There is a resident pigeon that has taken up home on my balcony. I’ve been feeding it every single day for months on end. When it first came it had a clasp attached to the middle of its right paw, and it was very bothersome to the bird, who just hobbled along, and appeared very discomfited.
Prior to the bird’s arrival, there were a pair of love birds with similar plumage frequenting the balcony. They were forever smooching. I wondered whether the lone one was part of a pair to begin with, but may have been ditched after it became sort of handicapped.
Am very pleased to say that the white plastic clasp has since disappeared. Sadly, though, not before there was a lot of damage done to the paw. I’ve noticed, though, that in the last few weeks the bad paw has healed considerably, and the pigeon is not hobbling as much.
I can tell the various moods of the pigeon. It flaps like mad and flies off, as if in a temper if the food is not put out on time. The flapping automatically makes me jump to attention, and finds me fetching some nuts and the like for the impatient resident. I also give the bird plain biscuits sometimes, but do wonder sometimes if that is right.
Today, I got a nice photo. At first, I could not go near the balcony whilst it was feeding, as it just fled off like lightning. Not now, though, I can stand outside for a short while, and it still stays there. It’s slowly getting used to me.
The pigeon is very protective of its territory, and leaves its calling card everywhere to deter other birds from taking over. It also fights like mad to get rid of interlopers. You can see the wings of a terrified young grey-hooded crow to the right overhead that it speedily sent along its way. Nobody is going to dare chance to consume its rich pickings. I did leave some extra feed at the side of the balcony that was unmarked by the bird.
The bird has beautiful black layered plumage. The white marking on the nose bridge is very different to that of most other pigeons.
NB: You can see the difference in the paws. The middle right one is the damaged one. It is whitish in colour as opposed to being a healthy red colour. The pigeon has come on in leaps and bounds. Hopefully, it will start to become more independent as it gets more stronger.
Well, if nature did not take its course, I’d still be none the wiser as to the gender of the resident pigeon. However, for two days running but one HE has brought a petite pigeon companion along to share in HIS food. Observing the two of them I could see that they were a pair by their behaviour patterns. The one to the left being the female. I could just tell by her curviness. I really should have guessed beforehand that the one on the right was a male, as tactics used to stave off interlopers were very aggressive. Apologies, if that sounds too stereotypical. Not even the young grey-hooded crows got a look in. He was well able for them and any others that came to try to share in his food. He would stick his chest out; grunt ferociously, and even try to put his wings on them harshly to push them away. The males challenged him more by beating him with their chests, but he always won out. (So sticking out chests when feeling threatened is exactly what men and women do as well.) It was his territory, and they knew it. To think that it was not so many months ago that the poor thing was hobbling about with a plastic clasp on its paw. It’s a mysterious as to how it was released. Thankfully the paw has healed up, and he’s able to do a bit of what comes natural to every species.
Here is a photo of a young grey-hooded crow, who daren’t set paws on the balcony, as the resident pigeon had to share his food with his companion, and will go after the crow like lightning. The crow had to wait patiently till after the rich pickings were gone. The crows have such long beaks that they have to gather up the remnants of the feed from the side of their beaks.
UPDATE: Thursday 7/11/13
The pigeon came again today. Alas, it was all alone. It waited a while around guarding the feed before embarking on it. I thought that he was waiting to see if his lady companion would arrive to share it with her. She never came. Perhaps they weren’t a match after all. Although the resident pigeon seemed protective of her he wasn’t at all demonstrative, unlike the ones I saw months back who couldn’t keep their beaks off each other. I think the resident pigeon showed great respect for the companion he had yesterday. He treated her to his feed, and that says a lot.
Gosh – am raging that the trees have become bare again. Now I have to put some kind of net curtains up. I can see a row of houses through the thin branches, and that’s not good. I must be careful with taking photos on the balcony, as the neighbours may not like it.
UPDATE: 27/11/13 VIA TWITTER
Judging from the resident pigeon’s behaviour, it appears that if one is liked one gets to share in one’s food. Erm – it’s otherwise tough luck.
Resident pigeon’s girlfriend has come along 2 share in his food. He went off in search of her. Loyalty in action, despite demonstrativeness.
Just fed my resident pigeon. He’s been coming to me for months on end now. Sometimes he brings a girlfriend, other times he’s on his own.
The resident pigeon brought the girlfriend along today. I was staggered when I saw the two of them locked into each other. Up until today there has never been any demonstrativeness shown towards each other. The female was taking the initiative all the time. The two of them have been a pair on and off for months. it was so heartening to see the resident pigeon saving the food until the girlfriend came along.
I saw a lot of birds flying in formation for the last couple of days. I wonder if they’re getting prepared for long distant travel in the foreseeable future?