Regions and remote islands
There are approximately 250 species. Two-thirds of these species live in tropical Southeast Asia, Australia and the islands in the western Pacific. However, the family has members in Africa, South America, and a few in the temperate Eurasia, North America. The family members eat liquids and do not drink or swallow like other birds. All pigeon parents feed their children pigeons milk, which is the sloughed lining of the crop. It is stimulated with the hormone prolactin. This “milk” is obtained by the nestling by putting its bill down its parent’s throat.
The pigeon is a gentle, plump bird with a small bill. They have a skin saddle (cere), between their forehead and the bill. Pigeons are known for their distinctive bobbing of the heads. They are strong and swift flyers due to their large wings and strong flight muscles. Monogamy is pigeons that mate for their entire lives. The survivor only accepts new mates slowly. The female lays two shiny white eggs in a fragile nest that can barely hold them. The eggs are incubated by the female at night and the male at day. The incubation time is between 14 and 19 days. However, the young are kept in the nest for 12 to 18 more days.
Homing pigeons (Colomba livia)
A group of neurons in their brains help birds to process changes in magnetic fields’ direction, intensity, polarity and direction. These physical properties allow the pigeons, using Earth’s magnetic field, to determine their heading and altitude. Although the identity of the physical structure that collects the magnetic-field information from the pigeon’s brain is not known, scientists believe it to be within the inner ears.
True pigeons are composed of approximately 175 species and 30 genera. These fruit- and seed-eating gregarious seeds-eaters can be found in both temperate and tropical areas worldwide. Some ground feeders are more efficient than others, while others eat primarily or entirely from trees. The plumage is usually a soft gray to black colour, with sometimes iridescent spots. This group includes the cosmopolitan Genus Columba, which includes the Old World wood and New World band-tailed Pigeons. It also includes the Streptopelia types, the Old World turtledoves, and ringdoves. The street pigeons, which are so prevalent in urban areas, belong to this genus. They are made up of a variety of crossbreeds from domesticated species.
All of these can be traced back to the Old World Rock Dove ( Columba vicia). The stone dove has a dull colour, with a white rump and large black wings. This Eurasian species nests at 5,000 feet (1.525m) in Asia. Since 3000 BCE, it has been domesticated and selectively raised. There have been many colour variants, as well as about 200 named varieties, including show pigeons and racing pigeons. Pouter pigeons are distinguished by their large inflatable gullet. Carrier pigeons feature a long body and a big bill. Runts have a huge bill and body. Barbs have a shorter bill. Fantails can have 42 tail feathers. Owl pigeons may have diverging throat feathers. Frillbacks are the reversed feathers. Jacobins have hood-like neck feathers. In flight, tumblers fall backward.
Other Old World genera
The subfamily Columbinae includes the chicken-sized peasant pigeon ( Otidiphaps Nobilis), of New Guinea. The New World’s white-winged and mourning doves (Zenaida), are both popular game birds. Central and South America also support the Metriopelia and Geotrygon terrestrial ground doves. The New World passenger-pigeon has been extinct.
Treroninae or the fruit-pigeons consists of approximately 115 species, in around 10 genera. They are found primarily in Africa and southern Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. These fruit-eating birds have a soft-billed, arboreal habit and short-legged bodies. Their plumage is often greenish with brightly coloured markings, such as yellow, red or other brightly colored ones. This group includes the heavyset imperial and small-sized fruit doves ( Ducula), the colorful and large-sized blue pigeons, ( Alectroenas), and dark blue with red wattles. There are also the often crimson-legged green and pigeons that are usually Treron.