Pigeons are everywhere because of their close relationship with mankind.
Whether or not you are pigeon fancier, you can’t fail to notice that pigeons are always around.
The connection between us and pigeons goes through history, this relationship started back in ancient times.
This was when pigeons were rock doves, the ancestors of today’s feral pigeon.
History Of Pigeons
The first bands or tribes of humans were hunter/gatherers.
They were nomadic and wandered from place to place.
They followed the animal migrations and seasons to find meat and gather edible fruits and plants.
It was only when they discovered agriculture that they became settled.
The abundance afforded by agriculture would have certainly attracted pigeons because they fed off seeds and grains.
Around any human activity there is waste, fallen or overlooked grains and seeds, readily available to rock doves, plus the products that the harvests were turned into.
You can imagine that early settlements were a magnet to opportunistic doves, despite the dangers of being close to mankind.
Pigeons Relationship With Mankind
Early man saw doves as a ready source of food.
Rock doves flock together in large colonies and so when man figured out how to hunt and capture them, another strand of the relationship was forged.
As the dangers of traveling were lessened because of agriculture, populations grew, and settlements expanded.
Nobody knows for certain whether or not the intelligent doves decided to move near or into human habitations to live close to the food source or they were at first forced into captivity for man’s own alimentation, but the relationship grew.
As mankind became more civilized, he recognized the beauty of these birds, keeping and raising them just for their outward appeal.
In the Western Hemisphere, this took place in what we now call the Middle East.
Rock doves originated along the coasts of North Africa, colonising the coastal cliffs of the region.
It is easy to imagine these far-flying rock doves coming upon human settlements in their search for resources.
Intelligent birds that they are, they saw a good opportunity to stay close to a ready supply of food.
Today’s pigeons are said to be the descendants of a cross between the wild rock doves and those birds that had been raised in captivity for whatever reason.
Escaped birds mating with their wild cousins has produced the breed we see today in our towns, cities, and countryside.
Like us, wherever they are born becomes home.
So, a pigeon born in a small village or large town will call that environment their native territory.
As the reproductive cycle of these pigeons is so rapid, you soon have flocks of birds that are no strangers to humans and can comfortably live side by side with us.
Expansion Of The Pigeon Population
The history of humanity is one of expansion.
Such catastrophes as war, famine and plague have seen the outward push of people from the original civilisation centres.
Also, the search for better lands and more space or opportunity for expanding populations have set mankind off to explore the globe.
The pigeons have gone along with them.
It only takes one pair of breeding pigeons in a place to start a whole flock of them.
As pigeons breed all year round, this is easily achieved. Another draw for pigeons are human habitations.
Our houses resemble the cliffs that were the rock doves’ original home. Even in the first cities in ancient times they built megalithic edifices for their rulers and gods.
A species imprint of their first environment would inevitably attract pigeons to these buildings, also their survival instinct.
Towns have expanded not only outwards, but upwards too, providing pigeons with safe nesting sites.
It is known that from early times in history that the relationship between mankind and pigeons had already been set.
Some pigeons may have been transported from one location to another as pets.
Others will have been taken along as a food resource, for their meat and eggs, the same as other domesticated avian species.
And then still others, after man realized their homing and navigational skills, were shipped to other places to be used as a communication method.
It could easily be just a pair of mature pigeons breaking off from the flock and looking for new pastures to raise their young with greater food resources and less competition.
Pigeons Are Smart Birds
Pigeons are survivalists and opportunists, apart from being highly intelligent.
They have shared in man’s history since the earliest of times.
Wherever man settles on the planet, except in the extremely hot or cold climates, he will be soon be joined by pigeons.
Pigeons have found that, despite its ups and downs, their relationship with us is beneficial and it is doubtful that the bond will ever be severed.
That’s why pigeons are everywhere.