Small Head: Big Brains – The Neighbourhood Pigeon

Recently I read a very interesting piece of article in a leading daily which said that according to a latest research done in laboratory it is found that pigeons never forget a face. The research was carried out on trained pigeons but even those which were not trained showed the same results. It was found that a change in dress or appearance could not deceive them either. This study was carried out in the University of Paris.

Apart from the report, I have myself experienced something similar to this. The pigeons are regular unwanted guests in my balcony. Although I love birds – I say unwanted because of the loads of droppings they drop out there which is a real headache for me and my domestic help. Whenever my little daughter is at home I have asked her that it is her duty to shoo them off. When she is at school then I take the responsibility. Over a period of time I have realized that even when I am not at the required spot to shoo them off they simply fly away by listening to my voice. The moment I shout or call my daughter, there, they are off. Well this was a so called research-at-home.

I frantically searched the books to find out whether they can even recognize a person’s voice. At that point of time I really wanted to meet Dr. Salim Ali who is known as India’s ‘Bird Man.’ Anyways I kept my search on and on.

One day I read somewhere that pigeons readily learn to respond in the presence of one stimulus. Stimulus is something that produces a reaction in humans, animal or plants. Here maybe my voice was acting as the stimulus and the birds were reacting to it. Voila!  I have done a research on pigeons from my kitchen.

They are extraordinarily intelligent is no hidden fact. They are the only birds which were used as messaging and texting in earlier times. They were the SMS and MMS. They are the only birds which were used in World War I and II. They were even carried by pilots during the flights so that when the pilots lost their planes they could send the pigeons for SOS. They can fly to any distance and even come back without losing the track. They are still used by some countries for armed forces.

After doing so much for the humans, well they don’t have a bit of nasty mind; I mean they are extremely virtuous. They are monogamous by nature. Even if one partner dies they accept a new partner only very slowly.

I hope my research-from-kitchen-window does not go in vain and someday I get to hear that yes pigeons listen and recognize the voices.