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Pigeons - the Fascinating Saga of the World's most revered and Reviled Bird Hardcover – 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Queensland Press (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0702236411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0702236419
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,484,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The sub-title of this book aptly summarizes the story of this remarkable bird.However,it cannot be said that the bird is very popular in the cities of the world where most of them now live.Few people seem to realise that this city bird is the same as the symbolic dove of peace.The author illustrates in a vivid and compelling way how the pigeon is both loved and loathed nowadays.

No other bird has had such close links with man nor been useful to him in so many ways whether as sacrifice,symbol,source of food and not least as messenger which links with the sport of Pigeon racing.The book encompasses

all these facets and describes encounters with many eccentric characters,brilliantly portrayed,both in the States and Europe whose lives are linked with the bird.Many of them display a deep affection for the birds;in some it is evoked by their racing birds in others it is fostered by the need to protect the city birds.These feelings are in stark contrast to the author's account of a Live Pigeon shoot also another visit to a Plant which breeds the birds for eartig.

This is a wonderful book,evocatively written,which fills a gap in the literature.It should be widely read and might go a long way to converting those who regard the pigeons as 'flying rats'.

Dr.Jean Hansell.Author of 'The Pigeon in History' and'Images of the Dove'
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Format: Kindle Edition
Pigeons. Has anyone considered the pigeon as a bird that is NOT a rat with wings? Not many, I have to admit. But I do. I think of them as beautiful birds in many ways. I have not only accepted them but I have learned to love them and one of the ways that have guided me towards this pigeon passion is PIGEONS.
Look, I may be only thirteen years of age, and I may be bad with words, but I believe a good book is a good book. It's a long story leading to my love of pigeons, and I don't think you would particularly want to hear my tale, but unlike Mr Blechman here, I have always been intrigued by pigeons. (Mr Blechman wasn't fascinated with them at the start). I've often asked myself when I was younger, why do people detest pigeons? What are so dislikable about them? I know that pigeons have been with man-kind for a LONG period of time and they've been recorded on clay tablets in the Mespotamian times and all, but until now, I still cannot think of why they are treated like vermin. Reading Blechman's amazing book has answered most of my questions and I congratulate him for going to all those lengths to try and find out more information about pigeons. Of course, I was a bit queasy about the squab factory and him participating in pigeon shooting, and the recipie made me shiver, but I am still shocked by his determination and will. I hope to be an author of a book of pigeons one day.
If I do take pigeons into my career one day like Dr Pigeon, I would try and find out the secrets of the pigeon such as how they find their way home and the drilled in stereotypes humans have of them.
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Format: Hardcover
I have always abhorred the unfair and bad reputation that pigeons have been given by unenlightened and misguided people. This dynamic and compelling book vindicates pigeons as intelligent, peaceful, sociable and athletic birds that happen to love people. Racing pigeons are loyal companion animals for the owners that care deeply about them. Even the street pigeon is a benign and wonderful creature that interacts with people and in Chicago I have observed them bringing solace to the homeless. After reading this informative book I conclude that people who abuse and kill pigeons should be sent to prison. Pigeons are graceful creatures of God that merit compassion and respect.
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Format: Paperback
Pigeons, that is rock doves (Columba livia), certainly cause a reaction to most people who have had to deale with them. Blechman takes the reader on an intellectual journey into the polarized world of pigeon lovers and so-called "haters." On the lover side, he explains the sub-cultures of breeders and racers. Breeders are those who carefully manipulate the mating activities of pigeons in an attempt to create birds for show. Show birds have incredibly unusual feather formations and postures. But these traits are deliberately bred for in an attempt to create a bird that achieves an aesthetic ideal, at least in the mind of the breeder. Racers also breed birds, but they are looking for birds that have heightened homing skills and the ability to fly fast. I had no idea the competition was so fierce.

On the so-called "hater side", Blechman visits Pennsylvania in order to learn about Pigeon shooting. Pigeon shooting involves placing pigeons inside crates that are then randomly opened before the shooter. Lest you think that this activity is akin to shooting fish in a barrel, think again. Pigeons are very good flyers and it is rare for even the best shooters to achieve perfect scores.

Readers will be impressed with Blechman's review of the pigeon through history. He notes that the pigeon was the "dove" Noah used to determine if the land was dry enough to leave the ark. Pigeons, particularly those with exceptional homing and flying skills (beyond what the average pigeon has), were used to carry messages in various wars and even used by the Intelligence agencies to transport secrets.

Regrettably, the work is a bit thin on the life history of pigeons and the negative impacts they create.
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