Country diary: a young wood pigeon learns a life lesson

When the chorus stopped, one voice kept going. On and on, through the dog days of summer and into autumn, it sang with monotonous intent. It was still singing that morning. The breeding season was over, but nobody had told the wood pigeons to stop.

Proof of their enduring fecundity was perched on the back of a garden chair. A messy fledgling wore its adolescence in sprigs of pin feathers sprouting out of its head, shoulders, breast and flanks as if it had come out of the nest via a tumble dryer. This young wood pigeon bore a striking in-your-face family resemblance, not so much to its parents as to a distant cousin that shared its big, hook-tipped beak, a horny upper mandible swollen over its nostrils. Perched three metres away, staring at us without any apparent fear or desire for flight, here was a 21st-century dodo.

Innocence and naivety are not the best attributes towards a long life, but this youngster was learning life lessons by the minute. It evidently decided it wanted to turn around on its perch for a different view. Raising a hopeful right foot, it twirled its extended claw, stretching to effect a 180-degree turn of its toes, pawing its stubby digits at the top of the chair. But something wasn’t quite working. The bird lowered its head, baffled by the obdurate immobility of a standing leg that was failing to pirouette. The right foot dropped, the left foot rose; it made no difference.

While the hapless wood pigeon was trying the can-can’t, we had walked up to almost within arm’s length. Still, those beautiful, muddy blue-grey eyes looked back at us in pigeon-blank ignorance. For its own sake, and as a kindness, it was time to teach this bird to be more wary. My wife, Sarah, hissed sharply and reached out as if to touch it. The pigeon gave a startled leap and flapped in a careening flightpath towards the top of the shed. Its toes touched down on the rim, its body pitched forward, and it scrambled up to the apex, running like a hunched chicken.

The pigeon squatted, reflecting perhaps on its narrow escape, one step away from being dead as a dodo.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Enter Your Information Below To Receive Free Trading Ideas, Latest News, And Articles.

Please Enter Your Email Address:

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us and our affiliates. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!


Australian Geographic nature photographer of the year 2020 – in pictures

Ben Blanche was named the overall winner of the Australian Geographic nature photographer of the year competition for his photo, Border Fire Mt Barney....

Top 5 Successful RAMM Strategies in July 2020

Today well review 5 RAMM strategies with the highest profitability in July. Gonshik Razgonshik turned out to be the best performing strategy in July....

Can coronavirus cure Brussels of its addiction to driving?

Traffic jams, pretty squares used as car parks, bike lanes that vanish into congested roundabouts: Brussels's love affair with the car has been waning...

Meat giants selling to UK linked to Brazil farms in deforested Amazon reserve

Three international meat companies have indirectly sourced cattle from farms that deforested a unique, protected Amazon reserve, a new report from Greenpeace has found...

‘Shell shock’: Kangaroo Island struggles to recover amid bushfire grief and Covid-19

Six months after the catastrophic bushfires that scorched half of Kangaroo Island, the land around Andrew and Bec Bennett's home has slowly begun to...