The British royal family has kept racing pigeons since 1886 when King Leopold of Belgium presented some to the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII.
In the 17th century, King George I, decreed all pigeon droppings to be property of the Crown. This was because pigeon droppings were used in the manufacture of gunpowder.
Martha, the last known passenger pigeon in the world, died in Cincinnati Zoo on the first day of September in 1914.
A pigeon called G.I. Joe was awarded the Dickin Medal in 1946 for message-carrying services to the US army in World War II.
In 1995, Japanese psychologists reported that they had trained pigeons to tell the difference between paintings by Picasso and Monet, but they could not tell a Renoir from a Cézanne.
The first London Underground station to use kestrels and hawks to kill pigeons and stop them setting up homes in the stations was Northfields on the Piccadilly line.
When the mayor of Venice banned food sellers from St Mark's Square in 2008, in an attempt to limit damage to buildings by pigeon droppings, licensed sellers of bird food demanded compensation of £75 for each day they were out of work.
Pigeon post was first used by the Sumerians in 776BC.