Sunday, December 17, 2006
If you've read my blog for any length of time you probably know that I have a pigeon coup in my backyard. I have about 30 homing pigeons. Pigeon fanciers raise these birds and join clubs to race their pigeons against the clock. I don't participate in such clubs, I just enjoy the birds. I like watching their habits. I sometimes sit out there and just watch them. Other times I load up about ten of them and take them a couple of miles from the house and let them fly home. Most days I just let them out in the morning, they fly around for a while, then return to the loft. Sometimes they have a tragic encounter with an area hawk. Anyway, it is fun for this old bag. I have a lot of projects in the works right now. One of these tasks involves moving the old "shed" (12x20) out of the backyard to make room for the new one. Well, the pigeon house is attached to the old shed, so I will be building a new one. In the meantime, we are tearing down the old coup. I made a temporary home for the pigeons in a smaller "apartment" which is several wire cages attached together. The only problem was that one pair of birds was sitting on new hatchlings. I carefully caught the parent pigeons and put them in their own private cage. I moved the nest with the babies into the cage. The parents were so disoriented that they just ignored the babies, would not feed them, and just began stepping all over them. I finally had to remove the little ones because the parents would not take care of them. The babies are in foster care (but now they think they are people, not pigeons!) and they are thriving. I can't let the flock out of the apartment cage right now or they will home to the area of the old loft! After I get them in the new (yet to be built) cage, I will teach them where home is again. Many studies have been done on homing pigeons, and there are many diverse theories on how they find their way home. They must be very smart - but they sure are stupid about their babies!