Unquestionably the city’s most iconic species of wildlife, and inspiring perhaps as many fans as foes, the pigeon (Columba livia, also called a rock dove) has become a quintessential New York character. Though the birds originally hailed from Europe, Northern Africa, and India, they followed early settlers into the eastern U.S. as domestic animals in the 1600s, and since then, expanded their range into North and South America (and, of course, into all of our boroughs).
Andrew Herman. Feeding Birds by a Fountain, Park, 1940. Museum of the City of New York.43.131.8. 028
Some facts about our ubiquitous feathered friends: the pigeon population in New York City is estimated to exceed 1 million, they mate for life, and they can live for more than 15 years in captivity. One of the reasons for their success is their adaptability — one of the universal trait of New Yorkers. Though they originally found shelter and safety by living…
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