Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And the World Courtney Humphries Superdove How the Pigeon Took Manhattan And the World Why do we see pigeons as lowly urban pests and how did they become such common city dwellers Courtney Humphries traces the natural history of the pigeon recounting how these shy birds that once made
  • Title: Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And the World
  • Author: Courtney Humphries
  • ISBN: 9780061259166
  • Page: 195
  • Format: Hardcover
Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And the World Courtney HumphriesWhy do we see pigeons as lowly urban pests and how did they become such common city dwellers Courtney Humphries traces the natural history of the pigeon, recounting how these shy birds that once made their homes on the sparse cliffs of sea coasts came to dominate our urban public spaces While detailing this evolution, Humphries introduces us to synanthropy The concept tWhy do we see pigeons as lowly urban pests and how did they become such common city dwellers Courtney Humphries traces the natural history of the pigeon, recounting how these shy birds that once made their homes on the sparse cliffs of sea coasts came to dominate our urban public spaces While detailing this evolution, Humphries introduces us to synanthropy The concept that animals can become dependent on humans without ceasing to be wild they can adapt to the cityscape as if it were a field or a forest.Superdove simultaneously explores the pigeon s cultural transformation, from its life in the dovecotes of ancient Egypt to its service in the trenches of World War I, to its feats within the pigeon racing societies of today While the dove is traditionally recognized as a symbol of peace, the pigeon has long inspired a different sort of fetishistic devotion from breeders, eaters, and artists and from those who recognized and exploited the pigeon s astounding abilities Because of their fecundity, pigeons were symbols of fertility associated with Aphrodite, while their keen ability to find their way home made them ideal messengers and even pilots.Their usefulness largely forgotten, today s pigeons have become as ubiquitous and reviled as rats But Superdove reveals something surprising By using pigeons for our own purposes, we humans have changed their evolution And in doing so, we have helped make pigeons the ideal city dwellers they are today In the tradition of Rats, the book that made its namesake rodents famous, Superdove is the fascinating story of the pigeon s journey from the wild to the city the home they ll never leave.
Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And the World Courtney Humphries

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One Reply to “Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And the World”

  1. I have just finished the unique story about pigeons This lighthearted study of this bird gives the reader a new way to look at the pigeon and how it has impacted our lives.Ms Humphries gives us her own personal look as she expresses her study of these birds, while keeping it light, she fills us with knowledge and the unexpected look at the value of these birds If you are looking for something strangely interesting, this could be the book to pick up and read.

  2. I m not as a rule, interested in birds, but I was interested in learning about Rock Pigeons and how they have come to dominate the urban landscape I m not sure I have learned much additional from this book, except to call them Rock Pigeons , Egyptians kept pigeons, and there are much better books on this topic than SuperDove I would gladly read anything, short story, blog post, or article written by Courtney Humphries Her chapter writing is fine and enjoyable, but where is the book It s her fir [...]

  3. I m pretty sure that the title and cover image were put together by the publisher without much input from the author, because I thought the book was much subtle and thought provoking than you might guess from the superdove picture but an easy and pleasurable read nonetheless Humphries does a wonderful job of exploring our conceptions about invasive species, what being wild and natural really means, the wonder that is evolution, and a lot else, all though the lens of a creature that, when you ta [...]

  4. This book is fine, but I have no idea why the word Manhattan is on the cover I guess I have a few pages left, but so far the book has almost NOTHING to do with NYC.

  5. I picked this book up and set it down dozens of times over the months it took me to get through it I ran through Rats much faster Why In short, Rats had a compelling narrator, if only in his neurotic stalking of the four legged vermin Superdove isn t exactly a scholarly work its author, Courtney Humphries, is clearly aiming for a mass audience but what she crafts is ultimately less a narrative about, and a study of, the bird city dwellers love to hate The Rats author knew people would think he [...]

  6. I liked this little book The author interviews pigeon breeders, pigeon racers, behavioral scientists and pigeon enthusiasts to find out about this once domesticated but now feral creature that exists in our midst, yet is so easy to ignore I liked how she juxtaposed the average urban dweller s apathy or downright disgust towards these birds with the clever existences they ve carved out for themselves.The most fascinating part I found was her description of how pigeons focus and visual accuracy w [...]

  7. Despite the atrocious and distressing cover publisher what were you thinking , this book is a pretty thorough natural history of the pigeon and its rise as the ubiquitous urban bird The author eats squab, peeks into pigeon centric aviaries, seeks out wild rock doves, attends a pigeon lovers meeting, and generally gives us glimpses into different aspects of pigeonry pigeonry I d love a little information about the ways that pigeons and other animals can co develop alongside humans without becomi [...]

