Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rock Pigeon

The Foroyar Post has issued the stamp series depicted the rock pigeon or Columba livia in two single stamp with different face value on September 2009.


The rock pigeon (Columba livia) is a member of the Columbidae family which comprises about 300 species that live everywhere in the world apart from the Arctic and Antarctic.

The rock pigeon was one of the first birds domesticated by man and, from them, birds of all colourings and physical varieties have been bred over the years.The carrier pigeon in particular is most familiar, and the rock pigeon is the progenitor of these pigeons, and many birds among the multi-coloured city flocks more or less resemble the feral rock pigeons.

In many places, domesticated pigeons interbreed with the feral variety and thereby constitute a major threat to the original populations of rock pigeons, which have disappeared from many countries for this reason. One of the world’s least interbred populations of rock pigeons lives in the Faroes.

A few people keep domesticated pigeons, almost exclusively in Tórshavn, whereas keeping domesticated pigeons is forbidden on the island of Nólsoy. The rock pigeon is approximately 32 cm. long, has a wingspan of approximately 65 cm. and can be found in two different colourings. In the Faroes, 80% of them have blue-grey backs and wings, while about 17% have more or less spotted backs and wings (chequered). The remainder have a few white feathers or are more or less black.

The rock pigeon is a sedentary bird and most of them stay in the same place they were hatched throughout their lives. Rock pigeons are often seen flying in small flocks of ten to twenty individuals outside the breeding season when searching for food. At night, they sleep in hollows and cracks between large rocks on steep mountain slopes, often close to the sea, where they also breed in the summer.

Today, the rock pigeon is a protected species. Many people keep geese, chickens and sheep and feed them outdoors throughout the winter, which provides rock pigeons with a good chance of survival, and the existing Faroese breeding population has been estimated as 1,250 pairs.Rock pigeons usually have two broods during the course of a summer and the young birds themselves breed in the following summer.

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