Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And the World
by Courtney Humphries
No current Talk conversations about this book.
This is a quick read about a bird that gets little respect, the pigeon. Many regard pigeons with horror as defilers of public monuments and spreaders of germs, while ornithologists tend to overlook them as being not "real" birds worthy of study. Despite this, pigeons have a long history of human interaction. They have been kept for food, used to convey messages, and are for showing and racing. The lowly (or rather, fascinatingly complex) pigeon helped Darwin formulate his theory of natural selection, and B.F. Skinner even wanted to train them to set off missiles! Like another bird that happily coexists with people, the crow, people tend to either love them or hate them, but either way, this is a fun and informative book.
Fairly decent book about the lives of feral pigeon populations around the world and how different cities cope with these birds in some alternative ways. You will be able to see some of the authors own biases come through that actually don't have anything to do with these pigeons. It was hard to stay interested in the material.
I enjoy "micro-histories", and one look at that tough pigeon on the cover of this book and I was hooked.
Courtney Humphries has created a fascinating look at the pigeon. I was especially interested to learn that they "date" for a period of days before mating. There was a discussion of why we never see baby pigeons, "pigeon mothers" (older women -- mostly -- who feed pigeons and how this makes a huge difference to the bird population in a given area), several tests to try to learn how pigeons find their way home, and a lot more. Fascinating.
From the subtitle, “How the Pigeon Took Manhattan…And the World,” I thought the entire thing would revolve around the reasons for the omnipresence of pigeons in cities around the world. Actually, the reasons for the prevalence of the pigeon, although a main thread, isn’t what I would consider to be the actual backbone of the book. “Superdove” is a work detailing the evolutionary and cultural history of the pigeon. “Um…fascinating…” I can hear you all saying, but it really is quite an interesting book. Humphries tells you everything that you never knew about pigeons and didn’t care enough to ask.
Seriously, though, this book was extremely interesting, particularly as it was on a topic that is prevalent but ignored by most city dwellers. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to look at pigeons differently - just don’t expect an extremely focused work.
For the full review:
An evolutionary and cultural history of the pigeon takes readers from the dovecotes of ancient Egypt and trenches of World War I to the pigeon-racing societies and city park benches of the modern world, in an account that explores the pigeon's role as creature that is both wild and dependent on humans.
No library descriptions found.
Amazon Kindle (0 editions)
Audible (0 editions)
CD Audiobook (0 editions)
Project Gutenberg (0 editions)
Google Books — Loading...
Melvil Decimal System (DDC)598.65 — Natural sciences and mathematics Zoology Birds Rasores, scratchers Columbidae; Pigeons, Doves, Dodos, etc
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.