Pigeons have had a relationship with humans for thousands of years, and Fly By Night celebrates that history. While some city dwellers may write off pigeons as a nuisance, these extraordinary birds are smart, have complex social relationships, and can boast many accomplishments that have benefited their human neighbors. Take a deeper dive with these highlights of pigeon history, heroism, and intelligence:
• Pigeons never forget a face: Even feral pigeons can identify humans. You may want to pay more attention to your winged neighbor on the park bench.
• How smart is this bird? Let it count the ways: In a study in New Zealand, pigeons proved their smarts with math tests. The pigeons performed as well as monkeys.
• Pigeons helped to tackle London’s air pollution crisis: For a few days this past March, London’s ‘Pigeon Air Patrol’ take to the skies to measure the city’s air pollution.
• Pigeons identify breast cancer ‘as well as humans’: Pigeons can tell the difference between identities, letters of the alphabet, and now they can even help to detect breast cancer!
• The heartwarming story of Cher Ami, the pigeon who saved 200 American soldiers: An unforgettable story of pigeon heroism. Merci, Dear Friend.
• Bird’s-eye view: How do homing pigeons find their way home? Well, nobody’s quite sure, but scientists have some ideas.
(Photo: Will Star/Shooting Stars Pro)