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Peregrines and Pigeon Plumages

Copywright: Ben Mealer 2007

Urban Peregrine Falcons rely on Rock Pigeons for much of their diet, however some pigeons appear harder to catch than others.

Pigeons with white rumps evade pursuing falcons more often than those with dark rumps. When scientists took dark-rumped pigeons and colored their rumps white, their survival rate improved.

The white rump, contrasting sharply with dark wings, may deceive the pursuing falcon, perhaps just long enough to give the pursuer the slip.

Find out more about how a bird's plumage can increase its survival rate at BirdNote!