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Stumbled across this story about Bertie, a pet pigeon: http://www.lifeinthefastlane.ca/pet-pigeons-as-mans-best-friend/offbeat-news

Watch the video clip of the rollers! Awesome stuff. :D

Pet Pigeons as Mans Best Friend

By Deborah • January 17, 2008

Could pigeons replace fanciful felines and cuddly canines as man’s best friend and beloved companion? One British family seems to think so.

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Photo Daily Mail / Irving of Exeter

Most people return from garage sales with a booty of goodies they got on the cheap, but one family got more than they bargained for when a pigeon took a liking to them, followed them around and became their darling pet.

Bertie the pigeon now lives with the Moor family, travels in their car, sleeps on their bed, guards their home, and is even housetrained. “There is a cage for her but she insists on sleeping next to me.” says Jane Moor, from Topsham, Devon.

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Photo Metro

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Photo Daily Mail / Irving of Exeter

“We went to a car boot sale and this pigeon kept following us about. The chap who owned it said he’d had it for a year. He asked if we wanted Bertie.”

“We took her home and expected her to fly off but she has stuck around and been with us ever since.”

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Photo Metro

“She is quite a character. She guards the house and goes on outings with us, riding in the car and then flying home on her own if she gets bored.”

She explained, “If I go anywhere near the car, she will sit on top of it or stand in front of it until I agree to let her get in with me. We took her to Portland once and she managed to find her way back home within 2 hours.”

“She got in through an upstairs window and almost frightened my daughter to death as she thought the house was being burgled when she heard things crashing about.”

But the pigeon does have some jealousy issues — Bertie is so attached to Jane that she fights her husband Kimberly, vying for attention. ‘When my husband kisses me goodbye Bertie does not like it. She puffs herself out and tries to see him off.’

Jane admitted that she struggles to leave the house without the overprotective bird, who can’t bear to be separated from her.

“If any guest tries to go upstairs, she pecks at their feet and tries to stop them, as she sees it as her territory.”

Jane’s daughter Kelly admits the pigeon’s attachment to her mother has made it difficult for the family to express affection.

“She’s taken a real shine to my mum and sits on her shoulder preening her like she would if she was another bird, but she doesn’t have much time for our cats and dogs.” said Kelly. “She hits them with her wings and pushes them off my mum’s bed if they try to jump up.”

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Photo Metro

“I would be really quite devastated if she went now. I enjoy having her around and she will be allowed to stay as long as she wants.” Jane said.

Jane commented that neighbors thought the family was crazy for their choice of pet. “But we don’t mind.” she added. “I guess it is unusual but it’s just a situation that’s evolved over time — she’s part of the family now.”

About Pigeons
In general, the terms “dove” and “pigeon” are used rather interchangeably. Zoologists frequently refer to doves as the smaller species and pigeons for larger ones, but this is in no way consistently applied, and the common names for these birds involve a great deal of variation between the term “dove” and “pigeon.”

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The species commonly referred to just as the “pigeon” is the feral Rock Pigeon, common in many cities throughout the world. The greatest variety of pigeons is in the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones. Young doves and pigeons are called “squabs.”

Their usually flimsy nests are made of sticks, and the 2 white eggs are incubated by both sexes. Doves feed on seeds, fruit and plants. Unlike most other birds, doves and pigeons produce “crop milk,” which is secreted by a sloughing of fluid-filled cells from the lining of the crop. Both sexes produce this highly nutritious substance to feed to the young.

So could a pigeon replace cats or dogs as man’s best friend as the favored pet?

(From: http://www.lifeinthefastlane.ca/pet-pigeons-as-mans-best-friend/offbeat-news)