February 12, 2012

Pigeon street

Their peak breeding season is between March and July, but feral pigeons can breed all year round – and judging by the sudden territorialism of the three who seem perpetually to be in our our back garden these days it's not far from their minds. This morning we witnessed a full-on pigeon fight, one bird pecking and holding the back of another's head and walking it around the lawn much as a bouncer might walk a punter out of a bar with his arm twisted behind his back.

Our hanging bird feeder has recently become a prime spot for pigeons; they have learned how to cling on to it, while flapping their wings, and eat the seed directly from the apertures. I wouldn't mind so much, but the smaller birds we are trying to see through the cold snap aren't getting a look-in, and we're refilling it almost daily. And when there's not a pigeon on it there's a fat squirrel, hanging upside-down and gorging itself. All it would take is a rat and we'll have the triumvirate of urban-dwelling opportunists. Who knows, perhaps we already do.