For the Love of Pigeons

I’m participating in #avianaugust, a daily drawing challenge on Instagram. Today’s bird is the Lahore Pigeon

Evidently there’s a lot to like about pigeons. I just haven’t discovered it yet. 

Rock pigeons at an outdoor cafe in Santigo de Compestella, Spain

Charles Darwin was an aficionado of domestic pigeons. He bred them and belonged to several pigeon-clubs in Victorian London. Critics of the first draft of The Origin of Species recommended that he ditch that boring treatise and write a book about fancy pigeons instead. There’s an interesting article about it on

Rosemary Mosco is a nature cartoonist and bird artist I follow on Twitter. She says, evolutionarily speaking, pigeons and doves are the same. It’s cultural baggage that makes pigeons seem dirty and common and doves sweet and holy.  

Mourning dove in our backyard. Photo by Steve Dudley

I just ordered Mosco’s book, A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching. I’ll let you know if it’s successful in helping me discover the joys of nature through pigeon watching. You can read a sample on Amazon.


  1. Yesterday we noticed two doves, one large and one middle-sized, sitting on the top of the swing. Initially thought they were having sex but as we continued to watch decided it was a mother feeding her baby who must have fallen out of the nest and hadn’t yet fledged. We watched all afternoon. Mom eventually left the teenager alone. He sat there quietly and by dusk had disappeared.

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