The rats of the air? Why we wrongly demonize pigeons

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Most of our interactions with pigeons these days consist of shooing them away from our food plates or sighing and wiping away their endless piles of droppings on our cars, benches and balconies. They are seen as a dirty, diseased pest that pecks through our garbage and seemingly has no function at all in the animal kingdom. But no matter how much people loathe these “rats of the air,” we only have ourselves to blame.

People have largely forgotten that pigeons were actually domesticated many years ago. Since then, pigeons have proven to be incredibly smart and gifted animals. They have performed numerous functions for humans (and even saved lives), but after being taken from their nests to provide us with services, people now view them as invasive urban pests.

In fact, there is a lot to learn about the pigeon. So click through this gallery and find out why the pigeon is one of the most underestimated bird species in the world.

This article is originally published on .msn.com

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