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In some cities, no matter how big or small, it seems like the population of pigeons is equal in size to the population of citizens; if not bigger. In such cities, they tend to have a favored spot, too—like a large square or a park, where, if the winged creatures are lucky enough, there might even be a person feeding them the crumbs of their pastry.

But it’s not always pigeons that are happy to be in close proximity with humans. In some places, other animals act just like pigeons do, be it other birds, cats, or even moose. These are just a few examples of ‘pigeons’ from different places in the world, but if you’re curious to see more, scroll down to view them on the list below.

In order to learn more about pigeons, Bored Panda got in touch with two experts, Professor at the Department of Natural Resources Science at the University of Rhode Island, Peter Paton, and Professor at the Department of Biology at Queen's University, Robert Montgomerie. You will find both of their thoughts in the text below.

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Woman Feeding Squirrels In Lovers Point Park, California

Woman Feeding Squirrels In Lovers Point Park, California

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Sea Squirrel
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Upvote for this lovely lady (And the sea. And the squirrels of course!!!!)

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In quite a few cities, a square covered in pigeons is far less surprising than an empty one. Take Milan, for instance; expecting to see at least a few of them in Piazza del Duomo is a pretty safe bet. The same goes for St. Mark's Square in Venice, where the situation got so bad, pigeon feeding had to be officially banned, to the great sadness of the birdseed vendors in the square.

“It’s a tradition,” one of them told The New York Times, “It’s like removing Rialto or The Bridge of Sighs”—two of the main attraction points in Venice for both tourists, and, likely, pigeons.

But what, apart from the obvious—birdseed—led flocks of these googly-eyed birds into the cities in the first place?

#4

Wild Horses In The Town Center Where I Live, Nevada

Wild Horses In The Town Center Where I Live, Nevada

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Wild Macaws Frequently Visit Balconies In Caracas

Wild Macaws Frequently Visit Balconies In Caracas

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Bored Panda turned to the evolutionary biologist Robert Montgomerie to discuss the reasons some animals, including different species of birds—among which, of course, pigeons—ended up living alongside people in cities. The expert pointed out four main factors, one of them being warmth, as the cities are warmer due to concrete and asphalt, among other things.

“There are also fewer predators,” the expert continued, adding that it applies when it comes to big predators, as the cities are now full of the smaller ones, such as foxes, falcons, and raccoons.

The third reason is nest sites. “Pigeons, swallows, falcons, house sparrows, starlings and some other species all nest on buildings, which are much more plentiful than their natural sites on cliffs and tree hollows,” he explained.

Last but not least, there’s food, which they can get either by feeding at bird feeders and people’s hands, garbage, insects in gardens, or scraps that people discard while eating outside. “I once watched ibises (bin chickens) snatch sandwiches from unsuspecting picnickers in Sydney, Australia,” the expert recalled. “Clearly this was easier pickings than hunting for unsuspecting frogs in marshes.”

#7

I Started Feeding A Street Cat Last Year, And The News Is Going Fast In The Neighborhood

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Captured A Picture Today Of This Man Trying In Vain To Yield To A Deer In Nara, Japan

Captured A Picture Today Of This Man Trying In Vain To Yield To A Deer In Nara, Japan

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Another reason why some birds might end up in cities, according to Professor Peter Paton, is their resemblance to the natural environment the winged creatures are used to. “Pigeons are native to cliffs, so possibly city buildings mimic their native habitat,” he pointed out. “They were slowly domesticated over time and evolved a commensal relationship with humans, so ended up in cities.”

The expert added that they are arguably easier to domesticate than other birds, which is why they are adapted to living with humans more so than most other species.

#9

Austria - Marmots

Austria - Marmots

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Ka Se
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3 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's exclusive in the mountains. If you visit the flat regions, for example Vienna, you may have the opportunity to feed Spermophilus (Ziesel). They are also super cute.

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#10

I'll Follow You (Aoshima)

I'll Follow You (Aoshima)

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Even though pigeons seem to have adapted to the city lifestyle quite well, certain instincts affect their habits even in the concrete jungle. For instance, the fact that they tend to move around in flocks.

“It’s about safety in numbers. An anti-predator strategy,” Paton said. “Pigeons are common prey to raptors, such as falcons, and when you are in a large flock, it is easier to evade predators, as more eyes are watching out for them. Also, in a large flock, it’s more likely that a neighbor will be eaten rather than you.”

