Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Pigeon Project

Every year, I have a couple of pigeons arrive who like to set up a maternity ward in my small, lean-to barn. They have a nest up in the rafters, and usually I don't even know there are babies till I hear peeping or see one wandering around that has fallen out of the nest. This spring was pretty uneventful, with 2 babies born, raised and finally perching on the beams and rafters, begging for snacks from Mom and Dad.
They seemed to have stayed around a little longer than most of the other young 'uns, and, like so many kids these days, refused to go fend for themselves. I guess Mom got tired of waiting for them to leave the comfort of the nest, so she just decided to lay a NEW batch of eggs on the floor of my stall!

There was no "nest" - just a few shavings and a handful of old hay. It was under an old chair, near my pile of junk that was going to the dump. Scared the bejeebus out of me at first - I reached down to get something off the floor and the Mom leaped out and flew up right in front of me. We got used to each other, though, so I piled up some more savings and straw around the "nest"so the eggs would stay in one place.

I really didn't give them much of a chance - I figured a rat would snag those eggs right away.
The parents took turns sitting on them, and eventually they hatched!

 It was pretty neat watching the babies go from egg to full grown bird.. you don't get that chance very often! Of course I couldn't keep my hands off them, and picked them up and gave them a little cuddle a few times as they grew.

(yes - that's a ring o' poo around their nest... shortly after I took this, they moved to another spot about a foot away, and squished themselves against the wall behind a broken bucket)

Finally they learned to fly, and flew up to the rafters.

 I couldn't find the Mother bird for a couple of weeks, and thought she had died or flown the coop. But, no - Dad bird fed the children, and I found Mom on her original nest in the rafters, sitting on MORE eggs - which just hatched this week. I'm curious to find out if Mom will lay another batch on the ground again, now that the second batch of "kids" have gone on to make their way in the world, and the newbies are born.

Don't forget our feathered friends this summer - especially as it gets hotter and food and water are less abundant.  You can find some lovely things at!

Like this beautiful orchard Oriole bird feeder from neatstuff333

And this charming Peacock bird bath, also from neatstuff333

From blueracer, you can learn all about birds!

And from kornkountrytreasures is a delightful pigeon!!