Although they are now regarded as a feral, unsanitary nuisance, pigeons have been interconnected with humans for millennia – linking all the way back to the ancient Sumerians in 3000 BC! 

Initially bred as a source of meat, the hidden intelligence of the bird was eventually discovered. Their homing instinct and peaceful nature led them to being utilised as mail carriers. 

How did the pigeon population boom? They played a key role in transporting messages throughout World War One and World War Two, relaying to the front lines and even leading stranded troops to be rescued. 

Furthermore, pigeon racing rose in popularity in the 19th century, with the royal family partaking in it too. Recently, 3 racing pigeons previously owned by King Charles were won by PETA at an auction, where they now reside in a sanctuary. 

Pigeons won the hearts of humans not only for their skills, but their likeness to us as well. They are monogamous, mating with a single partner for life, and feed their baby pigeons – squabs – with self-produced milk stored in the crop. Their tranquil demeanour has even led them to be considered a symbol of peace. 

So next time you see someone bothering a pigeon, ask them to have some sympathy – these birds have played a vital role in human history, and deserve the respect of an old friend.