Have been wondering about most photographed birds, thinking the pigeon has to be right up there. Indeed it is! 5th in line as far as my limited research tells me.
According to flickr 9.14.11 search results, ducks are first by a long shot (2,075,972,) followed by eagles (1,511,931) and then swans (925,360.) Robins next (875,159,) That’s four. Pigeons 5th (549,506.) Interestingly, food images show up on the first page of duck photos whereas pigeon doesn’t show up as food until pigeon photo pg. 13.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse images appear by pg. 5. There end up being a fair amount of them. Later and much fewer–photos of Pigeon Falls, Pigeon Cove, Pigeon Park, Pigeon Lake, The Pigeon Detectives, Pigeon John, Pigeon Toe Ceramics, pigeon pose….
If you do a google image search for the same birds (ducks, eagles, swans, robins and pigeons) the numbers get totally unwieldy but maintain their relative order. Except robins end up on top due to a confusion with Robin Williams and Batman.
Fitting nicely with the ordering theme of this post, found this photo of MissCharity’s on flickr pigeon pg. 40.
People might talk about pigeons as pests, but a recent visit to Venice, Italy revealed that this prevalent urban wildlife provides a constant stream of entertainment for kids, families, lovers, tourists and photographers. Everyone interacting with the pigeons out on the public squares was smiling and laughing. They walked around with outstretched, food-filled palms, calling for the pigeons to land on them. Pigeons appeared to enjoy the interaction too, devouring breadcrumbs and popcorn treats as they perched on the arms heads and shoulders of squealing people.
Playing with pigeons at Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy
Couple having their photo taken with pigeons
Even with all of the beautiful architecture to photograph in the public squares of Venice, there were more cameras pointed at pigeons and people.
Crop milk production in pigeons is stimulated by the hormone prolactin. (This is the same hormone that stimulates milk production in mammals.) Interestingly, prolactin produces an overall calming effect. Which fact leads neatly to a discussion of ‘calming’ and the effects of pigeon cooing on the human mind.
Predicated on the hypothesis that the human mind is pleasantly relaxed by the sound of pigeon cooing, we imagine the following experiment.
A range of volunteers, outfitted with electro-caps, is subjected to alternate recordings of circus music and pigeons cooing in the park. Brain activity is recorded. The simplicity of the data imaging is humble, especially when juxtaposed against the spectacular imaging techniques driving today’s science. However simple, we find it illustrates the point.
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