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Some of you here in the United Kingdom might have seen the fourth episode of Winterwatch on BBC Two last week where Adam Rogers, the creator of The Feral Pigeon Project, spoke to Chris Packham about feral pigeons and their colour diversity. This episode was greatly anticipated by many pigeon people (word spread on the net) and it was wonderful to hear a positive message about feral pigeons – since there are so few programmes on TV that concentrate on these amazing birds.

As mentioned, the message on this episode of Winterwatch was positive, concentrating on the intelligence and uniqueness of pigeons, and I hope many people feel inspired to help Adam Rogers with his research into pigeon colour diversity. Please visit his website for further information: The Feral Pigeon Project

A little side note here: many of us watching the programme immediately noticed the feet of the ferals and wanted to help. A common question appeared online as to why the ferals feet were deformed, which Adam quickly replied (on his blog): Deformed feet – what is the cause?

Here’s the link to the episode: Winterwatch, Series 1, Episode 4. The feral pigeon part starts at 08:43 (ending at 17:01). I also found the clip on YouTube:

I really hope more positive messages of pigeons get on TV and we can start to dispel the myths spread about pigeons. Maybe Elmo and Georgie should go on “Britain’s Strangest Pets” or something similar? (Although I don’t like the way those types of programmes portray the owners, so maybe something more scientific would be better.)

Online article about the Winterwatch episode:

Cornwall student appears on BBC Winterwatch to promote pigeon project

Friday, January 18, 2013

A zoology student from Cornwall has appeared on BBC Winterwatch to talk about his project to record the national pigeon population.

Adam Rogers, who studies at the University of Exeter’s Tremough Campus in Penryn, appeared on the programme leading a project to investigate plumage trends found in the once-domesticated birds.

When domestic animals return to the wild and breed, future generations usually take on their natural dull colour, yet urban pigeons have retained their brightness and variety of plumage.

The 29-year-old undergraduate wants as many people as possible to spend a few minutes counting the number of pigeons with different plumage patterns in their local high street.

Participants can then report their sightings on the Feral Pigeon Project website, which also contains a handy guide to pigeon colours.

“Pigeons can easily be overlooked as we go about our daily lives,” said Mr Rogers.  ”Yet these seemingly familiar birds have many secrets still to reveal.  The fact that they have been successful is clear, yet the means behind their success is less understood.

“No other creature causes such contention as the wild pigeon – some people call pigeons ‘rats with wings’, others are simply indifferent, but I call them the Super Dove.

“They may not be as glamorous as many of the exotic animals a person could choose to study but take the time to look beneath the feathers and they’re just as superbly adapted as any of the African big five.”

He added that people don’t need to be pigeon experts to get involved in the project, as the various types are easy to tell apart.

Adam is hoping that his research will reveal how pigeons are adapting to human influences, as well as sparking people’s interest in wildlife and nature.  He will examine aspects such as whether breeding habits are changing in towns where feeding bans have been imposed.

The Feral Pigeon Project appeared on BBC Two’s Winterwatch yesterday with a focus on the pigeons’ ability to breed in the middle of winter.  Adam described working with the BBC production team as “eye-opening”.

“Filming with Chris Packham was a fantastic experience, he’s clearly a very knowledgeable naturalist and is truly passionate about opening people’s eyes to the wildlife around them,” he said.

Adam Rogers is leading a project on pigeons

(Article from: http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Cornwall-student-appears-BBC-Winterwatch-promote/story-17894221-detail/story.html)


Everyone has their day and today, the 13th June, should be the day that we humans appreciate pigeons.

Why? some of you may ask. Well, to put it simply, why not?

Pigeons are beautiful birds that have their place in this world just like any other creature. They don’t deserve the negative views (that are often founded on incorrect information) some people have of them.

Pigeons are:

  • Complex – they have a rich social life, bonding to each other, often for life. They are dedicated parents; both male and female look after the young. Pigeons also bond easily to humans.
  • Intelligent – they are one of the most intelligent birds around, being one of only six species (and the only non-mammal!) able to recognise their own reflection in the mirror. Scientists have also shown that pigeons are able to carry out tasks on the level of a three-year-old child.
  • Beautiful – not only are feral pigeons beautiful with their various colourations and patterns, but other pigeon species come in a multitude of colour as well. (Check out: Dove identification. Ps. Doves and pigeons are the same. There is no scientific difference.)
  • Clean - pigeons are not disease-ridden and do not spread disease wherever they go. That is simply a myth propagated by greedy pest control companies. (For more info on the subject: Feral pigeons and disease.)

You’ve got to admire the fact that feral pigeons are taking over the world. They are highly adaptive to different environments. They are found almost everywhere in the world (except for Antartica).

Pigeons can be highly amusing and playful. They can be friendly yet aloof, however, once you begin to observe them you’ll see that they are full of character. They are complex beings with rich social and emotional lives. Give them a chance to live their life peacefully without our prejudice.

So today is a day to celebrate pigeons all over the world!

Why not have a pigeon party? Invite the local pigeons down for peanuts, sunflower hearts and other nutritious treats, then sit back and watch them gobble it all up with true pigeon vigor and enthusiasm! :)

HAPPY PIGEON APPRECIATION DAY EVERYONE!!