Zoology & Botany

Pigeon

Prepare a picture of/book about/a toy pigeon in advance, as well as a sample of a feathers Say: Look at this animal. (Show a picture of pigeon.) This is a bird. Remember, to be classified as a bird an animal should have a beak or bill, should have 4 toes on each foot, meaning to be zygodactyl. The bodies of birds are covered with feathers. All birds have two wings and a tail. Remember, all animals move! Wings help birds fly and soar. Let’s flip hands like a bird! Let’s soar! (Point to the bird ) Say: This bird is called pigeon. Let´s find its feathers, wings, tail and feet. Pigeons have red or pink feet. The bill is slender and rounded, and is usually short, with a fleshy growth at the base. Their plumage is thick with metallic glitters, and varies in appearance from browns and grays of many temperate-zone species to the bright hues and bold patterns of tropical forms.  The tail is gray with a darker band across the end. Females are duller in color. Pigeons are seed-eaters, but will scavenge along the ground and eat anything edible they can find. Pigeons are swift, strong, graceful fliers (Let´s spread our hands and fly gracefully like pigeons). On the ground they walk or run with the toes turned slightly inward. Their calls are monotonous repetition of cooing, chuckling, or booming notes (Come on baby, try to coo with me!) Pigeons eat grain, fruits, berries, and herbage. They are able to suck up water without tilting back their heads! Pigeons are incredibly complex and intelligent animals. They are one of only a small number of species to pass the ‘mirror test’ – a test of self recognition! They can also recognize each letter of the human alphabet, differentiate between photographs, and even distinguish different humans within a photograph! In addition, Pigeons have excellent hearing abilities. They can detect sounds at far lower frequencies than humans are able to, and can hear distant storms and volcanoes! Their delicate nest of twigs or grass is built in trees, or on the ground. Most pigeons lay two white eggs, these eggs are incubated by the male during the day and by female at night. Newly hatched birds blind and helpless. At first they are fed pigeon's milk, a secretion from the parents' crops that resembles mammals' milk. They are fully feathered and able to leave the nest in three to five weeks' time. In the wild, pigeons live in rocky cliffs on the coast or in open scrublands. They have adapted to man in both rural and urban environments, living in barns and on skyscrapers alike. They are able to find their way home, and have been used historically to carry messages back to their “home base.” When not using flight, pigeons will walk along the ground bobbing their head forward and back.(Let´s walk like pigeons, baby). We need to take care of pigeons and treat them with respect because they are living things just like us, people.

 

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