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Pigeons and Doves
Pigeons and Doves have several distinctive features of the biology. If there is one single thing that defines the pigeons, it is the presence of the 'crop', a storage sac in the throat. This allows for digestion of quickly gulped food. And in the breeding season produces a substance known as 'pigeon milk' of which both the parents use to feed the young (Crome 1998). They also have 'powder down' feathers. Instead of major oil glands to use for preening, they have special feathers that disintegrate to powder that the cleans and lubricates the feathers (Crome 1998).
Many people think they are split into two different groups. However, there is no true scientific technical difference between 'pigeons' and 'doves'. Generally, the smaller pigeons often get called 'doves', but this is fairly inconsistent. They can generally be split into two different groups, but this is based more on their ecology and diet. There are those pigeons that feed on seeds, and those that feed on fruit.
Those species that feed on seeds tend to live in more open, drier country, and these include some of the better known and more commonly seen pigeons. However, tropical rainforest has many of the second type. These fruit eaters tend to that live in these wetter forests, are lesser known, but more diverse. They tend to live high in the canopy, are often colourful, and difficult to spot.