This plaza is named for one of New York’s most enduring creatures, the pigeon. Of the numerous animal inhabitants of New York City, the most widely recognized group may very well be the pigeon (Columba spp.).
Although most New Yorkers refer to these ground feeding birds generically as pigeons, the pigeon family actually comprises 289 species of birds throughout the world. The most common American pigeon, the mourning dove (Zenaidura carolinensis) is aptly named for its melancholy call. The rock dove, a stout bird with a small head, short neck, and thick gray and white plumage, (Columba livia) is almost exclusively the species of pigeon seen in New York City.