Paloma pigeon. It is a large bird ( 34 to 37 cm) and has different colors that include gray, brown and white. Collumbids are the family of pigeons and doves, which includes more than 310 species worldwide. Pigeons inhabit the world, except in Antarctica
Pigeons are small to medium birds, with legs, necks and short heads. The predominant colors are shades of gray and light brown. Many species show bars or scales on the wings and tail, and some have iridescent patches on the neck. The dove has a robust body and neck and a thin, short beak with fleshy waxes. Apart from having a great sense of orientation, the pigeon is one of the fastest flying birds, reaching 56 km /h. It also characterizes the pigeons it’s a very acute sense of sight, such a prodigy is due to the fact that the pigeons usually have an extreme visual acuity far superior to the human. Young pigeons are called pigeons and people who breed pigeons are called pigeon fanciers.
Collumbids forage in open habitats looking for grains, seeds, and fruits. Its small, soft-based peaks are better suited to peck grains from the ground than to hammer or tear their food. They store what they find in a large inner bag and grind it with the help of small pebbles that they eat for this purpose. This feature allows them to feed in open areas that put them at risk of being attacked by predators since they collect a lot of food that they then process in safer places.
Naturally, the pigeon feeds on seeds and fruits, artificially it is common for the human being to contribute other foods to the pigeons, for example: crumbs of bread, rice, corn, and grains in general.
Pigeons have songs of low tones, with distinctive variations between species. The most common vocalization is that of males who call females. As they have extended breeding seasons, their songs can be heard almost year-round.
In mating rituals, the male walks around the female, going down and up the neck, with the feathers inflated. Some species have rituals that include very bustling flutters. Domestic palms “clap” with the wings and then walk around the female with the wings raised in V above the body.
Normally weak pigeon nests are generally simple structures made of small hard branches. Some species make their nests above previous nests of other species. The construction of the nest takes only two to four days. Generally, the male brings the materials and the female builds the nest
Normally they lay two eggs that are incubated by both sexes. When their pigeons are born they feed them with a secretion called milk from the crop that is secreted by special cells. Both sexes produce this very nutritious substance to feed the young.
The symbology of the dove is, among the main cultures, with positive or benign signification (connotation and denotation). In the Bible it is reported that Noah let go of a dove from the ark after the Flood to try to find firm ground and that it returned with an olive branch in its beak. In addition, in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit descends from the heavens with the appearance of a dove upon Jesus Christ at the moment he is baptized ( Genesis 8:11, Isaiah 59:11, Matthew 3:16; 10:16; 21: 12). The dove is the symbol of candor, simplicity, and innocence and, especially of the correct peace or harmony. I was consecrated to venues who carried it in her hand and tied it to her car according to Apple. Eliano adds that sometimes she transformed herself into a dove so she was deprived of her priests from eating them. Homer tells that some pigeons took care to feed Jupiter, a fable founded on the circumstance that the same word means in the Phoenician language priest and dove. The inhabitants of Ascalonia had great respect for these birds those who thought they were transformed after death, not daring to eat or kill any for fear of eating their own parents and fed with particular care to all the pigeons that were born in the city. These birds were also held in great respect by the Assyrians because they believed that the soul of Semiramide, their queen, ascended to the sky in the form of a dove. Sophocles says that some pigeons from the Dodona forest announced Hercules the end of his days. Currently, the representation of a white dove with an olive branch in its beak is a symbol of peace and purity in Western societies, an image immortalized by Pablo Picasso in his Dove of Peace.
Being in contact with pigeon droppings (as in all droppings) can pose a health risk. It is known that at least three human diseases are associated with pigeon droppings: histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis.
Histoplasmosis: Respiratory disease that manifests with severe lung damage accompanied by chills, fever, cough and chest pain.
Chlamydiosis: Bacteria causing a disease called ornithosis, which is transmitted to man by breathing the fecal dust contaminated by birds that carry the bacterium.
Colibacillosis: A disease caused by a germ called eschequiria colis, which is found in the intestines of animals and humans, causes fever, diarrhea and minor bleeding in the skin.
Salmonellosis: Associated with food contaminated by the droppings of the pigeons that carry the air.
St. Louis encephalitis: Inflammation of the nervous system that causes drowsiness, headache, and fever, can also cause paralysis, coma and finally death. This disease attacks people of any age but is especially fatal in those over 50.
Allergic alveolitis: Called pigeon lung disease, it can occur abruptly or gradually causing inflammation of the lung (alveolitis), determined by a hypersensitivity reaction to the feather or fecal dust; It manifests itself with a persistent cough that over time generates alterations in that organ, being able to reach irreversible damage.
Pneumoencephalitis: Conjunctivitis, congestion, tearing, pain and swelling of subconjunctival tissues.
Trypanosomiasis: The nests of the pigeons are a habitual refuge for the vinchucas, an insect that transmits Chagas disease, so the presence of birds favors the onset of the disease.
Health control: the best prevention
The most advisable is to eradicate the breeding of pigeons in urban areas, especially in large settlements where there are population concentrations and perform adequate cleaning of breeding sites to prevent the spread of feces. It is not breeding for breeding: its owner must have total control over hygiene, sanitation and veterinarian consultations.
It is important to keep the pigeons clean and dry, feed them with products in good condition, vaccinate them and treat the wounds immediately. Although the frequency of infection is low in humans, precautions should always be taken. Hygiene is always the protagonist for the prevention of most diseases.
As a curious note, the family of pigeons are one of the few species that can suck water which allows them to drink water without raising their heads. Other birds have to put the beak into the water and then lift it to let the water choke the esophagus. The ability to absorb water allows pigeons to drink faster in open areas. Pigeons have a high water consumption and take up to 15 % of their weight in water every day so they are frequently seen near fountains or lagoons in cities.
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