Cover Image: A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching

A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching

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Member Reviews

Sweet jiminy, I love pigeons. I'm glad someone else loves them enough to write a while dang book singing praises of their majesty.
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A wonderful introduction to pigeons and birdwatching in general! I have not grown up around pigeons, but I still was able to gain a great appreciation for their unique traits and also see how some of these general pigeon/dove family traits manifest in my local family of mourning doves. They're such sweet pudgy birbs to watch that I'm sure if I ever lived in a city, I'd adore the pigeons just as much... if nothing else for their spectacular color variations! Mosco details the genetics behind these pretty colors and fancy feathers, as well as going into pigeon-keeping history, how they came to be feral birds, and provides a detailed section on how to "read" pigeon language. She also provides a brief epilogue on how to apply some basic bird watching skills towards watching other common birds, so this makes a perfect gift for the beginning city birdwatcher.
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Five stars!
Interesting and entertaining guide to all things pigeons. I've always felt that pigeons got a bad rap, and now, thanks to Rosemary Mosco and her book "A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching", I feel a bit vindicated. The book is definitely aimed at the middle school aged reader, but even as an adult I learned so much about this fascinating bird. I had no idea how pervasive or varied pigeons are. There is some form of the bird on nearly every continent, and while most of us think of the common domestic pigeon (or rock dove) when we think of a pigeon, some of them are very unique and quite beautiful. The author makes what could be a dry, tedious book into a fun, engaging read, covering everything from genetics and anatomy to domestication and behaviors. Her enthusiasm is contagious -- I don't think I shall ever look at a pigeon in quite the same way again! Definitely recommended for anyone with any interest in nature, birds or birdwatching.

I am so grateful to Workman Publishing Company and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching.
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I received an electronic ARC via NetGalley.

This is a charming and informative book about, well--pigeons. It covers a wealth of information, ranging from other related species, to general pigeon anatomy, to a (far from exhaustive) selection of breeds, an introduction to color genetics, and information on behavior. It is full of very cute pigeon cartoons used to illustrate its points, too.

I learned a lot about pigeons (I already found them interesting, but I think the book could win over people less well-disposed to feral birds if given a chance), and it's a surprisingly good review of basic biology--just focused on pigeons. It assumes very little prior knowledge from the reader, tends to explain concepts well, and frequently tries for humor.

I do wish there were photographs in addition to the cartoon pigeons. While the illustrations are very cute, I kept finding myself looking up some of the breeds and related species online while reading.
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I enjoyed Mosco's fun approach to educating us about all things pigeon! From famous historic birds such as Cher Ami to bird anatomy, the lessons are taught with humor. I wish my kindle version had complete illustrations, and that the asides weren’t in such a light typeface,  but I thoroughly appreciated the information.
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A fun introductory guide to pigeon identification, behaviors, and history. The illustrations were enjoyable and lent a casual ambience to the book. Author Rosemary Mosco shares information about pigeons in a humorous and light-hearted manner, making it a fun and interesting read.

**I received an electronic ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review of this book,
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A quirky yet informative guide book on pigeons. Rosemary Mosco's "A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching" covers multiple bodies on bird's history, physiology, genetic variations, diet and their behaviors. Mosco's impeccable writing is insightful, accessible and easily understood. For someone who doesn't have much basic knowledge on birds in general, this was a great introduction to pigeons. Filled with colorful illustrations and texts, Mosco delivered it in an engaging and humorous manner. The most wondrous thing was the author's utmost enthusiasm and optimism when sharing her knowledge about pigeons. Her passion really shines through. Lighthearted yet intelligent, it truly felt like I was having a fun and enlightening conversation with her. The author's dedication, knowledge and love for birds and nature is beyond inspirational. I have always been somewhat fascinated with pigeons and Mosco's book has been resourceful. It definitely sparked my interest in pigeons and enhanced my appreciation for these beautiful and unique species. I will be looking out for more of Mosco's works and even possibly her speaking engagements. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Essential resource and reference material for the most avid pigeon enthusiasts to the novice. Mosco reminds readers and watchers how engaging pigeons are, as well as examples of why they will always be worth the second look
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I grew up in a city and was taught pigeons were dirty and disease-carrying birds. This illustrated non-fiction book has changed my view. Pigeons are interesting birds and have a long connection with humans.  I am now fascinated with pigeons and have started looking at them closer. Rosemary Mosco’s art is playful and expresses the delight she finds in the birds. Her writing style is informative and yet still easy to understand for anyone. You do not need a deep knowledge of birds or nature to enjoy this.
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A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching is an interesting and accessible guide to pigeons by Rosemary Mosco. Due out 9th Nov 2021 from Workman Publishing, it's 240 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. Text search makes life somewhat easier.

