ABOUT ME - My name is Amy and I'm a birder living in central Florida. On this blog I post book and birding product reviews as well as birder gift ideas and announcements related to my birder gift shop on this site. I also have a personal birding blog called Powered By Birds.

Recent Posts

Warning: mysql_query(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /srv/users/mfb/apps/mfb/public/blog/wp-content/themes/mfb/header.php on line 183

Warning: mysql_query(): A link to the server could not be established in /srv/users/mfb/apps/mfb/public/blog/wp-content/themes/mfb/header.php on line 183

    Warning: mysql_num_rows() expects parameter 1 to be resource, boolean given in /srv/users/mfb/apps/mfb/public/blog/wp-content/themes/mfb/header.php on line 205

Blog Categories

Recent Comments

  • Rachel Rasmussen: That can't be. The hummingbird was seen in British...
  • jeff harris: My favorite is the kestrel too .. ;) because it ...
  • Noah_Mitchell: What a cool item. I'd love to win this and head o...
  • ma: looking for the "Buy Now" button !! if only, huh?...
  • Soumyajeet: My favorite are kestrels. Darwin is a beauty!...
  • Dawn: Fun! Love the photo of you and Darwin!...
  • Deb Kral: Thank you for introducing your raptors, hoping to ...
  • Melissa: I always look for hawks along the highway on long ...
  • Drew: When I worked at Hawk Mountain Santuary, one of my...
  • Laura: Darwin is so gorgeous - well, they all are, really...


Blog Disclosure

Unless otherwise stated, all books and other products reviewed on this blog were purchased or independently acquired by the reviewer. Readers who make a purchase by clicking on links in product reviews or featured t-shirt posts (T-Shirt Tuesday) may result in the blogger receiving a commission or referral fee.

Book Review: Pigeons

Posted on February 11th, 2011 in Book Review, Books, Pigeons!

Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird by Andrew D. Blechman. First published 2006. As reviewed and pictured: hardcover, 239 pages.

Rock Pigeons are thought to be native to Asia, though they are among the most widely distributed bird species on the planet today. Their natural breeding habitat, coastal cliff faces, is easily replaced by city skyscrapers in urban areas. But pigeons were thriving among humans well before the age of the skyscraper. It was via strong-flying pigeons that the results of the first Olympic Games, in 776 B.C., were distributed.

I learned this historical tidbit, and countless others, reading Blechman’s engaging Pigeons. The book follows several different modern interactions between pigeons and humans: high-stakes pigeon racing; pigeon shooting; fancy pigeon breeding; pigeon farming; pigeon rescue groups; and more.

I was especially interested by the chapters on pigeon racing, where the author closely followed one champion pigeon racer through parts of a racing season. In contrast, the chapters on pigeon shooting (a “sport” I was not even aware of until this book) and pigeon meat farming (ditto) were difficult for this admittedly biased pigeon-lover to read. Some chapters were more interesting than others, though I did learn something from each of the authors encounters with various types of pigeon people.

While I enjoyed the book, I felt that several topics were barely explored, leaving me wanting more. Topics like champion pigeon racing or the use of homing pigeons to deliver life-saving messages in times of war deserve books of their own, and I felt a bit cheated more than once when finishing a chapter of Pigeons. I guess that’s always a risk when covering such a varied topic in one book. I give Pigeons 3.5 Goldfinches out of 5.

There is one comment
Mar 29, 2011
10:50 pm
#1 Becci wrote:

Pigeon hunting is legal in Pennsylvania, unfortunately, and it’s as cruel and disgusting as you can imagine. There’s an animal rights group there called SHARK that’s been trying to get it banned for a while. Their website is

Leave a Comment