Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Liverpool Pigeon







If you walk through Williamson Square in Liverpool you will get mobbed by pigeons hoping for a crumb or two from any snack you may be carrying.  There are pigeons everywhere and the danger of being 'dropped' on. One of our local songs suggests


There's every race and colour of face
There's every kind of name
But the pigeons at the Pier Head

They treat you all the same…



But they are not Liverpool Pigeons.  This is the Liverpool Pigeon:-



The Earl of Derby’s foundation collection of birds (now housed in the Liverpool World Museum) includes over 700 type specimens.  In biology a 'type specimen' is the original specimen from which a description of a new species is made. A type specimen is also called a holotype. 

The Spotted Green Pigeon, affectionately known as The Liverpool Pigeon, is the only surviving example of an extinct species -  Caloenas maculata.  Where it was collected and why it became extinct is a mystery. It probably came from one of the Pacific islands. 

Another important specimen is the first Australian Night Parrot ever collected, by the famous explorer Charles Sturt, before the end of the 1840s.  


This parrot - Pezoporus occidentalis - was thought to be extinct until an authenticated report occurred in 2006, when rangers found a dead specimen which had flown into a barbed wire fence in the Diamantina National Park in south-western Queensland. Its conservation status has been changed from the Insufficiently Known to Critically Endangered.

11 comments:

  1. Wow, CJ, I'm so happy that you're back.
    Look how much I've learned already from just a few posts.
    Lovely plumage on the birds in the photos made me want to stop cursing at the darn pigeons here....NOTTTTT!!!

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  2. Trust Liverpool to have it's own pigeon......Great!

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  3. beautiful captures...lovely!

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  4. When I lived in England, I was told that if a bird pooped on you, it was good luck. I was only lucky once and it was on my coat sleeve and not my head! The seagulls are getting very agressive in Eastbourne now, we saw one snatch a full sandwich from a lady!
    I find birds fascinating and look for them wherever I am visiting. Instead of their differences, I am struck by the similarities.

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    1. Yes, I was once told it was lucky but I remain unconvinced!

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  5. Well I didn't know that!

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  6. Did you ever read The Conjuror's Bird by Martin Davies? (Earlier novel by the author of The Unicorn Road) If not, I think it's another one that you might like :) It involves the (extinct) Mysterious Bird of Ulieta.

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    1. Yes, I loved The Conjuoror's Bird, thanks Monica.

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    2. I, too, loved The Conjuror's Bird; I think I posted a review of it on my blog.

      Here in Ludwigsburg, as in most German towns, it is forbidden to feed pigeons. They are considered vermin, causing considerable damage to buildings. I do not know how much of it is true, and how much of the damage comes from car fumes etc., but I won't feed pigeons here - they thrive on what people throw away and don't need additional food.

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  7. Lovely post. I especially love the first photo. There are many pigeons here in Montreal as well as seagulls. In Montreal the French call the seagulls "les oiseaux McDo", or "McDonald's birds" because they are so often found hovering over McDonald's restaurants. They seem to love McDonald's french fries. :)

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  8. Interesting. Wood Pigeons and Collar Doves in my garden.

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