Although this volume is ostensibly aimed at middle grade readers (10 year old me would've loved it), I learned quite a lot myself and I'm about 4 decades past being a middle grade reader. The language is simple enough for anyone to understand, but at the same time manages to be scientifically correct and use proper nomenclature. 

The layout is logical and progresses from: why watch pigeons, pigeon evolution (dinosaurs!), interaction with and development alongside humans, anatomy, plumage (genetics!), behavior, health concerns (very low), and some tantalizing bits about general birdwatching. 

The entire book is light and humorous and information dense. I grinned often whilst reading and found the style and the subject matter very engaging and fun. This would be a superlative public or classroom library acquisition, or gift to a nature/science interested youngster. It would also make a fine choice for smallholders (pigeons are easy and useful to raise), allotment/community gardens, and similar. There are no photographs, but the entire book is full of simple and well rendered line drawings (see cover). 

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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An enjoyable book about pigeons. Humorous, and also informative. My main takeaway is that pigeons aren't as gross as I thought! There are also lots of cool varieties of pigeons, and everyone should look at the glory that is a Jacobin Pigeon.
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Slightly interesting.  I was curious about them when I saw a few in my yard.  We never had pigeons there before.  It is educational and you learn a lot about pigeons.  For me, it was boring since I'm not obsessed over pigeons.
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Over the past year I have spent time at my local botanical garden. While there, I have observed robins, bluejays, woodpeckers, red-tailed hawks and more. On my walks of city streets, I have seen many pigeons but never really thought of them as being as interesting as the botanical garden birds that I viewed When I saw this title, therefore, I was intrigued. Was there more to the homely pigeon than I knew? You can be sure that there is!

Ms. Mosco’s enthusiasm for the pigeon comes across so clearly in this entertaining look at the species. She shares history, facts about behavior, appreciation for the physical appearance and colors of the species and so much more. With lively illustrations, many boxes of extra facts and love for the subject, Ms. Mosco captivates readers. Did you know that there is a pigeons in movies data base or that Tesla was in love with the pigeon that came to his hotel window? These are just two of the anecdotes that are found in the early pages of the book.

Engaged readers, watch out! The author may just make a pigeon watcher out of you by the time that you finish the book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my ow
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A charming little book - especially interesting is the chapter on pigeon genetics, which explains the different colorations of pigeons you may see and which are dominant genetically.
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What a fun little book!  Since pigeons live in cities, many of us pass by them on a regular basis without a second thought, or at least without a positive thought.  But, as Mosco shows us in A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching, Pigeons have played important roles in human history and pigeon keeping was once the hobby of royalty and the very rich.  Wherever we live, nature is just outside of our doors and Mosco shows us how to appreciate pigeons with detailed information on behavior, coloration and easy to understand genetics.  There are many sidebars with all sorts of interesting tidbits.  I also love Mosco's illustrations and cartoons that are sprinkled throughout the Pocket Guide.  

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this arc in return for an honest review.
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Now THIS is a fabulous book!  Very practical, accessible, witty and informative.  Most of us are accustomed to seeing pigeons but perhaps not really noticing them.  So trite but from now on I will pay greater attention to them.  Amazingly, these remarkable creatures survive our -40C climate better than I do!  There were several a-ha moments when reading this.  Love those.

The author writes simply, engagingly and entertainingly in a very understandable way.  She manages to add humour to scientific details such as nomenclature, genetics and anatomy.  There is even a page on pigeon expressions.  This is definitely not remotely text-bookish (for those who are put off by that sort of thing).

Nikola Tesla was smitten with these fascinating birds which clap, dance, kiss and use tactical rolling maneuvers   on the ground when eyed up by predators.  They can range in size from paper currency to a loaf of bread.  Reading about their life-saving role in the wars (flying speed of 97 kph) is mind blowing.  The author describes several species (which I subsequently looked up online) including the Scandaroon (priceless Salvador Dali painting analogy), Fantail, Arabian Trumpeter and Frillback.  

Remarkably, pigeons soak up fresh oxygen with each breath, even when exhaling.  Unlike humans, their blood cells are oval in shape.  Their beaks remain closed when they coo.  Gular fluttering is new to me.  And no, I didn't try it!  There is even information on predators and what to do if you find an injured pigeon.  The mating illustration, though!  Details like that are what elevate a good book to a great one.

Anyone interested in birds ought to grab this book.  Kids would enjoy learning from it, too.  Excellent timing as many people seem to be enjoying local nature these days, whether rural or urban.

My sincere thank you to Workman Publishing Company and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this educational book...such a fun treat!
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I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley and voluntarily reviewed it.

One day while I was browsing through the recently added titles on Netgalley this book caught my eye. Usually I limit my non-fiction book reading to book marketing related books, but something about the cover and blurb caught my attention and I hit request before I could think twice. Luckily I got accepted and I was really excited to start reading this one. I knew hardly anything about pigeons before I started this book and after reading this one I really know a lot more and had a fun time learning more.

