Pigeons, birds of great intelligence
By Petra Joaquina
The columbids is a family of birds in the order Columbiforms that includes pigeons, turtle doves and related species. There are, in all, about 308 varieties.
These birds are distributed throughout the world, except Antarctica and the Arctic. They have their focus of dispersal in Central America and the greatest diversity of species is found in Indonesia and Australia.
They are animals endowed with great intelligence, and among these, the pigeon, in addition to their great sense of direction, is one of the birds that reaches the fastest speed, up to 56 km/h.
They are also characterized by their keen sense of sight which, even according to recent discoveries, is capable of distinguishing different graphs and having some understanding.
The normally weak nests are made with small branches, and the eggs, usually two, are incubated by both sexes. Pigeons naturally feed on seeds and fruits. The pair feed their young with a very nutritious secretion called crop milk, which is made by special cells.
Although they are so peaceful, to the point of being recognized as allegories of peace, they can present patterns of violence among themselves. This is caused by the pressure of certain circumstances, such as the loss of food sources or places to nest, essential aspects for their subsistence.
Some species have adapted to the urban environment, to the point of essentially becoming permanent tenants of parks. In Cuba, a place characterized by the presence of these intelligent birds is the Plaza de San Francisco de Asís, in the historic center of Old Havana.
It is common, when passing through this area, to find numerous pigeons fluttering in the air or biting the crumbs that visitors, attracted by their beauty, drop to the ground.