above, bluish grey with pale wings and 2 dark wingbars, the checkered form has darker wings with speckles, and the less common rusty-red birds. Missing is the all dark, almost black form. There are also intermediate forms between these, and pied versions with varying splashes of white. Most have iridescent throat and neck feathers.

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