Archive for the ‘Pigeons’ Category

Dang Birds

February 24th, 2004 24 comments

Anyone know how to keep pigeons off your balcony?

Perhaps mistakenly, I didn’t shoo them off the balcony last year in time, and when they laid eggs, I didn’t want to destroy them, so I let them stay for the duration. Made for an interesting education in pigeon growth, not to mention some blog fodder, but good lord, what an ungodly mess they left! I don’t want to surrender my balcony again, or have to clean up that unspeakable carpet of, well, better left unsaid.

Problem is, the same pair have recently taken to appearing on the balcony in the mornings, and I do not wish for them to procreate again on that spot. I try to shoo them away, but the darn flappy bastards keep coming back.

Anyone know a good method of keeping them away? Some kind of scent? A scarecrow? A photo of John Ashcroft?

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OK, Now They’re Gone

July 26th, 2003 Comments off

They stayed on for several days after they first left the balcony, but eventually the young pigeons did not come back. So now all that remains is a rather messy cleanup job on the balcony, and to proof it so that pigeons don’t nest there again… Still, it was a nice experience to see the birds hatch, grow up and leave the nest.

    taken the day before they left for good.

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Back After a Jaunt

July 19th, 2003 Comments off

The young pigeons apparently went out only for a jaunt–since this afternoon, they have been back on the balcony, with mama pigeon still feeding them. Apparently, they only left for the morning and early afternoon; I had not guessed that they could fly so well. I’m also interested that they do not show any signs of flying when I come out onto the balcony, though they do edge away a bit–and mama pigeon bolts at any hint that I’m even watching from a window. I guess the squabs are more use to me….

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Empty Nest

July 19th, 2003 5 comments

Well, the balcony, for the first time in two months, is finally empty of birds. Went out this morning to check on things, and found no babies–although mama bird was perched on a ledge nearby. I looked around at her field of view, and couldn’t see anything… Hopefully, she was just hanging out, and not watching over a patch of ground where the babies were marooned or something.

It was about time for the more well-developed squab to leave, but his sister (I’m guessing at gender here) still was not fully feathered out, having baby feathers all about (see photo at right); I hope they both were able to fly well enough. I couldn’t find any information on the web about whether or not they return to the nest; I guess I’ll find out. If not, then this is the last Pigeon Update.

Although I got mostly negative comments about the pigeon thing from the beginning, and even had to move the photos to a separate page at the request of friends who felt they were too ugly to keep on the main page, the separate “Pigeon Page” has been the most-visited page on my site (more than 60 hits) aside from the main pages.

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More Pigeon Photos

July 16th, 2003 3 comments

A few more photos are available on the Pigeon Page. They’ve lost almost all their yellow fluff now, and are developing the iridescent plumage around the neck, very pretty. One of them has a few splashes of white on the head, making it easy to identify in the future should they come back to visit.

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Leaving the Nest But Not Flying

July 10th, 2003 Comments off

The pigeon babies are nearly grown now. It’s been three weeks, maybe a week left before they leave. They’re running around the balcony, sleeping where they feel comfortable now. Not ready to fly, not just yet…

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Pigeon Relocation

July 6th, 2003 Comments off

To lessen the clutter, consolidate the thread, and relieve those who don’t really like pigeons very much, all the pigeon photos have now been collected on one page. The prior stories will remain, but with a link to the image page instead of the photo.

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Feathered Out and Home Alone

July 2nd, 2003 Comments off

The feathers are finally coming out, and if anything, these birds are ahead of schedule. The eggs seemed to hatch much faster than the web sites I looked at indicated they would, and the growth of these chicks (or “squabs,” as they’re apparently called) is almost alarming. Another concern was that mama and papa pigeon seemed to have deserted them–no one has been sitting on the nest for two days now, leaving the squabs unprotected almost all of that time. Apparently, however, pigeons do this–the hen will make a second nest somewhere with another clutch of eggs. The folks must still be somewhere nearby, though; once in a while I catch them coming in to feed. It’s only been ten days since hatching, though, and the sites on the web say 18 days before they get left alone.

Must be fast pigeons.

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Open Eyes

June 28th, 2003 Comments off

The little piggies are quail-sized now, with open eyes and the beginning of adult plumage. Still ugly as sin, but are looking a bit more like pigeons and a little less like miniature California Condors.

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Still Pretty Ugly

June 25th, 2003 Comments off

The chicks are getting bigger fast, but still have closed eyes, and, as you can see, not the prettiest of plumage yet. That ought to change soon; they should be flying from the nest in just three week’s time.

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Full Nest

June 22nd, 2003 Comments off

Mama bird is now almost constantly setting on her two chicks. When I come out to take a peek and a telephoto shot into her nest area, she stays put–except for the very occasional times when I hear more than the usual flutter of wings an no one is there. That’s when I got the second pic. Both chicks look fine so far. Papa bird comes in to land from time to time, and seems to be the one doing the feeding–he ducks down under mama bird before taking off again.

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Hatching Time

June 20th, 2003 Comments off

OK, not everybody is excited about new pigeons coming into the world, but nevertheless, it is new life, and despite the common perception, I believe any kind of bird is a wonderful creature. I heard mama pigeon fly away and so I quickly jumped out to the balcony to see the nest’s status–and lo, one chick is out, and by the look of the cracking on the other shell, number two is not far behind.

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OK, Now There’s a Nest

June 11th, 2003 1 comment

Remember the feathered squatter? Well, I took another look while no one was roosting, and lo and behold, there is indeed a nest now, and there are indeed two eggs right there on my balcony.

Wonder how long until they hatch?

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Feathered Squatter

June 6th, 2003 6 comments

I’d been hearing an excessive amount of cooing outside my windows, and had noted pigeons hanging out there a bit–but now it seems I’ve got one nesting out on my balcony. I have an old, beat-up metal shelf rack out there with the bottom covered over with a tarp. Last night I went out to clean some stuff out of there and was just a bit more than slightly surprised to have a pigeon suddenly panic and fly up into my face!

Well, it came back, and is now comfortably resting there. Nothing there but a few bags with rags and throwaway stuff, but it seems quite content roughing it. I was surprised that it let me get within a few feet of it to take these shots. I’ve checked during the day when it’s gone–no nest, no eggs.

So there it’ll stay. Always thought pigeons got a bad rap, with them being called “rats with wings” and such. They’re basically gray doves–in fact, the species name is actually “Rock Dove.” Come from Europe, where they roost on ledges of cliffs. You wouldn’t mind of a dove nested on your balcony, now would you?

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