Have you seen me? seeking photos of fancy-footed escapes!

SarahRackowski

In the Brooder
Jun 5, 2020
21
40
36
New Jersey, USA
hello everyone!
I am currently concluding a study on the microevolution of feral rock pigeons within the United States. From my research, I have been able to conclude that pigeons in northern regions have longer leg feathering than birds from southern regions. However, as a colleague pointed out to me, the genetic influence of domestic escapes may be altering the phenotypes of some of the ferals, meaning that I need to figure out where and how many domestic escapes with leg-feather genes can be found.
This is where you come in. I have never seen a domestic escape with heavy leg feathering, but it seems many of the good people of the internet have. If you find a pigeon with leg feathering roaming around outside, please add a photo of the bird to this thread along with the date and the most precise location you can provide!
many thanks
Sarah Rackowski
 

SarahRackowski

In the Brooder
Jun 5, 2020
21
40
36
New Jersey, USA
here are a few examples of the birds I am looking for:
 

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biophiliac

Traveler in BYCLand
5 Years
Apr 22, 2016
7,339
28,002
1,042
DeForest, WI
here are a few examples of the birds I am looking for:
Most of the 'domestic escapes' we see on this forum are strayed racing homers. Over the last couple of years I recall less than 5 fancy breeds and only one feather legged, a fantail found on someones driveway. I wouldn't have put money on that bird surviving to contribute genes to a wild flock.

A feral hen joined my loft 2 years ago and paired up with one of my racing homers. She has small close feathers covering her legs except for the toes, as if she is wearing leggings. I have seen a couple other members of her origin flock and they were clean legged. I don't know how much of an advantage it is since pigeons do very well in winter here without feathered legs. I gets well into the teens below zero Fahrenheit. But she is very cute. I let her raise one clutch but she did not pass on the trait to either of her offspring.


Your research sounds interesting.
 

SarahRackowski

In the Brooder
Jun 5, 2020
21
40
36
New Jersey, USA
Thank you for asking!
The longest feathered legs occurred in the northern study regions (labeled regions 1 and 2 on the graph and shown in yellow and green on the map) the leg feathering of pigeons in southern regions (labeled 3 and four on the graph and shown in blue and red on the map) had significantly shorter leg feathering. (the graph is still a mock-up I made 5 minutes ago...gonna need a little more graphic design work before publication!)
 

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SarahRackowski

In the Brooder
Jun 5, 2020
21
40
36
New Jersey, USA
This is my current map of domestic leg feathering, with red circles meaning breeders of feather-legged breeds, and blue rhombi showing the locations of documented feather-legged escapes..... it's basically a population density map
 

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cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
16,831
56,967
1,267
Melrose Park Illinois
This is the map of feral pigeons with heavy, noticeable in photographs, leg feathering...not quite the same as the map of domestic birds!
I do see the Chicago area is included on your map. BTW most of the regular posters (on the pigeon forum) know that I :loveferal pigeons:hugs.
The sad truth about feral pigeons in Chicago, is the fact that the city is at war with them. Exterminator (pest control) companies have all sort of methods trying to rid premises, and other locations of them:hit:hit:hit... I personally do not agree with those methods. :he... I think the fine/punishment, if caught feeding feral pigeons is every last penny you got, or a front row seat on SPARKY. :old:gig
My accepted way to control feral pigeon population, is being practiced in other countries/areas with success. They build large dovecotes, and feral pigeons go there to nest. Municipal animal control workers have access to the interior of these large structures, and and remove eggs. Not exactly sure if they replace with plastic duds.
I will be on the lookout for pigeon that I can photograph for you. I of course will only be able to take pictures, and not able to catch and measure feather length.
WISHING YOU BEST IN YOUR STUDY,,,,,,,,,,:thumbsup,,,,and :welcome
 

SarahRackowski

In the Brooder
Jun 5, 2020
21
40
36
New Jersey, USA
we have similar problems here in the east with pigeon controllers.......I was also unable to capture birds in Chicago on my visit there! However, the Feild museum has an incredible number of specimens, which stood in place of live birds (including many with long leg feathering!)
thank you for being on the lookout!
 

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