A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching is a great read. It's written in an easy to follow and pleasant to read style. The book is also filled with illustrations of pigeons and at times other birds. I liked the illustrations and it added to the book. I really like how the book is easy to follow even for those who know nothing of pigeons and this book really enhanced my knowledge of pigeons.

Most of all this was such a fun read. I loved reading it and sharing the new tidbits I learned about pigeons with those around me. It was fascinating to learn about a topic I knew so little about and the more I read the more I grew to understand why the author likes these birds so much. The bits about the history as well as the interesting habits were probably my favorite parts. There are also parts about different types of pigeons, anatomy and more. There were so many interesting parts and I really enjoyed adding to my knowledge.

To summarize: This was such a great read! I had a lot of fun reading this one and learning more about pigeons. This book is easy to follow even if you know almost nothing about pigeons like I did. The writing style is pleasant and the artwork is great. I enjoyed learning more about pigeons and there is a lot of great information. This book really grew my knowledge of pigeons and interest in these birds. I would recommend this to everyone who would like to learn a bit more about pigeons!
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Looved it!

I do adore pigeons and believe they are great fixture of our cities. This book took my appreciation for these creatures to a new level, finding out more about their complex bodies, their traits and lives.

This book is so complex and so good, it's a treasure trove of surprising information, it features a lot of breeds without being overwhelming, there are a lot of details about how to spot different actions they take and how and when to take care of them. The writing is very balanced: the author acknowledges the history of pigeons being grown as food for humans, their importance to our environment but also cautions on the responsibilities of feeding them thus making their numbers grow. Pigeons do very well on their own.

All in all a fantastic, eye opening read. I adored the easy way in which the author approaches the readers, so many funny remarks! A true gem!
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Absolutely fantastic all around.

I came to this book as a pretty big pigeon fan already, so I didn’t personally need further convincing that pigeons are incredible. However, the book was so informative and enthusiastic about pigeons that I am making a commitment to stanning pigeons even more actively.

The author handles the subject with scientific rigour and historical awareness while keeping a very light, fun and enthusiastic tone throughout. It’s incredibly accessible and presents complex information in a very simple manner. When new words pop up, she tells you how they’re pronounced, and she explains complex topics from the ground up (for instance, instead of assuming readers will remember their biology classes from school or pointing them elsewhere for an explanation, a short primer on genetics is included before the section on pigeon genetics). I think this accessibility is one of the strongest points of the book. Even if you’re familiar with some of the topics beforehand, the explanations are so brief and simple (without sacrificing accuracy!) it feels like a welcome refresher instead of something boring you are reading through but already know. Even though the book does have a slight American flavour, luckily effort has been made to make it totally relevant for a more international audience. If pigeons are around you (and odds are they are), this will be relevant!

The illustrations are just perfect, really, working efficiently to accurately show particular points of pigeon anatomy and behaviour without losing any of the personality of pigeons, and often adding funny elements. The colours are absolutely gorgeous, and the style is so consistent throughout. So impressed by the visual aspects of this book (including layout and general design).

My only criticism is that I thought it presented (in)breeding in a very neutral way even when describing certain breeds as literally incapable of feeding their young or flying. I would have liked an explicitly critical approach to some of the more clearly iffy aspects of the selective breeding of sentient animals, but still, based on the general tone and some comments about us having a moral responsibility to treat animals humanely, especially those that exist because of out domestication and breeding, I think the author’s ethics would align with mine there. I’m so used to naturalists being dismissive about or downright hateful of urban wildlife that the author’s tone, enthusiasm and compassion for pigeons was very welcome and refreshing, especially when it’s clearly in no way incompatible with her scientific approach.

I liked it so much I’ll probably pick up a paper copy when it’s published. I think it would make a great gift too, for teens and adults alike.

I’d love to see this author tackle (urban) gulls in a similar manner!
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This is a gem of a book and is highly recommended. Living in an urban environment I am accustomed to seeing pigeons everywhere and for the most part ignoring them. However, in 2020 I spent a lot of time sat in my local square watching pigeons, observing their behaviour and wondering, why this and why that. This book was a godsend as it answered so many questions and is beautifully written. The puns make the topic area highly engaging and I adored the illustrations, which added character to the birds. It covers their genealogy, the history of domestic pigeons and keeping them, how and why they were revered and now why they are despised. As well as different breeds, plumage, their lifecycle and what to do if you find one injured.

Although it leans towards a USA based audience (for example it refers to USA organisations) this shouldn't put you off. For someone like me who is surprised at their new found interest in nature, this book is a great introduction to pigeons. It is comprehensive, enthusiastic and surprisingly - I couldn't put it down. More please.
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