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To Catch A Pigeon

Pigeons. Photo by Christie Taylor for Science Friday

Pigeons. Photo by Christie Taylor for Science Friday

Ever try to shoo a group of pigeons that crossed your path? Tired of dodging close flyovers of those pesky gray birds? The urban pigeon may feel like just another city nuisance, but there’s a lot they can teach us about how wildlife is adapting to co-exist with us. How are pigeons in New York related to pigeons in Boston, or Washington D.C.? Why are pigeons thriving compared to other birds? How is their gene pool changing in response to the daily stresses of city living?

The science is there… if you can chase it down. That’s where Elizabeth Carlen steps in. She’s an urban evolution graduate student at Fordham University who studies how pigeons are evolving in these metropolitan areas. SciFri producer Christie Taylor joins Carlen on a pigeon hunt, following the birds in the urban jungle of New York City. Join in on the wild-pigeon chase by listening to the audio diary while scrolling through the photos below.

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