Meet the pied imperial pigeons
Did you know that the amazing birds at our World of Wild Theater are not the only ambassador birds we have at Zoo Atlanta? If not, then head on down to Wieland Wildlife Home. Walk down our boardwalk past the small mammals, kitchen and reptiles, and you’ll see Squit and Bobby, the pied imperial pigeons. They were hatched right here at the Zoo in July and August, so we are very close to their first birthdays!
Pied imperial pigeons are native to Asia, Australia and the Philippines, and are frugivores, which means they eat a variety of fruit. In doing so, they have a very important job, and that is seed dispersal. When they swallow fruit, the seeds in the fruit pass through undigested and come out the other end pre-fertilized. These newly-fertilized seeds hit the ground and start growing again! So the pigeons are helping to maintain their own food sources in their native habitats.
Here at Wieland Wildlife Home, the pigeons get a variety of fruit and a chow that we use for training rather than seed dispersing. They are learning to voluntarily enter a kennel and fly from one care team member to another. We are working with Squit and Bobby on these behaviors to get them ready for our wildlife presentations and encounters. Sometimes you might even see us in their home working on these training sessions.
When Squit and Bobby aren’t training with the care team, you can see them sitting on perches in the outside portion of their habitat enjoying the nice warm sun, and if you happen to stop by on a warm day you can see them enjoying a bath, rain or shine!
Keeper I, Ambassador Animals