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Pigeon Head Wiggling Reason Finder Device

A device for helping to find out why pigons wiggle their heads
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

Having read a discussion of why pigeons wiggle their heads while they walk, (http://www.straightdope.com/ classics/a1_016) I wondered why nobody suggested the following device:

Imagine a pigeon...

Glue one end of a long matchstick to the top of the pigeon's head, and the other to somewhere on its back.

The pigeon now cannot wiggle its head.

1) Posit that the head wiggling is for balance.

If the pigeon falls over, we can say that the head wiggling is necessary for balance.

2) Posit that the head-wiggling is to do with vision.

Block the pigeon's nostrils with very small earplugs.

Provide food for the pigeon to find.

If the pigeon cannot see the food to find it, we can say that the pigeon's vision is hampered by the lack of head wiggling.

3) Therefore: we now know why the pigeon wiggles its head! :)

Cheers & God bless Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

SammyTheSnake, Jan 27 2005

pigeons wiggle their heads cos they are attached to their legs and hence wobble when they walk... http://www.halfbake...e_20sporting_20nest
sammy, you need to break up the title - its screwing with the layout [po, Jan 27 2005]

Ask a scientist http://www.ccmr.cor...ation/ask/?quid=472
To see movement easier [Ling, Jan 27 2005]

Apparently, pigeons are pivotal to Google http://www.google.c...ogy/pigeonrank.html
[theircompetitor, Jan 27 2005]

Baby Pigeon Whereabouts http://www.straight...assics/a1_015b.html
courtesy of The Straight Dope [calum, Jan 27 2005]


       Chickens, too.
I'm waiting for the answer to this one, but I suspect it is just a funny Python walk.
Ling, Jan 27 2005

       ...and the reason why their heads are attached to their feet (the muscle crosses over their knees)is so that when perching on a tree, their clawhold becomes tighter as they fall asleep.
po, Jan 27 2005

       well since [po] went to the trouble to fix and answer this   

       here's a crumb
dentworth, Jan 27 2005

       Pigeons have claws? Now I know why a certain cat shys away when near them.
skinflaps, Jan 27 2005

       So, 'to gain depth perception' is just that little bit to obvious, then.
st3f, Jan 27 2005

       [po], Do chickens sleep in trees? I've heard stories about dead birds that stay up in the trees because of the self tightening grip, but I never saw a dead chicken in a tree (or pigeon for that matter). Perhaps I don't get out enough.
Ling, Jan 27 2005

       sorry I don't know about chickens but I imagine they just evolved from the ones in the trees. pigeons sit in trees and coo to each other but I think they nest under roofs and bridges mainly. I love the way the big birds can sit on the tiniest of twigs right at the top of the tree.
po, Jan 27 2005

       The question I would like answered: pigeon chicks, where do they hang out?
skinflaps, Jan 27 2005

       they seem to stay hidden away in the nest until they are almost as big as an adult bird.   

       I found this quote which made me laugh - "Re your recent comment on baby pigeons: don't be fooled by false sightings from gullible bird lovers. The blunt truth is this: the pigeons you see all over the city are the baby pigeons. The adult has a wingspan of 8-12 feet. When they reach adulthood they fly to remote mountain fastnesses and live off the occasional tourist. "
po, Jan 27 2005

       Heh, that clears that up then, nearly time to go outside.Weird it's dark and all the pigeon chicks have disappeared.
skinflaps, Jan 27 2005

       [Ling] - I have (once) seen a dead pigeon sitting in a tree. I knew it was dead because it's eyes were missing and it didn't move when I yelled at it - all the other pigeons flew away. Oddly enough the other pigeons were far more perturbed by me shouting "Oi! Pigeon!" than they were by roosting next to one of their dead compadres.
wagster, Jan 27 2005

       wag, did you think you could bring it back from the dead by yelling at it?
po, Jan 27 2005

       Or maybe the live pigeons were at the dead one's wake, [wags]. Or funeral. How would you feel if a pigeon interrupted a friend's or family member's funeral by saying, "Oi! Human!" ??? You'd probably fly away, too.
Machiavelli, Jan 27 2005

       didn't they try this with katherine hepburn?
benfrost, Jan 27 2005


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