are known to be very intelligent. Experiments have shown that they can learn
abstract rules about numbers (something only primates had been thought able to
do), they can recognize all 26 characters in the English alphabet, and they can
even distinguish between paintings of different styles and those by different
artists. One behavioral psychologist who studies pigeons remarked, "Pigeons
commit new images to memory at lightning speed. . . . They organize images of
things into the same logical categories that human beings use when we
conceptualize." Pigeons have also been proved to have self-awareness and
self-recognition in mirror tests and during tests using video, recognizing
themselves even with a five- to seven-second delay from real time. This
cognitive ability is superior to that of a 3-year-old human child.
navigational abilities, which are largely dependent on keen vision and a
superlative memory for topographic details, are legendary. A 10-year study of
pigeon flight patterns conducted at Oxford University found that the birds rely
more on their knowledge of human transport routes than on their internal
magnetic compasses; one scientist said, "We followed some which flew up
the Oxford bypass and even turned off at particular junctions. It's very
also have excellent vision. They can see not just color but also ultraviolet
light. They can see far better than humans can and also are able to concentrate
on a visual task for many more hours than we can—a discovery that led to a
joint Coast Guard and Navy venture called Project Sea Hunt, in which pigeons were
used to spot orange life vests at sea.
humans, pigeons are family-oriented and devoted to their offspring. Pigeons
begin to pair off when they're about 6 months old, and they mate for life. Both
parents care for their young, called "squabs," taking turns
incubating the eggs and feeding the babies "crop milk" that they each
produce. Pigeons flock in large numbers in order to protect themselves from
cats, hawks, owls, and rats and are very protective of younger birds. During
breeding season, when there are many squabs in the flock, adult birds will feed
any hungry baby, not just their own.
incurable_hippie / CC by 2.0
Read more about the findings of our investigation, and please take a stand for the birds abused by the barbaric "sport" of pigeon-racing by contacting Attorney General Eric Holder and urging him to take action to stop cruel and unlawful pigeon races right away.