Human beings have long domesticated and interacted with pigeons. They are actually genetically indistinguishable from doves. Although feral pigeons are sometimes dismissed as "rats with wings" by city dwellers, a treasure discovery in England shows that these birds can be both a nuisance and a blessing.
The story begins with a pair of men with metal detectors recently searching a field in Nottinghamshire with the permission of the farm's owner. It's a sensible arrangement since the land owner is entitled to half of the proceeds from any treasure found on the property.
However, the treasure hunters noticed that some of the farmer's crops were being decimated by a huge flock of pigeons. They took the initiative to shoo the birds away in order to prevent the crops from being ravaged.
After the pigeons had been cleared away from the crops, the two metal detectorists decided they would continue their search in this area of the field for the sake of convenience. Fortuitously, the pesky pigeons ultimately led them to exactly what they were looking for. According to a report by the Nottingham Post, both of their metal detectors began to ping within moments.
When the men began digging, they uncovered a cluster of old coins that date to no later than 1649. The find included at least 19 silver coins that spanned the reigns of three different English monarchs.
Judging by the date of the most recently minted coins in the small hoard, they were likely buried during the English Civil War that fiercely divided the country during the middle of the 17th century.
The coins were subsequently declared treasure by the local coroner earlier this week, as they meet the two statutory requirements of being at least 300 years old and containing at least 10% gold or silver. In a boon to the local community, the group of coins will likely go on display at Nottingham Castle Museum.
It's a small wonder that this treasure may have remained hidden indefinitely without the involvement of these bothersome pigeons!
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