Encyclopedia of Animal Cognition and Behavior

Living Edition
| Editors: Jennifer Vonk, Todd Shackelford

Pigeon (Columbidae)

  • Wendy A. WilliamsEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47829-6_1202-1

Synonyms

Overview

The pigeon is a member of the order Columbidae, which includes both pigeons and doves. The most common member of the order is known as the common pigeon, rock dove, or feral pigeon (Columba livia). It is a small- to medium-sized bird with a stocky body, small head, short beak, and short legs. They have excellent color vision, hearing, and olfactory perception. They are strong capable fliers with the ability to return home from long distances. They are monogamous breeders with pair bonds that can last from year-to-year. Within the order, there are 42 genera with 308 wild species. In addition, there are over 700 different breeds of domestic pigeons including fancy and racing pigeons. Pigeon racing is popular sport worldwide with racing groups on six continents, excluding Antarctica. Pigeons are popular subject in both field research and laboratory investigations of behavior.

Natural History

Breeds, Morphology, and Lifespan

Modern...
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCentral Washington UniversityEllensburgUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Suzanne MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada