Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan … And the World

Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And the World

author: Courtney Humphries
name: Elaine
average rating: 3.67
book published: 2008
rating: 4
read at: 2009/03/12
date added: 2009/04/16
shelves: environmentalism, non-fiction, science, sociology, urban-studies
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 Skinner’s attempt at guided missiles. Makes the case for the urban pigeon as a special case in the animal kingdom: neither wild nor domesticated, but evolved to co-exist in proximity to human settlement. (Will the same prove true of raccoons in North America?) Lots of interesting characters met along the way.