Pigeon Rivalry

Pigeons standing opposote each other by gate

Yankees versus Red Sox, an age-old rivalry!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

This hundred year old feud started when a Red Sox player moved to the Yankees. But is the quarrel JUST for the baseball fans? Or also for… the pigeons?

Meet Elizabeth Carlen and Jason Munshi-South from Fordham University. They studied pigeons from six big cities on the East Coast, from Boston down to Washington. They collected blood samples from five-hundred pigeons of the same species.Then they compared their DNA, the biological codes that make pigeons unique.

What did they find? New Yorker pigeons have different DNA sequencing from the Bostonians. What else? Any two pigeons found within sixteen-miles are VERY closely related. But more than fifty miles apart? Almost no similarities at all!

Big cities are a melting pot…for humans. But the pigeons? Apparently, they don’t fly far from the nest. What does that mean for their favorite team?

Well next time you meet a pigeon, ask them: Yankees or Red Sox? But be prepared to get dumped on!