Pigeons: Smarter Than You Think

Pigeons: Smarter Than You Think

Pigeons are smarter than you think. Feral urban pigeons. Rock Doves, Columbia livia, aka “rats with feathers.”

French pigeons, anyway, les pigeons sauvages française de Paris.

Researchers from Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense fed the pigeons of le Jardin des Plantes.  The Good Cop simply fed the feathered beasts; the Bad Cop was hostile. After six or nine feedings the birds could tell them apart, even when they switched coats.

The bird-brains can distinguish faces or other personal characteristics. Perhaps they make sure that’s your car before deciding to decorate it.


“Pigeons discriminate between human feeders,” Ahmed Belguermi, Dalila Bovet, et al., Animal Cognition

“Les pigeons de Paris sont de bons physionomistes,” Yves Miserey, Le Figaro

“Pigeons ‘home in on friendly human feeders,” Mark Kinver, BBC News


Centre sur L’Étude du Pigeon en Ville / Center on the Study of the Pigeon in the City website

Anti-Pigeon Car System

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-aFu

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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One Response to “Pigeons: Smarter Than You Think”

  1. Mike Licht Says:

    Vive le 14 juillet! Happy Bastille Day.

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