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Rock Pigeon, Urban Bird

Many colors, one species!

The Rock Pigeon is the quintessential urban bird. Early European settlers at Jamestown and Plymouth introduced it to North America in the 1600s, and it is now found across the entire country. Flocks roam parks and city streets and sit on wires and billboards.

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Full Transcript



Rock Pigeon, Urban Bird

Written by Frances Wood

This is BirdNote!
[Sounds of a city park and kids plus Rock Pigeons taking flight] 
Wild flapping erupts from a city park. A flock of multi-colored birds lifts off together, circles, and settles again. As it lands, the mixture of bluish-grey, cream, and white separates into individual pigeons bobbing their heads and pecking. This could be any city park across the United States, through Mexico, and into South America. These are Rock Pigeons, ubiquitous city dwellers. These birds were introduced from Europe by early settlers, and they have thrived in their new home.
[City sounds and pigeons cooing]
Pause on a park bench for a moment, and allow the birds to approach you. When you do, you’ll see myriad variations in color, but the birds are all one species. When the sun catches a bird’s head just right, it will glitter with iridescent green and purple. Beady orange eyes may examine you for a handout.
Then watch as the pigeon ambles over to a puddle. To drink, most birds gulp water, then throw their heads back to swallow. But pigeons can suck up the water, using their beak as a straw.
Something startles the flock of Rock Pigeons and again, they burst into flight!
[Strong whistle in the park and Rock Pigeons taking flight]
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Calls of Rock Pigeons provided by: The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.
Sound recordist: A.L. Priori.
Sounds of Rock Pigeons taking flight provided by: Martyn Stewart at
Ambient track provided by Kessler Productions
© 2012 Tune In to      February 2012     Narrator: Mary McCann

ID: Orig: 022805ROPIKPLU                ROPI-01b-2010-02-08-MM


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