Thursday, August 09, 2007

Everything you ever wanted (or didn't want) to know about pigeons

PigeonWhy do pigeons bob their heads?
The pigeon has side mounted eyes unlike humans and owls which have forward facing eyes.  As a pigeons have monocular vision rather than binocular vision they bob their heads for depth of perception.  The pigeon’s eyes work much better with stationary images and therefore, as the pigeon takes a step forward the head is temporarily left behind.  The next step jerks the head forward again and so on.  This allows the bird to correctly orient itself.

Why do you never see a baby pigeon?
Most small birds rear and fledge their young in 2/3 weeks with young birds sometimes leaving the nest after only 10 days of life, but pigeons are different, their young remain in the nest for up to 2 months before fledging.  This gives the young pigeon an advantage over many other species of bird. It leaves the nest as a relatively mature juvenile, allowing the bird to cope better in the first few days of its life, a dangerous time for all youngsters.  Juveniles can be told apart from adults but it takes an experienced eye. A juvenile’s beak often appears to be far too long for the size of its body and the cere (the fleshy area at the top of the beak) is white in adults and greyish pink in juveniles. 

More poop on pigeons


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