Pigeons and Doves of the World. By Derek Goodwin. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London, 1967. 446 pages; three colour plates; many maps and line-drawings. £6 6s. In his opening paragraph, Derek Goodwin writes of feral pigeons bringing 'a welcome touch of life and beauty' to cities the world over. A view which would astonish many bird-watchers and most municipal authorities, it illustrates the affection he has always felt for doves and pigeons. Since boyhood he has kept them in aviaries and studied them in the wild, and in recent years he has been engaged professionally on research into their taxonomy and comparative behaviour. This volume sets the seal on many years of inspired and intensive labours. The pigeons and doves are a highly successful group, found almost throughout the world except for the polar regions. The greatest variety, and the most superbly coloured, occur in the Oriental and Australasian regions, but some of the more sober species of the northern hemisphere have been numerically the most successful (witness the Woodpigeon and Collared Dove, as well as feral pigeons), adapting to man's drastic changes of the habitat. They vary greatly in size, shape and colour, yet they are almost always recognised, even by the non-expert, as 'pigeons'. The only living group to which they bear any resemblance is that of the sandgrouse, usually placed in the same order, Columbiformes. Derek Goodwin, however, believes that the sandgrouse are more closely related to the plovers, and classifies all living pigeons
Volume: 
Issue 7
Authors: 
Watson, A
Cramp, S
Watson, A
Cramp, S

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