if you’ve been following tile envy for any length of time, you probably know i’m a huge fan of birds. i was even given a huge book on ornithology when i was too young to have such a thing- little girl, heavy book. but having lived a good deal of my adult life in san francisco, the thought of seagulls or pigeons just doesn’t have the same connection for me as my neighboring crows in sausalito.
this week, after a brush with an archaic architectural oddity- dovecotes- my curiosity was sparked by this bold display of reverence for pigeons and doves. and while trying to find out why massive estates would have had such elaborate structures built apparently just for these birds- i knew there was a part of history i must have been missing. who would build such structures and why??
on my search, of all places to find a bunch of great trivia regarding pigeons, i found a site claiming to be … did you ever wonder who thought up those spikey deterrants that line the edges of urban rooftops, keeping pigeons from their perfect perch? how ironic these same people provide a fascinating collection of pigeon trivia. it’s a must read for anyone (click here). wow! i realized i knew nothing about these birds and their abundant history alongside us humans.
seriously, it’s worth a read, but here are just a few of the tidbits on pigeons-
- we’ve been hanging with pigeons for thousands of years (mesopotamia, dating back to 3000 BC)
- their use as messengers made them war heroes (yay), contributors to the success of wall street (boo), the daily news, and overnight mail.
- they mate for life (awwwww)
- they are one of the most intelligent birds on the planet.
- they were prized during the medieval period as luxuries for their meat, eggs and (4-H alert!) poop!