The pigeon’s body has developed by nature for life on land as well in the air. The wings of a flying pigeon have designed to afford maximum flight efficiency. Legs and feet have been modeled to walk on land and perch even on thin branches of trees. Pigeon anatomy that helps it perform such functions dealt with detail in this article, covering its external body parts.
Pigeon’s Outer Body Parts
Following outer parts of the pigeon’s body are described briefly in this article.
- Eye Lids
- Oil Gland
- Scales of legs
- Claws and Nails
Pigeon’s Outer Body Part Beak:
All pigeons consist of the upper and lower beaks. And they are used for picking up food and drink water. They feed the young in addition to breathing, scratching, and fighting. Pigeon beak use for offense and defense and nest building. These are different hues and colors depending on the breeds to which a pigeon belongs. They are in different colors like white, reddish-white, and jet black. It is quite often that the upper and lower beaks differ in coloration. The two beaks consist of a horny substance that continuously grows at their pointed ends. Due to their mutual friction and as they strike the floor or the feeder to pick up food
, their size remains typically unchanged.
However, due to some defect in their alignment, the upper beak may enlarge and grow downward, causing difficulty for the pigeon to feed. Such beak is called “Parrot” or “Hawk Beak.” The lower beak may also get enlarged due to the same reason but grows straight. Can remove these deformities by cutting back the extended ends with the help of s sharp pair of scissors. While doing this, make sure the cut does not injure the inner lining of the mouth flesh. If this happens, blood will ooze out. In that case, apply anti-septics immediately. The upper and lower beaks may also get deformed and go out of shape sideways due to disease.
Pigeon’s Outer Body Part Wattle:
Wattle is the bi-lobed raised fleshy part of a pigeon’s face just above the beak and below the eyes. It accommodates nostrils, nares of the organ of smell. It is also called Beak Wattle and Nostril Cere. In English, flying tipplers, tumblers, rollers, high flyers, low flyers, and other performing pigeons’ wattle are usually thin and fine-textured. In racer, carrier, and fancy pigeons, it is very thick and prominent, covered by the skin’s exposed portion that imparts it a particular color. It is white but of various shades in other breeds and is specific to a specific breed/strain. High and low flyer pigeons never have reddish or pink wattles. Wattle color is also indicative of a pigeon’s health. Dirty wattle indicating ill health.
Pigeon’s Outer Body Part Eye-Lids:
The eyelids constitute the outer ring around each eye, made up of the skin’s exposed portion. In high and low flyer pigeons, eyelids are thin and smooth. In certain breeds/strains, the eyelids are somewhat puffy. Its colors also vary widely and conform to head feathers’ color, and specific to a particular breed/strain. Simultaneously, judging a pigeon’s qualities, fanciers allocate great importance and pay special attention to this feature. They prefer a pigeon with matching head feathers, eyelids, the ground color of the eyes, and the beak. If a pigeon has all these same usually considered as a good flyer and breeder.
Pigeon’s Outer Body Part Oil Glands:
Usually, we find one of our pigeons rubbing its beak from where to start his tail feathers. There is a lump which is called the oil gland. When the pigeon rubs this protrusion, then he preening it through its body feathers. By doing so, a pigeon considered applying some oil to its feathers. He obtains oil from this oil gland. Such application makes pigeon feathers water-resistant to some extent; and also perhaps to shine. The majority of high and low flyer pigeons with the standard tail of twelve feathers have a single oil gland. However, pigeons with more than twelve tail feathers may possess two such glands. In some pigeons, the oil gland may be absent and represented by its opening only.
Pigeon’s Outer Body Part Skin:
Skin is the outermost protective covering of the body present below the feathers. Its main function is to protect the body against infection and cold. It is apparent that, unless there is a cut in the skin, no infection can occur. The skin also acts as a storehouse of fat deposited mostly over the back, sides, and abdomen of a pigeon and is drawn for use whenever and wherever it is required. The adult pigeon’s skin is quite thin compared to other birds and still thinner in case of squabs.
It is almost colorless in the adult case, but it is black in some breeds of duration fliers. The skin cleans itself through the natural process of flaking off. A pigeon skin also acts as an organ of touch, some of its parts being highly sensitive. With the help of such a facility, pigeons respond to external stimuli like heat and cold.
Scales of Legs:
The portion of legs below the thighs and above the feet of high and low flyer pigeons covered with protective horny scales called Scutellate. Leg scales of fancy pigeon breeds covered with feathers up to their toes. These scales are variable in number and shape specific to a breed. The Colour of the scales ranges from deep red, light pink, light buff to black. Fanciers of high and low flyer pigeons prefer dry scales of a particular color. They also dislike any feathering on feet and toes. They think such pigeons contain genes of some non-flying breeds.
Claws And Nails:
Claws or nails are fitted at the end of each toe and are horny. Their size differs with breeds, and so does their color, which usually matches that of the beak. However, the nails of the toes of the same foot may vary in color. The difference of color of these two body parts indicates that the individual results from the cross of different breeds possessing differently colored parts. The size of the nails also varies significantly from very tiny to quite large. The nails are usually bent downwards, but large sickle-shaped ones are curved sideways. Nails are used by pigeons
mostly for scratching and fighting.