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cool facts about pigeons

Update 9/16/15 - 

Cleaned up the lines, added some color comps for the "What do Pigeons Eat" version


Update 9/11/15 - 

Finally had a chance to work on this more. Did a bunch of research, it's hard to whittle the facts down into just a few things to focus on! 

I think I want to do a series of three images - starting with the Rock Dove intro on the top right (with some basic fun facts about pigeons), then "What do Rock Doves eat?", and then a third, either "Where are all the babies" or "Color Morphs". 

What do you think? 


August 2015:

Thanks so much for hosting this class! I'm a 2D animator and freelance illustrator with a background in science museum education - looking to do more fun, informative, science-related work.  

I've always been interested in life sciences; growing up in Brooklyn, the easiest type of animal to observe was always pigeons, since they were everywhere. I wanted to know more about them - like, why don't you ever see baby pigeons? Where are the nests? Can they poop on you while they're flying or only when perched above you?  

Later on, I learned about the now-defunct Citizen Science/Project Pigeonwatch from the Cornell Lab of Ornithologu, and found out that city pigeons in NYC (and most everywhere) are feral, not native, descendants of long-ago domesticated birds that escaped. I also learned that all of the color variation in the flocks is kind of an oddity for feral populations; Project Pigeonwatch was meant to help collect data on how individuals of different color morphs interact with eachother.

Still trying to pinpoint just what to focus on for this project - color morphs? baby pigeons/nests?  some of the crazy domesticated breeds of pigeons (over 800 breeds! More than any other type of domesticated animal!). I compiled some of the better sketches from the pages that I filled up today, will work on some more sketches over the next few days.  


Here's a poster from Project Pigeonwatch to show the color morphs:


Also some sources of info:

  • Johnston, R. F. 1992. Rock Dove (Columba livia). In The Birds of North America, No. 13 (A. Poole, P. Stettenheim, and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. (multiple pages here)!.html


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