Meet Brighton, the sassy rock pigeon!
Rock pigeons are native to Europe, North Africa, and southwestern Asia, but were introduced to North America by early european settlers. In their native habitat, rock pigeons will forage for seeds and some berries on the ground and will nest in huge colonies along cliff-sides. Pigeons are often viewed as pests because they’re so plentiful in urban areas, foraging from garbage cans and table scraps, and building nests on high window ledges, billboards, and behind storefront signs.
During World War I and World War II, pigeons played a vital role by carrying important messages over long distances because of their natural homing ability! Pigeons don’t migrate, but they can travel long distances and still find their way back home using the earth’s magnetic field, the position of the sun, and their sound and smell. This ability is thought to have evolved so that they were able to find their nest among the others along the cliff-sides. This domestication of pigeons may seem like a recent development, but some Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting pigeons suggest that they may have been domesticated more than 5,000 years ago!
Brighton’s favorite food is peanuts and she loves people-watching! If you’re lucky, you may see her strutting her stuff along the high beams of our gift shop.