Pigeons aren't native to North America; colonists brought them here for food. "There's no substantive difference between the squab you order in a French restaurant and the pigeons you see on the street," says Courtney Humphries, author of Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And the World.
But it's not necessarily safe to nab a bird off your urban balcony; city pigeons are high in toxins, including lead. Rural dwellers can probably eat wild pigeons, and pigeon-hungry urbanites can raise their own birds. "You could have a steady source of meat just by keeping a few pigeons in the coop," Humphries says. "It's a pretty nice-tasting bird."