Friday, March 12, 2021

Pigeons gonna poo...

So a common site around the Middle East are pigeon towers. Every country will have a different style that is common to their region.

What is a pigeon tower and why are they needed you ask?

They are a holdover from yesteryear (and by yesteryear, I mean have been used for 1000s of years). While living in a sandy environment, the soil/sand does not have many minerals and nutrients for farming/plants. So the towers were built to provide a place for pigeons to roost and nest. Inside with 100s, even 1000s, of pigeons roosting in the same tower, on the floor there would start to be a build up of guano (bird poop). The guano could then be used as fertilizer.

If you look closely, you see each tower has a door at the bottom. That's for some lucky fellow to go inside and scoop the poo.

Now that modern technology provides for synthetic fertilizers, shipping/trading also allows for importation of enriched soils, and I have even signs warning that sprinkler water is not potable as it is gray water, the use of Pigeon Towers is not necessary. Though they are still used as a cultural or traditional reminder of years gone by.

If you are curious how tall they stand, it's about 40 feet. Check out this last photo with the ATM machine in the background - which you know is probably 7 feet tall (or go back to the first photo and notice the man - he's probably almost 6 feet tall).

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