The Science of Ornithology

What is ornithology and why is it good?

Ornithology is indeed the scientific study of birds. The original person who started ornithology was Francis Willughby. Without ornithology we wouldn't be able to understand many things like how birds fly. If we never knew this we would never have the airplane which is similar to the bird.

Pigeons, or the rock dove, are a type bird! Although they are called pigeons, pigeon is a sub species of birds and are actually called the rock dove ,and today, you will learn more about pigeons and maybe even other birds if you're lucky!

First and foremost, we will answer the question that's probably on everybody's mind. How do birds fly? Now you'd probably say something like, "Because they have wings," which does help them but there are other factors with the birds too. Their hollow bone structure makes them light enough to fly. On top of that, their wings have a slight curved shape to let air pass through so they can fly.

If you go outside at night, you would notice you can't see any birds (most of the time). Not only is it dark out at night but at night when birds sleep, they hide in certain spots and this is in order to hide from predators. Some water fowl even sleep floating in the water. Pigeons are the easiest to find because they roost on rooftops in cities.

Many people do not like pigeons because they are known for spreading diseases. It has also been proven that their excrement can accelerate the aging process of buildings and can also be a safety hazard because it too can hit you and make you sick.

Man-Made Pigeons

There are many odd forms of pigeons that just like dogs were made to suit what humans desired in an animal, but unlike dogs, most of these pigeons aren't useful.

Frillback Pigeon

The frillback pigeon is a type of pigeon that has frilled feathers on the shields of its wings. Although they may seem odd, they are common in pigeon beauty pageants. In these pageants, these pigeons are judged by many factors but generally are considered beautiful.

The pigmy pouter pigeon is another man-made pigeon. It's a very special pigeon to say the least, and it's basically a tall pigeon with long legs and a large goiter looking thing for a chest.
The ice pigeon is another breed of man-made pigeon, and it gets it’s name from the blue white color of its feathers, and how it looks like it has snow on it. it also has long feathers covering its feet which don't really add or subtract to the bird's beauty at all.

Messenger Pigeons

In WWI pigeons were used to send messages across battlefields. There was a pigeon by the name of Cher Ami saved 194 American Soldiers lives. The pigeon was eventually awarded with multiple medals and was given a prosthetic leg. Depite being given great medical attention for the late 1910s and early 1920s the pigeon died and it is now stuffed at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

Cher Ami

Whether or not you enjoy pigeons, they have been proven throughout history to have many interesting to connections to certain historical events. We have discussed not only how birds act and behave, but also how pigeons act and behave. We have seen many different types of pigeon in history, and many man-made pigeons, along with a pigeon that saved lives in World War I.

Sources:

https://askabiologist.asu.edu/how-do-birds-fly

http://www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/magazine/Archive/06winter/AvianQuestions.pdf

http://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/birds/pigeons/

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/18-most-bizarre-pigeon-breeds

http://www.pigeoncontrolresourcecentre.org/html/amazing-pigeon-facts.html

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