Pigeons – An Unusual Source of Protein.


Every large city in sub-tropical regions is home to large number of pigeons. Venice’s San Marco square has literally thousands of pigeons. People buy from local vendors feed and the birds almost attack anyone with something in their hands that looks edible.

In London around the statue of admiral Nelson, thousands of pigeons wait for people to feed them. In some cities, like New Orleans or Istanbul or Damascus pigeons can become nuisance with their presence befouling car paintings and people.

Pigeons belong to the family of columbidae, and are spread in their various species all over the world except the Sahara desert and very cold regions i.e Antarctica, North Pole, northern Canada, Alaska, or northern Siberia just to name a few locations.

There are 300 species of pigeons varying in size, plumage colour, and feeding habits. The smallest (sparrow pigeon) weighs 22 grams and the largest (crowned pigeon) two to four kilograms.


are short-necked; stout-bodied birds that acclimatize to their environment, and often (in cities) become nuisance to motorists and pedestrians.

They eat seeds, fruits, and plants. City pigeons become occasionally ravenous and sense the availability of food; this makes them sit on the arms and heads of humans in an attempt to get fed.

City pigeons are descend from feral rock pigeons and breed very fast.

Rock pigeons were fist domesticated well before the modern calendar started in the western world.

Today in some Middle Eastern countries (i.e Syria, Egypt, Morocco) domesticated pigeons are raised for food.

You can buy live pigeons in the market, which the shopkeeper will slaughter, eviscerate and pluck for you as he does for chicken.

Pigeon meat is dry, and must be cooked in a fatty medium, i.e pan-fry in plenty of butter or oil, stew, or wrap in bacon and grill. It is flavourful and very lean, the reason for its dryness.

In Europe, wood pigeons are considered game and must be hunted or purchased in specialized stores.


are considered kosher according the laws of kashrut in the Torah.

In Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, there are many fanatical pigeon breeders, racers, and trainers, specializing in homing pigeons that were used in both World Wars successfully.

Today some ingenious inmates of jails try to obtain illegal drugs and opioids using trained pigeons, as was the case recently in a south American country, and another in the Middle East.

Pigeon breeding and racing have become very popular in Damascus, in addition to being a nuisance. There is now an ordinance in the books enforced by the police as vigorously as possible in the Middle eats to destroy any pigeon cage. Of course offenders resort to bribes and continue their illegal activity with impunity.


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