Birds Of A Feather Stick Together

Hannah Keene

Or do they? These are both pigeons but the brown one is the oddest colored pigeon I think I have ever seen. I’ve seen a completely brown one around the lake, and one that is an all over combination of brown and white, and those two were odd enough. But a pigeon that has an entirely brown body except for his white tail feathers? I have to say that I’ve never seen that before. While this pigeon doesn’t get shunned when they are all hanging out on the grass or on the dock, he often does seem to be wandering around a little separated from the group. And these two, at least for the moment, seem to be distinctly suspicious of each other. Although I may be being anthropomorphic, and they might just be deciding who gets the food.

Here is another one who has a beautiful, but unusual, completely black head, neck and chest. You can see some of the individual ruffled feathers along the left side of his neck. And his legs and feet show up as a gorgeous orange.

Black Pigeon on Wharf                       Image: Hannah Keene 2019

Can pigeons even see color? I honestly didn’t know, and so I looked it up (And how easy that is with computers!) It turns out that pigeons can not only see color, they can see millions of different hues. They also can see ultraviolet, which humans cannot, so they are often used in search and rescue missions at sea. Scientists say that pigeons may be better at color detection that any other living animal. Who knew? And here I was, thinking of them as the rats of the air.

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