Rockin’ Rock Pigeons

A common sight in towns and cities around the world, Rock Pigeons gather around streets and public squares, living on discarded food and offered birdseed.  I photographed these images in Ocean City Inlet parking lot in Maryland.

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Rock Pigeons nest on buildings and window ledges.  In the countryside, you’ll find them nesting in barns, under bridges, and on natural cliffs.

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Typically a blue-gray bird with two dark wingbars, you can often also find many with plain, spotted, pale, or rusty-red coloring.  Most Rock Pigeons have iridescent throat feathers that shine in the sunlight.

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Rock Pigeons are considered to be one of the most intelligent birds on the planet.  Pigeons can find their way home, even if released from a distant location blindfolded. 

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The earliest large-scale communication network using Pigeons as messengers was established in Syria and Persia around the 5th century BC. 

Pigeons were introduced to North America from Europe in the early 1600s.  They were used to carry messages for our U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War I and II, saving lives and providing vital strategic information.

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Next time you see a Rock Pigeon, check out his/her rockin’ neck colors!


41 thoughts on “Rockin’ Rock Pigeons

  1. Wow, Donna! Up close and personal, these birds are quite beautiful! Great photos, and a great reminder to not overlook what we usually consider ‘ordinary’.

  2. Great, informative post, Donna! These birds are also beautiful in their coloring. I once spotted a lone Rock Pigeon right on the beach among all the gulls 🙂

  3. Funny how size seems to determine popularity in a sense. The pigeons have equally gorgeous iridescent throat as the hummingbirds, but one is beloved while the other tends to be maligned. Perhaps in part because pigeons tend to be far messier than the tiny hummers? Great shots highlighting those marvelous colors.

    • Thanks Gunta! How true! Pigeons are messier and some think an annoyance when around in large flocks. But they are definitely easier to photograph than those fast, tiny hummers!

  4. I SO appreciated this lovely tribute to rock pigeons, Donna. Your post highlighted their beauty and usefulness, a great bird to have on our planet. Your photos really captured their iridescence and variety, too.

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