The rock pigeon (lat. Columba livia) is a widely spread bird of the Columbidae family; it is considered to originate from Southern Europe, Southwestern Asia and North Africa. These birds were domesticated by humans in ancient times, and, as a result, the so-called domestic pigeons were bred (Columba livia var. domestica). During the Age of Discovery, people carried all their property with them, including pigeons. Feral pigeons (Columba livia var. urbana) were later widespread all over the world and became synanthropes, common inhabitants of big cities and farms. In the wild, the common rock pigeon usually settles on coastal rocks, mountain gorges or along rocky river shores, often close to bushes or farmland. Its semi-domesticated offspring easily adapted to life near human dwellings, as the stone buildings look like natural habitats, and food waste serves as a reliable food supply in any season. Despite the early domestication and various habitat conditions, wild rock pigeons and their city relatives easily cross-breed, which, according to ornithologists, may lead to degeneracy and the gradual extinction of the former. In the wild, birds do not usually live more than three–five years, while domestic birds often live up to 15 years old, and some individuals up to 35. The words «sizak» and «sizar» are Russian folk names for the bird. In spoken Russian, the bird is often called «gulya» or «gulka» (this is where the Russian proverb «s gulkin nos» originates from, which means less than nothing).
Hunting for released pigeons
- Individual and group hunting with dogs;
- the hunt is held over 1 day with preparation for the hunt upon prior request.
- Applications to participate in a hunt must be submitted at least 7 days in advance, and the number of birds shall not be less than 100.