A lot of big cities and small towns are overrun with this birds. Pigeons are the most ubiquitous of urban birds, but we do not ever see their babies and nests. Perhaps, you have not even thought about it until today, so be ready to get an answer to the question torturing generations of city dwellers.
Pigeons do not have babies. New pigeons are growing inside the older birds until they explode out of them. Or maybe, they are being bred a shadow agency as a part of a vast government conspiracy. Or pigeons are immortal, so they do not need to give birth to babies. This kind of rational thinking could explain why you never see pigeon nests, eggs, or babies. But the truth is not that bizarre.
The fact is that we actually see baby pigeons everywhere. Kind of. Ornithologists claim that baby pigeons stay hidden in the small bird’s nests for a month or so after hatching, growing very fast. During this time pigeons-parents feed their chicks with a regurgitated “milk”, so when a squab leaves home, he is fully grown.
When you look at all those cooing birds you think that all of them are adults, but most of them are actually babies. The one difference that could help you distinguish an adult from a fledgling bird is that a juvenile pigeon lacks green and purple around their neck. And it is actually a good thing that we do not see newborn pigeons—they are a quite ugly.
Feral doves that we meet in our cities are descendents from rock pigeons. In its natural, wild state the rock doves inhabit high rocks near the sea building their nests as deep as possible. Other birds can occupy deep subterranean caverns.
Did you know that squab is the national dish of many countries, such as France, Italy, China and even some Americans take pigeons for food? Our ancestors, the Neanderthals, were keen on eating doves before humans even reached European continent. Today, these birds do not have an opportunity to hide in the edgy cliffs and caves living in megalopolises, so they nestle in church towers, beneath bridges or inside abandoned buildings. Since we do not often visit such places, just some of us have seen the content of a dove’s nest.
These urban pigeons, species that had originally lived in the central Asian wilderness, could adapt to a cruel world of people. They migrated, formed new settlements, polluted their habitat and changed it again and again. But they are still alive. It looks like we, people, are actually doves.