Fun Facts about Pigeons, the Unofficial Winged Mascot of New York City

Pigeons are birds that make up the family Columbidae (order Columbiformes)—though not all pigeons are graduates of Columbia University. Some went to NYU.

The most common pigeon in New York City is the rock dove, or Columbia livia. Some people prefer the term sky rat.

Doves and pigeons are cousins, with doves generally

Illustration by Christine Stoddard.

being smaller and pigeons bigger. Exception: the white domestic pigeon. You know, the Jesus kind.

All pigeons strut and bob. It’s not scientifically known if all pigeons boogie.

Pigeons are monogamous. There is no known dating app for pigeons.

The mama pigeon lays two eggs at a time in a nest. This is just a plain cute fact. Please don’t try to make it cuter because you will fail.

The mama and papa pigeon take turns incubating the eggs–Mama at night, Papa during the day. Equality!

A young pigeon is called a squab or squeaker. You also shouldn’t try to come up with something cuter. Those are cute enough.

All species of pigeons are edible. It’s up to you to decide if you want to go there.

Pigeons poop on monuments. This is just known. Ask a toddler. But we needed another fact to fill up this column. That’s how designing on deadline works.

Sources (for the real stuff):

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, NYC Parks, Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds (London: Merehurst Press).