|A Rock House Rock Pigeon!|
|The trail leading to the Rock House is beautiful.|
|Inside Rock House looking out. The pigeons would fly in and out through this opening in the cave. Birds roosted in the many crevices and cracks on the wall outside the cave as well as those inside.|
The birds would fly in and out of the cave, and I loved listening to their cooing and the constant flutter of their wings as they flew from roosting spot to roosting spot.
|This fellow is above me on a ledge inside the cave. If I would look to my right, I would see out of the opening in the photo above. Eventually this pigeon flew outside while another flew back in.|
|Love those pink feet!|
|This small rectangular reservoir was carved into the sandstone by Native Americans. They would use it to collect water. Now the pigeons used it for drinking and bathing (see the video at the end of the post).|
|A view out of the opening opposite the back cave wall where the birds were. This opening looks a little like a bird...|
Rock House video
Click here to watch the "Naturally Ohio: Rock House" video. It was made by the Ohio Public Broadcasting Station, and Pat Quackenbush, an ODNR Naturalist, is the narrator. Pat takes you on a tour of the trail and explains the flora, fauna and history of the Rock House. It's only 20 minutes, and it's really good!
Can pigeons diagnose cancer?
Click here for the article "Can Pigeons Really Diagnose Cancer? A new study says yes, but you're not likely to see them in lab coats anytime soon," written by Hannah Waters on the Audubon web site to learn about pigeons' ability to identify and sort visual patterns, including cancer cell patterns and healthy cell patterns. It can recognize all 26 letters in the alphabet, as well as different faces in photos.
The domestication of the Rock Pigeon
Click here to read about the earliest encounters of man with the Rock Pigeon. The first art appears in Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets dating back over 5000 years ago, but it's more likely the pigeon was domesticated by Neolithic man over 10,0000 years ago in the area near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers when humans started cultivating grains. In prehistoric times, Rock Pigeons probably lived with man in caves and in the crevices on the surrounding rock walls and cliffs.
A unique way of drinking water
Pigeons and doves drink water by using their bills like a straw, sucking water in while their bill is still immersed in the water. Most birds take a sip and toss their head back so the water flows down their throat. The following video is dark and poor quality (taken in a cave with my cell phone), but you can see the pigeon sucking up the water through its bill...
A Rock Pigeon drinking water at the Rock House from Kelly Riccetti on Vimeo.