My great-grandfather, Sebastian Milleria, raised pigeons. One of my earliest memories was visiting him and my great-grandmother in Omaha, NB. On the side of their house were large pens where the birds were kept. He was extremely proud of his birds and won a number of competitions with them. Having figured this was a tradition he picked up while still living in Sicily, I asked my grandmother. She said he had joined a pigeon club and met a friend named Bailey. From that moment on, he raised prize pigeons. That was until the cages began to attract mice. At that point, my great-grandmother told him the pigeons had to go. I figured he had just set them free or gave them to other members of the pigeon club. Grimly, my grandmother detailed that he actually had to kill and clean the pigeons. Then my great-grandmother would cook them and use them in pasta sauce. Everyone except my grandmother ate the sauce. She said she never liked meat in her pasta sauce.
People are often indifferent to the pigeon but it is actually a sacred bird to my goddess embodiment, Aphrodite.
On the other side of the coin is another sacred bird–the dove. Anyone familiar with Kathryn Paulsen’s book, Complete Book of Magic and Witchcraft can attest to the number of spells calling for turtle doves, particularly as a means to hex.