Monday, May 11, 2015

The American Pigeon Museum & Library

The American Pigeon Museum & Library

Last week we went on an adventure to The American Pigeon Museum in Oklahoma City.
We were met outside by the Curator, Lorrie Monteiro, who was gracious enough to speak with us about pigeons and show us a few of the lovelies they had showcased out front. 
Our first meeting was with the beautiful, curly, Frill Back. 

Next we met Elvis, the King pigeon. This breed of pigeon is known for its large size and is often bred for squab production. What is squab production? Well it's a culinary term for young pigeon meat, very young. Yikes! But no worries, nobody will be having Elvis for lunch that's for sure! 

Elvis was a beauty. So gentle and calm.

On down the row we met another feathered lovely:
This beauty is another from the Fancy breed, a Jacobin.

Here are some pigeon facts:
~Pigeons mate for life.
~Hens lay 2 eggs every 4 weeks.
~During day time the male sits on the eggs while the female takes the night shift.
~Both parents breast feed the babies through milk glands located in their neck.
~Babies are out of nest around four weeks of age but tend to stay close for a few weeks.
~Pigeons molt twice a year, spring and fall.
~They can fly up to 600 miles in a day.
~Their biggest predator is the Hawk.
~Their friend is the crow and since Hawks do not like crows they're really great at keeping the pigeons safe from their enemy when they hang around.
These babies shown here are just a little over 2 weeks old and almost as big as their Mother.
In the picture below you can see the new feathers growing in and replacing the soft yellow down they are born with.

Once inside the museum we learned so much about pigeons and their place in history. Of course most everyone knows about their role played in WWI and WWII however, did you know that early Olympians used them to send messages to their cities during the games to let them know if they had won an event by the color of string tied to the pigeon's leg?

Did you know that pigeons are commonly called doves? That's right! When Noah released his dove it was actually a pigeon! So when folks release their white doves at their weddings they're really releasing pigeons. 

There is so much wonderful history at The American Pigeon Museum & Library. 
So when in Oklahoma City, OK please stop by for a visit. They are located at 
2300 N.E. 63rd St, OKC 73111
in the Adventure District close to the Oklahoma City Zoo and Science Museum Oklahoma.
Admission is FREE however a donation box is located at the visitors information desk.

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