Sunday, December 17, 2006

Smart?

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!

5 comments:

susan said...

It sounds like you have a lot of projects lined up. Do you do this work yourself? And foster care for pigeons - Have fun!

Motherkitty said...

Husband once brought home a dove or pigeon many years ago. This bird had a broken wing and husband asked me to "fix" him/her up. I let the bird stay in the garage and I did take care of it. When the bird was recovered, I let it go. My next task was to thoroughly clean the garage. The result was a terrible case of bronchitis from breathing the dried dust of their detritus. So, I hope, when you demolish or remove that bird house, you wear appropriate respiratory protection. Pigeons are smart, but they will poop anywhere and that's not good for you. Good luck with all that hard work to come.

Rhea said...

A friend of mine had homing pigeons for a short time. She was renting them out to release at weddings and stuff. But she gave it up. They are fascinating creatures.

jellyhead said...

Those pigeons sound almost as much work as kids! They're lucky you're such a good Mom!

I'm just stopping by to say thank you for being such a supportive blogpal to me this year. Merry Christmas, Tuff!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

WOW...You have quite a big job getting the pigeons used to their new home. I use to go down to the mission and feed the pigeons when I was young and that's when I fell in love with them. I like it when they sit on me and eat out of my hands.

My daughter raised a set of baby orphaned doves and kept them for a couple of years until somebody wanted to take them. They didn't do much and were rather boring...NOT like pigeons.

I can't believe that they stepped and ignored their young. You'd think that it would have been their main concern to protect their babies.

Oreo hasn't eaten Frisky yet, but he continues to sit in Frisky's cage...What can I say??? They say they are friends, yeah!!!
Oreo is going to have a friend for dinner...like you said...for Christmas dinner.

I've enjoyed blogging with you this year and I hope we continue as friends for years to come.
BTW...Cucoo sends you Christmas greetings as well.