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Pigeon mating habits and color?

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1. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

Okay, are their any animal biological anthropologists (or something like that) in the crowd?

I was sitting outside the other day enjoying one of the few days of nice weather that we get here in Canada in between the constant snow storms, and I was watching the pigeons bop around eating crap off the ground (as pigeons do).

Here in Canada, most pigeons are mainly gray with a few spots of white. Occasionally, a pigeon will appear that it white and little brown. And so it being Spring and all and a young man's mind obsessed with sex and all, I started to wonder what impact a pigeons color has on their mating habits.

Specifically, does a brown and white pigeon have a higher, lower or unchanged chance of mating? Do the gray pigeons look at the brown and white pigeon and say, "hey, my kids would look great in brown! I'm going to try and hook up with that guy!" Or do they think, "brown, yuck! I'm going to avoid that guy." Or are pigeons unconcerned about the feather color of their mates?

Anyone know?

Greg

2. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

You are not the only one to ponder such things;)
http://www.bulbnrose.com/Heredity/Jones/jones7.htm

And some even more interesting tidbits about pigeons...
The pigeon does not need to do this. Instead pigeons feed their young a protein-filled, cheesy secretion called “pigeon milk”. The mother builds this secretion up naturally and regurgitates it into the mouths of her young ones. This satisfies the nutritional requirements of young pigeons.

The mating habits of pigeons are also very interesting. They consist of four stages: 1. head bobbing, 2. preening of partners, 3. the “bow-coo” session and 4. male regurgitation of food into the females mouth. Once these four stages have taken place the mates begin their lives together. They stay together for life. When the eggs are laid each partner takes a turn sitting on the brood. Usually two eggs are laid at a time. Pigeons are capable of nesting seven times a year.

Pigeons are considered pests by some for similar reasons as the starling and sparrow. They have overpopulated many of the large cities of the world causing considerable defacement of buildings and property. They also are responsible for a rare disease called ornithosis. It is a pneumonia-like disease that takes quite a while to recover from. It is contracted from the dust of dried pigeon droppings. Reports of such cases are rare but do cause a stir among populated regions. For this reason controls have been instituted on the pigeon population. Screens are placed over gutters to discourage nesting. Pigeons have been poisoned, shot, had their eggs taken all to no avail. Recently a method of chemosterilization has been started to reduce the pigeon population. Putting mestranol in food produces infertile eggs. The level of success, however, has been minimal.

Earlier in this century in New York City pigeons had a natural predator peregrines. Peregrines were falcon-like birds whose only food source was pigeons. But the peregrines died off eventually becoming extinct. The reason DDT poisoning. So pigeons are left to thrive bringing solace to some and rage to others.

3. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

"With its head, throat and upper breast and back a metallic green flecked with gold and with a purple sheen, its belly white and its eye, beak and feet crimson, it is truly a gorgeous bird"

Greg, this is the description of our native wood pigeon, the Kereru, we also have the scuzzy looking grey, brown pigeons here too but I can't see any evidence of the Kereru mating with them, so maybe they have a class system or are just as superficial as humans & like good looks

4. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

Maybe (like with most animal species) the male is the elaborate one, and the female is the homely, nodescript one??

5. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

Kind of like the Peacock you reckon CC?

6. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

Quoting CupCake

Maybe (like with most animal species) the male is the elaborate one, and the female is the homely, nodescript one??

Much like women dating me - in comparison to my smashing good looks and overwhelming wit and charm, even the most vivacious and interesting women appear homely and nondescript.

7. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

Quoting FionaNZ

Kind of like the Peacock you reckon CC?

Only my opinion, but maybe that is why women spackle on the mating paint (err..makeup)....just to compete;)

8. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 11y

Quoting GregW

Quoting CupCake

Maybe (like with most animal species) the male is the elaborate one, and the female is the homely, nodescript one??

Much like women dating me - in comparison to my smashing good looks and overwhelming wit and charm, even the most vivacious and interesting women appear homely and nondescript.

Perhaps your meeting the wrong women there Greg... The attractive ones could be scared off by the size of the Giant Head walking towards them
of course & run screaming from the room

9. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

Quoting FionaNZ

Perhaps your meeting the wrong women there Greg... The attractive ones could be scared off by the size of the Giant Head walking towards them
of course & run screaming from the room

Hahah! Almost choked to death on my peanut M&M's...;)

10. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 11y

why dont you ever see baby pigeons?