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#12

My Father-In-Law's Bird Feeder (Wild Birds)

My Father-In-Law's Bird Feeder (Wild Birds)

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WindySwede
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If it wasn't fir the spiders, snek, and such, Australia would be quite tempting.

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#13

Friends Found A Baby Raccoon In Their Garage, They're In Contact With The Local Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Just A Cutie

Friends Found A Baby Raccoon In Their Garage, They're In Contact With The Local Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Just A Cutie

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#14

Swimming Pigs In The Bahamas

Swimming Pigs In The Bahamas

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Premislaus de Colo
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Pigs are excellent swimmers and divers. They do it for fun, have a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WABKStvx6B0

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“There are lots of animals and birds that move around in social groups outside the breeding season, either for enhanced vigilance for predators, or finding food; or, more rarely, for sussing out potential mates for the next breeding season,” Montgomerie suggested.

Quite a few species on this list are among those who travel in groups, such as monkeys, cockatoos, and cats, just to name a few.

#15

Wild Horses In My Neighbor's Yard This Morning (NV)

Wild Horses In My Neighbor's Yard This Morning (NV)

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A Group Of Black Cats Out In The Wild

A Group Of Black Cats Out In The Wild

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Here Is A Wild Donkey Herd Near My House In Southern California

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But with all sorts of species charting human-filled territories, is it likely that animals are becoming less and less fearful? Prof. Montgomerie does not think that’s the case; not in the natural world, at least. “This may be true of animals in cities but in the countryside, animals and birds seem to be most wary where they have regular contact with humans and are tamest on remote islands and in the arctic where humans are relatively scarce.”

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#19

View From My Kitchen Window This Morning (New Hampshire)

View From My Kitchen Window This Morning (New Hampshire)

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Even though not to the same extent as the Arctic, Alaska is another place where people are relatively scarce; but ‘pigeons’ are not. Except ‘pigeons’ in Alaska are not the same as those roaming the streets in Italy.

As quite a few pictures on this list show, an eagle is the bird that can be as commonly seen in Alaska as pigeons are elsewhere. As a matter of fact, the bald eagle population there is reportedly greater than in all of the lower 48 states combined, according to the Forest Service. The birds seemingly thrive there not only because of fewer people, but also because of the condition of their natural habitat and abundance of food.

That’s why if Home Alone 2 was set in Alaska, the kind-hearted Pigeon Lady would likely be feeding a very different kind of bird. (And have a different moniker, too.)

#21

My Wife Had Been Feeding The Very Friendly Squirrel That Lives In Our Tree This Summer. Tonight She Brought Her Kids Out To Meet Us

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#22

Never Leave Your Picnic Unattended In Australia

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#23

Did You Know We Have Native Pigeons? This Is A Common Bronzewing That I Photographed In The Blue Mountains This Last Weekend (Australia)

Did You Know We Have Native Pigeons? This Is A Common Bronzewing That I Photographed In The Blue Mountains This Last Weekend (Australia)

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Even though in some cities it feels like there are more pigeons than people, they are not the most populous species of bird out there; they succumb in number to their distant relative, the chicken. It is believed that the pigeon and chicken lineages diverged more than 85 million years ago, which led to the former becoming the most abundant bird worldwide, with a population reaching 30 billion. The pigeon—well, its cousin, the dove, to be exact—is third on the list with a population of 475 million.

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I Miss My Balcony. And My Two Local Breakfast Regulars

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Whether you find pigeons fascinating or not really, you might want to check out the beautiful variety on this list here, featuring some rather impressive-looking breeds. For more random pigeon-related content, check out Bored Panda’s pieces on this Japanese woman’s pigeon shoes or sing along while browsing the comics depicting a pigeon rendition of The Killers’ ‘Mr Brightside’.

#28

I Recently Visited Okunoshima, The Bunny Island Of Japan. Wasn't Expecting This Many Rabbits

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#29

Sandhill Cranes Showed Up In My Driveway, Port Saint Lucie, FL

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#30

A Raccoon Pool Party (My Aunt Sent This To Me This Morning)

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#31

While I Have To Deal With Annoying Pigeons On My Balcony, This Is What My Australian Friend Gets

While I Have To Deal With Annoying Pigeons On My Balcony, This Is What My Australian Friend Gets

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David Paterson
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Rainbow lorikeets again. In some places they will stand en masse on people the same way that pigeons do. But unlike pigeons, rainbow lorikeets have very sharp claws. I've known them to pluck hair off your head to line their nest.

