Birds are a source of entertainment for us. They fly in the atmosphere, have brighten colors that attract them and they create selections of sounds which produce our environment beautiful. Birds have several adaptations that allow them to survive in various kinds of habitats. They are cosmopolitan and can also be helpful to the human beings in a lot of ways. Pigeon is one such bird that’s not only amazing in its appearance but is also a sign of peace. There are approximately 300 species of passerines are understood. Generally speaking talking the doves and pigeons are used together for describing some of the birds. Columbidae is present across the world however, the significant species exist in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones.
Pigeons have stout bodies with short necks, having slender bills and fleshy cere. The typical species of pigeon generally available from the localities is the feral Rock Pigeon. Pigeons like to make their nests with the support of sticks and other debris which might be set on the trees, ground and on the areas of buildings based upon the species. Pigeons lay a couple of eggs at a time and the parents take part in caring the young ones that leave the nest after 7 to 28 days after their arrival. Pigeons feed on seeds, plants and fruits. Like other birds pigeons also produce crop milk that’s secreted from the sloughing of fluid filled cells lining the harvest. Both males and females have the ability to produce the harvest milk to nourishing the young ones.
Pigeons vary in body size based on the species. The biggest species of pigeons would be the crowned pigeons of New Guinea that are about the size of a turkey weighing approximately 2-4 kilograms. The smallest species are the ground doves of the genus Columbina that are nearly equivalent to the size of the house sparrow and weighing about 22 grams. Taxonomically the smaller species are called as doves and the larger ones are known as pigeons and there are no distinguishing features between the two. Pigeons have big wings with powerful wing muscles containing about 31-40percent of the total body weight. They’re amongst the most powerful flying birds. The plumage of the family can also be changeable. The species which feed on seeds are known as granivorous species and they’ve dull plumage while the species feeding on fruits are known as frugivorous and they’re brightly coloured. Aside from the vivid colours pigeons also bear seen patterns in addition to other ornamentations.
Pigeons are found all around the world except the Sahara desert, Antarctica, its surrounding islands and the high Arctic. The pigeon colonies can easily be found around the significant oceanic islands such as Polynesia and Chatham islands in the Pacific, Mauritius, Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. The pigeons have the ability to survive every sort of habitat available in the world. The greatest number of species is found in the tropical forests and the woodlands where are accommodated to the arboreal, terrestrial and semi-terrestrial habitats. Pigeon species are also available from the temperate forests, savannas, grasslands, deserts, mangrove forests as well as the barren lands. Some species have long organic ranges also. The greatest range for any species of pigeon is that of the Rock pigeon. Rock pigeon species is naturally distributed from Britain and Ireland to northern Africa, across Europe, Arabia, Central Asia, India, the Himalayas and upward into China and Mongolia. Domestication has a fantastic role in the spread of the species. Currently the species is located across major regions of North America, Japan and Australia. Some species also have changed their natural habitats due to the actions of human beings too.
Fruits and seeds are the major food components of pigeons. The family can be divided into the seed eating members or the granivorous species coming under the subfamily Columbinae and those that prefer to feed on the fruits or the frugivorous species forming another four subfamilies. Granivorous species especially feed on the seeds found on the floor and the frugivorous species feeding on fruits tend to feed on the trees. Both kinds of species have distinct morphological adaptations that could help in identifying the two. Gizzard walls are thick at the granivorous species while it’s thin from the frugivorous species. Aside from fruits and seeds species also take other sort of substances also as a portion of food. Some species especially the quail doves and ground doves also feed on insects and rats. Atoll Fruit dove is specialized for feeding on insects and reptiles as part of its food. Some species such as the Orange dove, White crowned pigeons feed on snails, insects and moths.
The fossil records for the pigeon family is also quite limited and only you can predict that they evolved from parrot like birds on the basis of their feeding habits. The household is categorized into five subfamilies but this demarcation is improper. The DNA sequencing of the members of the pigeon family also show variations among the members and supply the clue about the improper classification of the household.
Pigeon and doves are consumed as food particularly the more powerful breast muscles would be the ideal source of meat. They’re relished by the people throughout the planet. In Europe the Wood pigeon is your game bird and aids in earning a great amount of money. The Rock pigeon that’s basically domesticated for meat is now available in various breeds today which improve its meat worth. The Passenger pigeon is now extinct today as it had been hunted by the humans because of its meat on larger scale. The pigeons also have played a significant role during the World War I and the II since the pigeons were embellished with the Dickin Medal for those men and women who have contributed their lives for the war. Pigeons are also considered sacred in the Bible since they are the symbols of Holy Ghost in the New Testament and were also used as offerings in the olden days of the Bible. They’re also used as the emblem of closing assistance of the prophet from the Islam.
Some species have come on the brink of extinction due to immense shooting. Two species of pigeons such as the Dodo and the Passenger pigeons have become extinct now due to mass shooting. About 59 species of pigeons and dove are under the category of endangered species. The Polynesian ground dove is an exceptionally badly endangered species. A variety of schemes are under progress to conserve endangered species from extinction.