The most striking and amazing feature of doves and pigeons is that both the genders produce some milk to feed their young, called squabs. The milk is also called pigeon milk. Squabs are fed on pigeon milk for the first week they are brought in the world. Flamingoes and some varieties of penguins also produce such milk, known as crop milk. It is typically high in fat and protein content.
Doves are found in all corners of the world but for the deserts of Sahara and Antarctica. The Arctic is also not known to have doves. Doves have had a remarkable ability to adapt to all weather conditions. Their diet is mainly made up of fruits and seeds. But some species are known to eat insects and reptiles too. Other species consume snails and moths.
Several species of doves have been exterminated like the dodo and the passenger pigeon. Overhunting of these pigeons and loss of habitat resulted in their extinction.
Pigeons and doves made huge contributions for being transmitters of messages to and from soldiers during World War I and II. A number of them were even decorated with awards for their services.
The rock pigeon is the most common pigeon known to us today. Several varieties like the homing pigeon or racing homers were kept and reared as a hobby by many. They were even bred for their homing capabilities. Interbreeding for features like large feathers or typical feet or typical tail is quite common. White doves are often used by magicians in their tricks. They are also used as symbols of peace and tranquility.