They are commonly found in big cities, but some are bred domestically. They were predominantly used during the First World War as message carries. The influences of the altered diet between the rock dove (the wild progenitor of the feral pigeon) and the feral pigeon are detailed, indicating that the human-based diet of urban pigeons most likely causes the feral pigeon excreta to be more acidic than the rock dove excreta. A commercial diet contains mixed seeds and grains, vegetables and some are enriched with brewer's yeast plus vitamins and minerals. The influences of the altered diet between the rock dove (the wild progenitor of the feral pigeon) and the feral pigeon are detailed, indicating that the human-based diet of urban pigeons most likely causes the feral pigeon excreta to be more acidic than the rock dove excreta. They navigate by means of the earth’s magnetic fields and the sun’s position, and perhaps also by using smell and sound. These birds feed early in the morning and during the mid-afternoon, individually or in flocks. Human garbage provides a wide variety of foods and they take advantage of whatever they find. Their flight is a direct and steady path. ɪ n /; Columba livia) is a member of the bird family Columbidae (doves and pigeons). This paper is a wide-ranging review of the chemical processes of excreta in the pigeon to aid our understanding of the potential problems of pigeons to buildings and human amenity in the urban space. They roost together on walls or statues or in buildings. Authors retain copyright in their articles. In urban areas where numbers increase unchecked, they can become pests. Key findings of the review. The wild ancestor of the domestic pigeon found the world over, the Rock dove was originally domesticated as a food source. Domestic Rock doves, as homing pigeons, can find their way back home, even if the release location is distant and they are blindfolded. The domestic pigeon was originally bred from the wild rock dove, which naturally inhabits sea-cliffs and mountains. The chicks leave the nest at around 4 weeks of age. Rock doves are monogamous and pairs mate for life. Nest sites are used again and again, with nesting material added for each subsequent brood. This species is most often seen during the daylight - especially perched on buildings or in urban parks. Rock doves are mainly granivorous. One pair may produce 5 or more broods per year. Today, they are mostly used for sports racing and as a source of food. Rock doves peck food off the ground and drink with their bill directly in water, to use it like a straw. Aside from use as food and pets, the domesticated birds can be used as homing pigeons. The common ones include the typical “blue-bar” (bluish-gray with double black bands on their wing and a tail with a black tip); a “red bar” (similar in markings, but with rusty red instead of bluish gray); “checker” (with spots on their wings); “spread” (all gray or all black); “pied” (any color but splotched with white); and those that are mostly red or white. Males and females work cooperatively for most aspects of parenting. Pigeons are susceptible to calcium deficiency from eating only seeds. They flock while feeding, roosting, or sunning. Purpose of the Review. Rock doves are eaten by humans and are used for laboratory research. Rock Dove on The IUCN Red List site -, Dietary habits of urban pigeons (Columba livia) and implications of excreta pH – A review. The grains are not cooked or popped — they are fed to the pigeons raw. City buildings and window ledges are roosting places for Rock doves, being similar to the rocky cliffs used in the wild. Different diet formulations exist for performance birds, resting birds and breeding birds. 2 eggs are laid, incubated by both parents for 16-19 days, both parents also feeding 'pigeon milk to their young, a fat and protein-rich liquid that they produce in their crops. Pigeons are considered to be urban pests, causing untold damage to buildings and potentially impacting the health of humans who come into contact with them or their faeces. Despite this ability, a wild Rock dove is sedentary and rarely leaves its local area. Feral pigeons (Columba livia domestica), also called city doves, city pigeons, or street pigeons, are pigeons that are descended from the domestic pigeons that have returned to the wild. These birds are native to North Africa, Europe and southwest Asia. The male supplies the nesting material and the female constructs the nest, being a platform of grass and twigs. 2. Pigeon faecal matter has been implicated in both health impacts and building damage, with the acidity of the excreta playing an important role. In cities, the diet of feral pigeons includes bread, popcorn, cake, peanuts, and currants. They seek cover during the day when it is hot, and at night. The U.S. Army Signal Corps used Rock doves to carry messages during World Wars I and II, thus saving lives and conveying vital strategic information. A wild Rock dove nests in a crevice on a rocky seaside cliff, close to open shrub vegetation or agriculture. The natural pH of pigeons is shown to vary based on the bird’s and age as well as reproductive stage. According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) resource, the total breeding population of the species in the UK is 550,000 pairs.