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Feral Pigeons Lower Our Stress Levels, They Make Our Soils More Fertile AND They Save Lives At Sea.

Updated: Feb 24



For many people who live in the city, pigeons will be the only type of wild living creature they will see. DID YOU KNOW… that it has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels in people even if they are just watching pigeons?

Soil fertility: where pigeons are, the ground is most fertile as their droppings have the highest source of nutrients of any bird species. They also prefer ‘weed seeds’ over any other food source.

It is a little known fact that pigeons mate for life and their mating dance is often witnessed with the male puffing up his chest, fanning his tail and dancing around his female.


Pigeons are also very good parents, BOTH sharing the role of sitting on eggs and feeding their young.


Pigeons don’t feed their young by bringing food back to their nests: instead they produce a sort of milk from a gland in the roof of their mouths and both males AND females produce this.


Unlike most garden birds who raise their young for only 10-14 days before they leave the nest, pigeons raise theirs for 2 months so that when their young leave they are actually fledged juveniles: this serves the pigeons well, as for most birds the first few days outside of the nest is the time that most of them get into trouble.

The pigeon has also been found to pass the ‘mirror test’ (being able to recognise its reflection in a mirror) and is one of only a handful of species, that has this ability.

The pigeon can also recognise all 26 letters of the English language as well as being able to conceptualise. In scientific tests pigeons have been found to be able to differentiate between photographs and even differentiate between two different human beings in a photograph, when rewarded with food for doing so.


Pigeons do still have important jobs in our modern world, still being used as messenger pigeons in more remote parts of the world and even being used to deliver vital medications in those areas.

More recently, pigeons have been being trained to help lifeguards out at sea, to locate survivors of shipwrecks and after water vessels have capsized as they can see the colours yellow and red like humans can but also see with ultraviolet, making them perfect for seeing life jackets and they can do so much quicker than humans can.

[This article was researched & written by Corrie Jane Plumpton, professional Wildlife Rescuer.]




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