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Did you know a dove is actually a pigeon?

Lauren Smart

"Pigeons are very friendly birds," Director of the Trinity River Audubon Center Benjamin Jones says, "They don't bite, they don't scratch. For centuries, they've been helpful animals for humans." 

This Saturday from 1 -2 pm at Klyde Warren Park, the Trinity River Audubon Center presents its newest program, "The Secret Life of Pigeons." This interactive program gives insight into how these birds raise their babies, how they feed and the history of the species' involvement in human culture. 

One of the activities during the program will allow kids to write secret messages that will be put in the pigeon's carrier tubes and flown back to the Center. Because the pigeons fly up to 70 mph, the message will be back to the center in 10 minutes and it will be decoded and placed on their Facebook. 

"Pigeons are like the old school Twitter," Jones laughed. "I mean, at the Center we work everyday to make sure that humans are not the only ones left tweeting." 

Although the program is tailored for younger bird lovers, Jones expects that the adults in attendance will have some of their assumptions about the birds challenged. As an example, he points out that the dark, larger pigeons are considered the "rats of the sky," while the white, smaller pigeons are considered a symbol of global peace and love. "A dove is a pigeon," he says. "There is no scientific difference." 

The now-extinct Dodo bird was also a pigeon. And these are only a few of the things to be learned during "The Secret Life of Pigeons." 

"I think this program will open up a whole new world," Jones says. "And I hope it opens new eyes to nature and maybe changes some attitudes." 

"The Secret Life of Pigeons" will take place the last Saturday of every month from 1-2pm with a demonstration, crafts, and live birds.