Pigeons (Columba Livia): Friends in Peace and War
Pigeon or Columba livia has been always recognized as a symbol of peace. Thru history, man tamed and housed this fantastic bird for many purposes. Also, the pigeon has its roots in mythology as well as history of which some are heroic. During World War I, a pigeon named Cher Ami (dear Friend) saved many lives that were called later the Lost Battalion. The soldiers were surrounded and were fired upon by their own artillery. So, the soldiers wrote a message that says (stop it for heaven’s sake!). Despite of many wounds and shots, Cher Ami delivered the message and saved those soldiers. In the Creek traditions, pigeon is associated with fertility and was sacred to Aphrodite. Also, when the Olympic Games were held for the first time in Greece 776 BC people found out the winners by the help of pigeons. Julius Caesar used to send pigeons home from his battle fields. Further, pigeon have been living on earth for more than 20 million years which is obviously longer than humans, but humans began to tame pigeons only around 10000 years ago. Their natural places are in the cliffs and in rocky ledges. Recently, scientists have shown interest and began to study this bird to know its patterns, mating habits...etc. There are more than 300 kinds, and vast variety of colors and feather patterns. Actually, they have a unique instinct which is the homing instinct where the pigeon always goes back to its home even if it was a hundred miles away. Scientists say that pigeons depend on the magnetic fields of earth to locate their places and homes or destination. Finally, pigeons have their own names depending on the shape, color or breed and some of which are: Aachen Shield Owl, American Roller, Bohemian Pouter, Dutch Cropper…etc. For more information about pigeons, you can visit the National Pigeon Association website: http://www.npausa.com
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