Pigeons and doves belong to the avian order Columbiformes
( family COLUMBIDAE )and are generalist that can survive in many kind of habitats eating a wide variety of foods. Their is
no scientific seperation between Pigeons and Doves and they are often reconized as one or the other by the common names given
to them over the years . In general the term ' pigeon ' is applied to the larger species and the ' dove ' to the smaller species.
Their are over 305 reconized living species, size varies from
little larger than a sparrow to size larger than a domestic hen.
Pigeons and doves are found troughtout the world except the polar
rigeons like Antartica. A large portion of them are established in the Oriental and Australasian regions. Its is not known
when they actually frist became kept in captivity , but they have been bred and hybridized for various purposes for a few
thousand years. Specialized traits such as homing instinct , arial acrobatic , and unique feather structures have been developed
or (diminished) through selective breeding over many many years. Its is not known what the total number of pigeons and doves
is.Though there are over 305 descrided living species. In the pigeon fancy there have been over 200 different breeds developed
and over a thousand different variety been develop. Man over the years have bred the common pigeon ( Columba livia ) for almost
four thousand years,those who loved and care for these birds have ranged from emperors to pleasants , from old to young ,
have been members of all races ,creeds and types,and have provided their charges with accommodation ranging from palatial
to just a few simple holes in a roof.
DR. MATTHEW M.VRIENDS , a world reknown expert in
tropical orthinology and aviculture give us some very insightful information.
Dr. Vriends tell us that there are over 200 domesticated
pigeons , and that there are over 1250 different varieties of all these breeds. He say that all pigeons and doves through
selective breeding over 50 centuries...... have come from a single species of wild pigeons called the
Rock Dove, Columba livia.
Paintings and heiroglyphics have many references to
doves and pigeons from back to as early as about 2600 BC . Aristole write about pigeons sport around 350 BC . These birds
have been used for thousand of years for food , sport , and as message carries.
Pigeon Racing is a world wide sport developed due
to the homing instinct as well as there acrobatic flying abilities. These Birds were selectively bred to intensify these as
well as other traits and their were many local strain . The frist exhibit were held towards the end of the 19 th centrury.
Pigeons have been breds for more
different purposes than any other birds in the world . In fact they were bred so that certain traits were exaggerated to such
a degree that when Charles Darwin wrote his paper on Variation under domestication in his book the '' Origin of the Species ", He wrote its
on the domestication of pigeons . The domestication of pigeons was frist recorded in Egypt ( about 3000 BC ). They have been
exploited for their excellent flying abilities to carry messages to distant cities . The Sultan of Baghdad frist setup a pigeon
postal system in 1150 AD , and Eroupe used Pigeons for emergency messages in the 1800's and during bout world wars I and II
. Today , technology has exceeded the capabilities of pigeons carring messages but their excellent flying and acrobatic abililites
has ben fine tune for racing and performace instead. Pigeon have also been bred for different colors and feathers " styles
" to be shown off in pigeon pagent shows, and now their are lot of fancy pigeons that are shown in these pigeon pagents shows
all over the world were their are different clubs. The elaborate courtship aerial displays have forming the ever popular ,
domesticated ' Thumbler pigeons'. Man has created thousand of different
varieties of pigeons have originated from the ROCK DOVE (Columba livia) as even in the wild they comes in different color
variations. Even today man enthusiasms is still going on to create and develop more varieties of the different breds of pigeons
and doves. They are easy to please and take care off and will thrive well for their breeders , provide that they are allowed
their proper care , housings , and necessties that they need.
These needs are simply clean
water , clean food and a dry living space because pigeon on doves cannot survive in dam or wet places ,they are not
ducks. Pigeons need dry living space where they can rear their young . Permanent dampness , such as tha found in a soggy floored
loft because of poor construction , often leads to disease problems . So , too does food or water that is allowed to be contaminated
with fecal material or other waste.