THE various families which constitute this beautiful genus are distinguished by shades and gradations so minute, as to exceed all description. By much the larger portion are the willing attendants, on man, and depend on his bounty, seldom leaving the dwellings provided for them, and only roaming abroad to seek amusement, or to procure subsistence; but when we consider the lightness of their bodies, the great strength of their wings, and the amazing rapidity of their flight, it is a matter of wonder that they should submit even to a partial domestication, or occupy those tenements fitted up for the purpose of breeding and rearing their young. It must be observed, however, that in these they live rather as voluntary captives, or transient guests, than as permanent or settled inhabitants, enjoying a considerable portion of that liberty they so much delight in: on the slightest molestation they will sometimes abandon their mansion with all its conveniences, and seek a solitary lodgment in the holes of old walls or unfrequented towers; and some ornithologists assert, that they will even take refuge in the woods, where, impelled by instinct, they resume their native manners.
The varieties and intermixtures of this tribe are innumerable, and partake of all those diversified hues which are the result of domestication. The habits of Pigeons are well known, no birds being more universally diffused. Having a powerful wing, they are enabled to perform very distant journies; accordingly, wild and tame Pigeons occur in every climate, and although they thrive best in warm countries, yet with care they succeed also in very northern latitudes. Their manners are gentle and lively; they are fond of society, and have always been held emblematic of peace and innocence; they are faithful to their mates, whom they solicit with the softest cooings, the tenderest caresses, and the most graceful movements. The exterior form of the Pigeon is elegant: the bill is weak, straight and slender, and has a soft protuberance at the base, in which the nostrils are placed, the point is somewhat curved: the legs are short and red, and the toes divided to the origin. They moult once, and the sexes do not differ in plumage.
Page last modified 10/6/2000.
These pages are best viewed/printed with Internet Explorer, the browser that you're not using right now....
Like this page? Let me know. Hate it? Let me know that too. Click here to offer feedback.
©1999-2002 The edited materials, images, and photographs on this site should not be reproduced without the written permission of Peter Friesen. Contact email@example.com for information.