Here's a presentation I did one time about (spoiler alert, mouse over) █████████████████.

I've added captions to each slide with a rough estimate and translation of what I said in that slide.

This presentation was not fact-checked nor peer-reviewed, and I have not taken any time to update it or improve it beyond removing my name from the first slide.

Here's the presentation:

This presentation is about a descendant of modern dinosaurs...
a creature domesticated by humans for at least seven thousand years...
capable of adapting to live nearly anywhere...
a creature we see often but which most people hardly know...
So what could this be, you may ask?
Why, pigeons and doves of course!
This presentation will discuss the history of pigeons and doves relationship with humans, as well as discussing a few interesting wild species, and finally pigeons and doves' place in current times.
Historians have found evidence of pigeon and dove domestication dating back as far as 5000 BC, possibly even earlier. It is thought that they were largely kept for food in early times, and later found more symbolic use.

They had an important presence in Egypt, where their bones can be found in tombs, seemingly as part of funeral meals. It is also thought that Rameses III made a sacrifice of 57 000 pigeons to the god Ammon at Thebes.
These are just a few of the documented religious uses for pigeons in history.

Pigeons and doves (frequently white pigeons) are often viewed by religions as a symbol of peace and good news. Temples in many countries have huge populations of pigeons, which are fed by visitors to the temple. For example, the prophet Mohammed of Islam is often depicted with a dove on his shoulder, and over the years it has become tradition for religious pilgrims to feed the pigeons in Mecca.
Pigeons have had many roles in human society beyond religion.

As I mentioned previously, they were often raised for meat, either for their well-developed flight muscles, or for squab, which is to say young pigeons.

Pigeons are also well-known for their excrement. Or perhaps badly known. But their excrement is actually surprisingly useful for making fertiliser. They were often kept in large numbers for this purpose as well.

Pigeons are also popular in sport, as much in the past as they are today.
One such sport is triganieri, a sport with the goal of capturing other keepers' pigeons. This involved specially breeding and training pigeons to lure the other's birds to your own loft. Sometimes the captured birds were sold back to the original owner.

Falconry is another sport involving the use of birds of prey to capture birds such as pigeons. These pigeons would often be captured or bred in captivity prior to release. This sport declined in popularity as firearms became more popular.

I would be remiss to leave out pigeon racing, but I will discuss it in detail later in the presentation.
Pigeons are known for their incredible homing ability. In pigeon racing, for example, the birds may travel between 300 and 900 kilometres from the release site to return to their home.

Pigeons have been used as messengers for thousands of years, with traces found in numerous societies such as ancient Rome. Pigeons were often messengers in wartimes, such as during the siege of Paris in the war of 1870, where the use of microfilm allowed pigeons to carry more information in a smaller form factor. This led to the occupying force outlawing pigeon keeping, with grave consequences for those found with the birds in their possession.

Messenger pigeons were quite popular for intelligence in the first World War, with some even being equipped with little cameras, so they would photograph enemy territory while flying overhead. To ensure a proper flight path, busses were converted into mobile lofts so that many pigeons could be moved to the other side of the location of interest all at once.

One of the most well-known pigeons of wartime is Cher Ami, whose name means Dear Friend. On october 3rd, 1918, 500 men were stuck with no food nor ammunition near Argonne in France, and they were being bombarded. In the span of 24 hours, 300 lives were lost and the commander Major Charles Whittlesey sent a message by pigeon: "Many wounded, cannot evacuate." This pigeon, unfortunately, never made it to its destination as the enemy opened fire.
A second pigeon was released, and still no luck.
The third, Cher Ami, took off, was struck in mid-air, plummeted to the ground, but got up and kept flying. 40 kilometres in 25 minutes, even after having been shot through the chest, one eye gone, and one leg barely holding on, she made it home and saved 194 lives.
Cher Ami lived on, now a hero, and standing with a wooden prosthetic leg. Her remains are now housed at the Smithsonian, pictured here.

