Packed tightly against each other and stretching higher than many buildings around them, brown, earthen dovecotes or pigeon houses fill many Egyptian cities. In the Nile delta at Mit Ghamr, hundreds of dovecotes stand erect like earthen chimneys along many streets and are used for farming pigeons. Constructed out of mud brick, the Egyptian dovecote is an extremely common sight across the country and is especially prevalent in Mit Ghamr.
Although pigeons have been known as pests, and rats with wings in many Western cities, in Egypt they are considered useful, and are farmed in urban areas through the use of the dovecote. Throughout Egypt, not only are the pigeons consumed as food, their droppings are also considered a valuable fertilizer. In a country with little arable land, the bizarre dovecotes are a crucial part of urban planning, and feeding a nation of 80 million people.