Pigeons are doves, belonging to a family of over 300 species. They may not look like it, but pigeons are one of nature’s most successful animals. They’re faster than a cheetah, more muscle-bound than a gorilla and more agile than a great white shark. They can hear sound frequencies 200 times lower than human beings. Pigeons also have remarkable eyesight, enjoying the ability to see almost behind their heads – a 340-degree field of view. And their sense of smell? These birds may be able to create a virtual scent map in their minds that allow them to fly great distances just by following a distinct odor.
Pigeons peck up to 16,000 times per day and can defecate up to 25 pounds annually. They thrive in almost every city and town – wherever humans settle, pigeons seem to be. They may even roost in the exact same spot for their entire lives (which can be up to fifteen years).
For a pigeon to take flight, it requires thirty percent more power than simply soaring in mid-air. At first, a pigeon will stretch out his wings as high as possible, then snap them down as hard as he can. Beneath the feathers, a flexible, strong frame creates enough force to lift the bird into the air. In flight, their wings can pump six times per second.
Find out more fascinating facts about pigeons by checking out Pigeon Genius on Saturday, January 8th at 8 PM et/pt on Nat Geo Wild.