  8. Superdove Subtitle How the Pigeon Took Manhattand the World by Courtney HumphriesCourtney Humphries has for her focus in this book the humble rock dove Excuse me, it s no longer known officially as a rock dove, they changed the name to rock pigeon, because the opinion of this bird known to most of us as pigeons, aka rats with wings had dropped so much that the people whose job it is to determine such things could not stomach the idea of it being called a dove.There s plenty of pigeons in the boo [...]

  9. I m glad I read this so soon after Pigeons The Fascinating Saga of the World s Most Revered and Reviled Bird they cover a lot of the same territory, but Blechman went heavier on the natural history and colorful modern pigeon world characters which was nice, except that the prose was plodding It was good to already know that kind of thing, as it was what I was after, reading this Superdove has cultural history, which isn t so much what I wanted, but it s a much better book Better organized, bett [...]

  10. This was book was rad It s been about a month since I read it, so some of the details are fuzzy, but it was totally enjoyable Read it on the plane in the airport, and my biggest complaint is that it s so quick short that I ended up having to buy a book for my return trip I read both this and the Ida Tarbell book on the trip out Covers the pigeon as a historical, scientific, and cultural phenomenon, including both pigeon fanciers like Darwin and pigeon mothers people who feed urban birds , plus S [...]

  11. I really enjoyed this book It was quirky, funny, and covered many different facets of what it means to be a pigeon and what that relationship means to human beings I learned about how Pigeon messaging actually works and the sort of strange sense of nobility the bird once held in role As well as their role with humans when they were considered a source of food and were domesticated as such in juxtaposition to how pigeons are viewed today on the street I didn t realize pigeons have such a rich his [...]

  12. This is my favorite kind of popular scientific nature writing I learned so much about these unfairly maligned birds, and Humphries writes with a pleasing mixture of intelligence and accessibility Really, pigeons stand out as a true superhero of nature, one of the few creatures of this earth who is neither wild or domesticated, but a strange and wonderful amalgamation of both Truly, I think the reason why we dislike ubiquitous, hardy city species such as doves and their mammal counterparts, rats [...]

  13. This book was well written and interesting to read I can only recall one chapter that I found to be a little dry, but I think that s based on my own biases I would never consider myself to be a pigeon person, but I love seeing them around the city, and it was really great to learn about where they came from and how they live I totally recommend this book to folks who are interested in the quirkier aspects of nature city life.

  14. Superdove was a very enjoyable read What made it so was the passion Courtney Humphries brought to the subject No matter where her research took place, be it a library, the alley ways of Boston New York, a small town in Switzerland, the cliffs of Sardinia where true wild pigeons still fly free, or a fancy restaurant where she tried the squab, her passion made each new adventure a pleasure to read.

  15. An interesting account of the natural history of a most unnatural bird, the feral rockdove For obvious reasons, it s been compared to Rats, but both subjects and books are different She puts together some of the natural history, the artificial history, and current research, as well as some personal observations Given their ubiquity in urban environments, it was entertaining to learn about them.

  16. I picked up this book because I thought the title was that good Also, I have a thing for birds I look at them A lot I think about them a lot And now I have begun to read about them a lot.I ve never taken the trouble to kind of analyze this interest, but I m glad it leads me to things like cultural histories of pigeons.

  17. Courtney is a wonderful writer I now appreciate pigeons The part about how Darwin incorporated pigeons into his research, I found especially interesting It gave me a glimpse into who Darwin was as a person Perfect for his 200th birthday on Feb 12, 2009.

  18. This book was enlightening and echoed a lot of facts and concerns about pigeons that I have recently been studying It was easy to read, but it did take me a while to get through I enjoy the authors mostly neutral stance, and her laid back writing style.

  19. I had no idea there was this much to learn about the ubiquitous pigeonis book is an easy, informative read, and it will likely spark plenty of the meaningless bar conversations i will strike up in the future.

  20. As the pigeons biggest fan, I was unable to finish reading this book About 50 pages into it I became outrageously bored It is written as a college essay with little to maintain the reader s interest, even when said reader wants to know everything about pigeons.

  21. If you want to know about pigeons I would recommend reading Andrew Blechman s book Pigeons over Superdove.

  22. Lots of fun and pretty informative Who doesn t need to know about the world right in front of them

  23. I enjoyed this book, I learned a few things about my fine feathered neighbors especially their mad quality control skillz , but I kinda wished the tone wasn t quite so dry.

  24. Not the most riveting science history I ve read, but it has an interesting point of view and some good information.

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