[Fr.] A genus of birds found in all parts of the world, there being nearly 500 different kinds. Their wings are strong, and they can fly great distances. The wild pigeon, or passenger pigeon, is about the size of a turtle-dove, but with a long wedge-like tail. There are numerous varieties produced by domestication, including the fantail, the tumbler, the pouter, etc. One of the most important of these is the carrier pigeon, which is capable of flying long distances at rapid speed. These birds are noted for their love of home, and they will find their way back even when taken hundreds of miles away. For this reason they have been used from the most ancient times for carrying letters, and it is from this that they get their name.