5/10/10

Pigeon talk


I am mildly obsessed with pigeons, yet for all my years of close observation I'd never seen them mating...UNTIL TODAY!

Whenever I see a pigeon puff up his neck, I invariably stop to take a gander. The puffed up neck and quick rushes toward the female usually indicate he's ready to get it on. However, it seems to me that the puffed up neck can sometimes be used to show aggression - territorial, food guarding or otherwise. I can't begin to count how many times I've watched the puffy neck advances, but I have never ever seen it work out for the poor guy. Anyhow, I digress...

So, instead of the traditional puffed up neck, today I saw two pigeons seemingly kissing! Lulu, Pony and myself stopped in our tracks to watch. I couldn't tell if they were passing food between their beaks or just kind of locking beaks, but I was fascinated. As I watched, the female squatted down into a little brown bundle. The male hopped on her back, arched his back and flapped his wings. It was strangely adorable, and I realized that I'd just witnessed some pigeon copulation.

In related news, on a previous walk I saw three (3) different pigeons collecting twigs for their nests. I watched one of them fly onto a third story window ledge, hobble under an air-conditioning unit and present his twig to the mama pigeon lying in their nest. Then, later on that same walk, we watched a squirrel abscond from a garbage can with a taco shell. He kept a close eye on us from the safety of a tree while nibbling away. City critters!

3 comments:

  1. The male pigeion will offer a bit of food as part of thier bonding. This only happens when they are already coupled and sexual. They bothy produce the food; rather like a kind of milk, they produce in their crops, mammal like! (they don't regurgitate..) Then they both feed the babies and take turns egg-sitting and taking care of the young ones. Pigeons really are very fasinating to watch. I kept various different kinds as a kid, that produced lots of off-spring. Sadly had to leave the countryside and now settle for watching city pigeons.

    Best.

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  2. If you wanna see more pigeons and doves etc, as you said you are mildly obsessed, you should go to www.Pigeons.biz/forum/index.php I'm really not trying to spam or anything, although when I advertise for my fave forum it tends to look like that, but really, there are great pigeon threads there!

    ~November-X-Scourge of pigeontalk!

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