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#32

In The Giraffe Manor, Jock's Room, Kenya. There Are Rooms Where The Giraffes Are Fed. The Giraffes Come Early In The Morning To Get Treats. It's Definitely A Great Experience

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#33

When You Don't Read The "Don't Feed The Monkeys" Sign (Thailand)

When You Don't Read The "Don't Feed The Monkeys" Sign (Thailand)

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WindySwede
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"It can't be that bad, I will do it anyway. I want the full experience! "

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#34

Beautiful Guests For Breakfast. Waratah Bay, Australia

Beautiful Guests For Breakfast. Waratah Bay, Australia

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#35

Girlfriend Saw A Rainbow Pigeon In London Today

Girlfriend Saw A Rainbow Pigeon In London Today

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Darius S. (he/him) cis/grey
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

possibly a dyed , tame, dove littered to die from some event release. I don't know why Organizers just use homing doves each time.. it's gotta be cheaper.

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#37

Family Of Wild Boars Roam The Streets Of The Carmel Neighborhoods In The Northern City Of Haifa, Israel

Family Of Wild Boars Roam The Streets Of The Carmel Neighborhoods In The Northern City Of Haifa, Israel

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#38

When You Think You’re A Disney Princess And Try To Feed The Birds But End Up Getting Bullied By A Flock Of Cockatoos

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#39

Book And Bench In The Park Is Only Complete With A Knee Squirrel

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#40

When You Roll Your Eyes Your Whole Life At Ignorant Foreigners Thinking You Have Kangaroos In Your Front Yard And You Live In The Suburbs

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clairebailey avatar
Bored something
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've had the odd wallaby visit my garden. I love them but I wish they wouldn't come so far out of the bush, so many wallabys and possums get hit on the road.

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#41

My Wife And I Just Bought Our First House And Found A Welcoming Committee In Our Backyard The Night After We Moved In

My Wife And I Just Bought Our First House And Found A Welcoming Committee In Our Backyard The Night After We Moved In

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#42

Bird Of The Year: Magpie (Australia)

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#43

Deer In Nara, Japan. They Will Bow For Cookies. But Beware, Once You Feed Them, They Will Follow You For More, And You May Get Headbutted

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#44

The Harbor Town Of Unalaska Is Home To Over 600 Eagles, Making Them As Common As Pigeons In Most Other Cities

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Unfortunately, this isn't as magical as it sounds. The eagles are constantly fighting over fish guts and attacking people. Nesting season is especially hellish.

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Roxy222uk
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think that any of the posts on this page could turn into a bit of an issue if the animals in question were persistent, unafraid of humans, and just wanted to get food. Most of them are not domesticated animals and so don't have a relationship with humans baked into their DNA, and even the ones that have descended from domesticated animals if they haven't been handled for several generations could end up destructive or dangerous. Small doses would seem ideal, rather than having to live with it.

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#45

Chicken Heaven In Kauai, Hawaii

Chicken Heaven In Kauai, Hawaii

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nomnomborkbork
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

These guys get aggressive, too. Jumped right on our table at an outdoor restaurant and started eating off all the plates. Couldn't shoo them off.

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#46

An Old Man Sitting In The Sun And Feeding The Ducks

An Old Man Sitting In The Sun And Feeding The Ducks

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#47

Shanghai: Void Of People, Streets Taken Over By Cats

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catmom3
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3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is sad, especially in such a wealthy enclave. I hope they have a spay, neuter, return policy.

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#48

Wild Chickens Are Everywhere In Kauai. They Were Already Around Even When We Just Landed In The Airport

Wild Chickens Are Everywhere In Kauai. They Were Already Around Even When We Just Landed In The Airport

Legend has it that these chickens became the “pigeons” of Kauai after Hurricane Iniki in 1992 destroyed all chicken enclosures, releasing them all into the jungle. So now they’re literally everywhere, roaming the streets, shopping centers, restaurants, etc.

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#49

Wild Deers Freely Roaming The Streets Of Nara, Japan

Wild Deers Freely Roaming The Streets Of Nara, Japan

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#50

Iguanas On Exuma Beach In Nassau, Bahamas

Iguanas On Exuma Beach In Nassau, Bahamas

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Fora Nakit
Community Member
3 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not the Bahamas but St. Thomas. Watched the staff trying to kick 1+m long guana from the drugstore. Also, there I heard the most iconic airplane announcement: "Dear passengers, we apologize for the delay, but we had to clear the runway from Iguanas"

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Note: this post originally had 77 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.