Pigeons thrive in urban areas such as Orlando. They congregate and roost in man-made structures. They love the ledges of buildings, store signs, beams and poles, parking garages, gas stations, and pretty much any
semi-protected architecture with a flat surface. Once they've established a roost, they stay, usually with the goal of building a nest and raising young. Most birds are nice, but pigeons are simply dirty birds. They
really make a mess wherever they roost. The droppings are unsightly in public areas, and can even deteriorate the surfaces they land on.
Pigeons carry a number of parasites and mites, which can infest the nesting areas and feathers. However the most common concern with urban pigeons is histoplasmosis, a lung disease that humans can contract
from the fungal spores that grow on pigeon droppings. If the droppings are allowed to accumulate, they serve as a fertile growth area for this fungus. Droppings can also cause Cryptococcosis and Psittacosis.
Birds in Attics:
Certain birds, pigeons in particular, like to live in the attics of homes and buildings. I've been to many public buildings in which pigeons have entered and live in the ductwork. This poses a
health risk to the building's inhabitants. In homes, people are often bothered by the noise the pigeons make when roosting in an attic, and they leave a lot of droppings behind.
Pigeons are part of a bird family known as the Columbidae. This family is also what doves belong to. It should be noted that the words dove and pigeon are often used interchangeably. The young ones of pigeons are called squabs. They are stout bodied birds and they are known to have short necks.
They are known to build relatively flimsy nests by using sticks and debris. Their nests might either be in trees, or on the ground, depending on the species in question. Pigeons typically lay one or two eggs at a time and both parents take charge of caring for their young. In most cases, the young leave their parentís nests when they are between seven to twenty eight days old. The young are fed on crop milk, which is surprisingly produced by both sexes of the pigeons. In other words, unlike other birds, both the male and female pigeons produce milk, which they feed their young on. They usually feed on things like seeds, plants and fruits among others.
Biology - It should be noted that pigeons exhibit variations in size, depending on the breed or species in question. The largest species of pigeons is known as the crowned pigeon, and this is almost a turkey sized pigeon. This specie weighs between two to four kilograms. On the other hand, the smallest pigeon has been established to weigh about twenty two grams. Pigeons usually have a total length of fifty centimeters, but some have been found to measure only thirteen centimeters. From this, it should be noted that the size of pigeons greatly varies and depends on the species in question. Some species are extremely large, while others are really small.
Pigeons are known to have large, strong wings, which are attributed to the muscle strength of their wings. It has been established that wing muscles of pigeons comprise between 31% and 44% of their body weight. They have also been established to be among some of the strongest fliers of all the birds in the world. The birds have the capacity to maneuver their wings while in flight.
Another interesting characteristic about pigeons is that they, like some other birds, do not have gall bladders. Some naturalists say that the birds do not have gall.
Habitat and distribution - It should be noted that pigeons are birds that are distributed all over the world. They only parts of the world where they are not found are dry areas, for example the Sahara desert. Most of them can be found in woodlands and tropical forests. They have also been seen to inhabit grassland, savannas, temperate woodlands, mangrove forests and barren sands among others.
Diet - As has already been noted, the diet of pigeons is mainly made up of fruits and seeds. However, the diet also depends on the species of pigeons in question. The birds are divided into those that feed on seeds (granivorous), and those that feed on fruits (frugivorous). Some pigeons have also been known to eat worms and insects.