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Why Peace Doves Released By Pope Were Attacked By Other Birds

January 28, 2014

This caught my eye as the story was just too unique and interesting to pass up.


One of the photos that made its way around the world and through social media was the release of doves at the Vatican this past week.  What happened next was something that seemed more fitting for the movies than for outside the Vatican.

The white doves came under attack from other birds.  But why?

Because the doves were white. Thousands of pigeons (relatives of doves) live in Rome, as in most cities. They range in color from grayish to brownish to blackish and everything in between. Many other species of birds live in Rome as well, but none are pure white. So if you’re an aggressive, badass bird (as gulls and crows tend to be), what’s going to draw your attention? The pure-white bird. What’s going to be the target of your aggression? The pure-white bird. There’s a reason that albino birds (and other animals born without any color pigment) generally don’t live long in the wild: They’re easily seen, they can’t hide, and predators single them out for attack.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 29, 2014 6:01 AM

    I am shocked that the crows and gulls could not overcome their innate nature when faced with religious related doves. There is a lesson there, I think.

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