Of course, Cher Ami was not the only brave bird out there. Pigeons represent the majority of Dickin Medals issued to date, showing that these little birds have saved many, many lives.
So now that we're all on the same page about how incredible pigeons can be, I should probably note that rock doves, or pigeons as we know them, are certainly not the only interesting members of their family.

Around here, we also commonly see—and hear the low coos of—mourning doves, a fairly close relative. Their song is often mistaken for the hoots of owls, but indeed the source is a surprisingly cute little brown bird.

Pigeons and doves come in all shapes, sizes and colours, though. Across the globe, we find incredible species such as the nicobar pigeon with its incredible mane and irridescent body, the Victoria crowned pigeon which has the most incredible hairstyle, and even species like the bleeding heart dove which truly wears its heart on its sleeve. It may be worth noting as well that the nicobar pigeon is thought by some to be the closest living relative of the famous extinct dodo bird.
But it doesn't stop there!

Even the pigeons we know come in all shapes and sizes. Fancy pigeons are a part of the same pigeon species we've domesticated since time immemorial, but they have been bred for various purposes, sometimes relating to food or racing performance, or sometimes for tricks or shows.

Pigeon racing has become a huge international sport, with dedicated breeds of fancy pigeon, tons of infrastructure and support for the sport, as well as top athletes being sold for top dollar in order to breed the next generation of promising racers. For example, Playboy, the winner of a 620 mile race in 2008, changed hands for the impressive price tag of 144 thousand dollars.

Pigeons are also bred for various characteristics to compete in shows, similar to shows built around the breeding of dogs or cats. Some breeds are selected for their ressemblance in stature to other types of birds such as birds of prey, some are bred for impressive feather displays such as huge tail fans or a coif of neck feathers, some have a thin body compared to their inflatable throat pouch, and some are even curly! There is a pigeon breed out there for everyone, I believe.
Pigeons and doves can also make excellent pets, with a few species being commonly kept.

Of course typical gray or fancy pigeons make excellent pets, thanks to their long history of domestication making them perfectly suited for living with humans. They are even smart enough to keep outside of cages in your home, being about as good at staying out of trouble as other pets like cats. Contrary to popular belief, they are very hardy birds as well, and can live to around 15 years!

Barbary doves, also called ringneck doves, are a somewhat domesticated species which are quite popular too. They are easier to keep in a smaller space as they are smaller than pigeons, and they could use the extra security and supervision since they are not quite as good at being independent. Due to being domesticated, they have very little sense of direction, so care should be taken to not lose them out a window, as they may not find their way back. They have a similar lifespan to pigeons and they are easy enough to hand tame.

Finally, diamond doves are an even smaller species of pet doves. They don't have a long history of domestication, so they tend to be more skittish around humans, meaning they do best in a comfortably large enclosure much of the time. They are uniquely cute, with their blueish coloration and bright eye ring.

All of these make excellent companion animals. They tend to be easy to tame and train, especially the more food-motivated individuals. They are inexpensive and easy to keep, and they are gentle both physically and aurally, their soft coos being quite pleasant to many folks. My own ringneck dove Curie is pictured here on the right!
Pigeons are also great contributors to science. Alongside rats (which are also under-rated), they are well-known for their use in behavioral research, such as the experiments popularized by B. F. Skinner and his Skinner boxes. Pigeons have made important contributions to research on cognition, neurology and even cancer research.

Pigeons' sense of direction is also something of a mystery which scientists have been hoping to figure out for some time. There are many theories as to how they navigate, which may involve landmarks, smells or even the detection of Earth's magnetic field. It would seem that pigeons use many senses to find their way home, and they rely on access to the sky during their development to gain this navigational instinct.
Truly, pigeons and doves are amazing creatures. This presentation has only scratched the surface of their world. I hope that in the future you may see pigeons with a new sense of curiosity.