Pigeons and doves belong to a large and successful family of 289 species, ranging in size from the Diamond Dove which is approximately 12cm long, to the Crowned Pigeon which is as big as a female turkey, and in colour from the many-coloured Fruit Dove to the soft grey Wood pigeon. Our familiar feral pigeon of the streets has been known by man for 6000 years. They were sculpted on Egyptian tombs, carried messages for King Solomon, helped Julius Caesar conquer Gaul and won many medals for bravery in both world wars. Several poets including Shakespeare have written about the qualities of pigeons. They are truly amazing birds, for they can; 

  • live everywhere except Antarctica
  • suck water the way we do
  • navigate up to 1000 miles
  • sense the Earth's magnetic field
  • fly as fast as 75 miles per hour
  • hear ultra-sound
  • see colours including ultra-violet
  • feed their babies 'milk' even if they are male


Pigeons are here to stay. We must learn to live with them. If certain people want to extend a helping hand, we at Pigeon Recovery believe it is their right to do so and they should not be penalized for offering food to the hungry, so long as it is in a sensible place where the less charitable cannot object.

Street pigeons have deadly enemies, but they also have many friends. We ask their friends to keep an eye open for fallen youngsters under bridges or shop doorways etc. Use a coat to stop them running into the road and take them home or to a rescue centre. But PLEASE REMEMBER, because of the bigotry against pigeons, we strongly advise rescuers to check, when taking pigeons to a vet or charity clinic, what they will do for it before leaving. We at Pigeon Recovery provide sanctuary for any permanently disabled pigeon and do not believe that youth or a broken wing is an excuse to kill.

Also, many pigeons lose toes or legs because of discarded tackle or threads, and can be injured by fishing hooks. Please pick up such dangerous debris and dispose of it safely. Bird feet can be disentangled using nail scissors and antiseptic spray from any chemist applied to the area afterwards.

Finally, listen out for any plans to cull pigeon populations and write, urging them to adopt the many compassionate alternative deterrents and anti-roost devices, and emphasise the fact that killing is always a cruel, unnecessary and short term solution.

To the friends of feral pigeons they are trusting companions in the sterile, lonely concrete messes that humans make. To many they are a symbol of Peace, Love and the Spirit of God. To us at Pigeon Recovery they are creatures in need and we hope that one day they will simply be allowed to get on with the business of living unhampered by blame and bigotry.

Pigeons are gentle, beautiful birds who need and deserve all our kindness and respect.

Pigeons Feeding

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