Birds in flight – Pigeons

Who needs feet when you have wings to fly’ – Frida Kahlo Despite a rather hazy start and less than promising forecast today turned out to be quite an unexpectedly glorious day! I spent the morning on my local patch but with little activity at ground level I turned my attention skywards, using the opportunity…

Rain rain, go away

Winter in Wales brings the inevitable deluge of heavy rain which seems to last for weeks on end…I am rather fed up of the constant damp and drizzle and long for the return of Spring which can’t come soon enough! The birds don’t look too impressed either and I’m sure they would welcome some sunshine…

The chase

Despite a drizzly morning and a thorough soaking, nothing could dampen this male pigeon’s spirits today. He and his mate provided me with great entertainment as he pursued her in circles like a hyperactive wind up toy. Whilst he clearly had just one thing on his mind, his mate was less than enamoured and gave…

Capturing the light

Pigeons aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I am not ashamed to say that they are one of my favourite birds.┬áBy getting to know these birds I have developed a new found understanding and appreciation for these urban inhabitants. My little wild flock here in Aberystwyth have brought me many hours of joy and entertainment…

Sighting: Collared Doves

Just when I was beginning to grow a little tired of the same old routine, photographing the same birds at almost every visit, today there was a surprise encounter in the harbour. As I sprinkled some seed on the ground for the ever present pigeon flock several other pigeon shaped figures flew in and landed…

Splish splash

We are experiencing a rare treat in the UK at the moment… a bank holiday weekend with gorgeous weather as opposed to the usually dreary drizzle! Here a feral pigeon is beating the heat by bathing in the shallow water at the harbour edge. This individual is a youngster as it has yet to grow…

Love is in the air

Although capable of breeding year round (provided they can find enough food) the harbour pigeons have waited for the welcome return of warmer weather before beginning their breeding efforts. Now this spring is well underway, the quiet morning air is regularly filled with the sounds of the male pigeons soft cooing calls as they strut…

Water wings II

After watching the mallard drakes taking a bath a few days ago, today it was the turn of the harbour pigeon flock to make a splash of their own. The primary function of bathing is to wash excess oil and dirt from the feathers and also rid them of parasites. As many of the pigeons…

Pigeon Appreciation

Today is Pigeon Appreciation Day and what better time to post about my own love and admiration for these often misunderstood creatures. Love them or hate them, pigeons are here to stay. These highly intelligent adaptable birds have seen a population explosion in our towns and cities, thanks to an abundance of food, relative safety…

Love birds

Rather surprisingly, Pigeons are one of the few species of birds who are truly monogamous, often forming lifelong pairs. Unlike most wild birds they are also capable of reproducing all year round, provided conditions are favourable and their is enough food for the adults and chicks. With the sun shining I have been spending a…

Albinism

There is a particularly recognisable and beautiful bird in the local pigeon flock, a beautiful albino male with bright white feathers and a distinctive red eye. Albinism is rarely seen in wild birds, as due to their obvious colouration and poor eyesight they usually fall victim to predators early in life. Albinism is a genetic…

In a summer daze

The humble pigeon is far more intelligent than we might give them credit for. Scientific studies have proved that they have a unique ability to recognise human faces, this combined with a superior long term memory enables them to recognise individual people and subsequently, who is friend or foe. This intelligence is can be demonstrated…