Pigeons nesting on a balcony in Torquay.
Had to share this with you. A friend has had multiple generations of the same family of pigeons nesting on a balcony in his flat in Torquay! The latest chick is doing well and mum, dad and aunts and uncles attend to its every need.
This baby is a Survivor.
Out of four eggs this is the only survivor. Pigeons nesting on a balcony run the risk posed by hungry seagulls. This chick and its parents (and extended family) have also faced some of the worst weather seen for decades in the west country, heavy snow and torrential rain have taken their toll on all wild birds, meaning that competition for food has become intense.
A little chick like this would feed a seagull through to see another day. This was the fate that met his siblings.
“Pairs are monogamous, often breeding in consecutive seasons for as long as both birds of a pair live.
Most will attempt to raise several broods each year. Sometimes as many as four or five broods will be raised in a single year.
The breeding season of these birds can be all year provided climate conditions allow. There seems to be some slowing down during the winter months” – Wild Bird Watching
Fun fact: Pigeons are Doves.
The distinction is class-based and without any genealogical merit. Street pigeons are just European rock doves that went feral. Basically, if you have a shed out back full of birds that you coo over and race at weekends… then they’ll be called pigeons. If you have an ornate brick built bird palace in your garden… then that will be called a dovecote.
These pigeons return every year to nest on this balcony. The whole family take part and they seem to leave only the shortest gap in the depth of winter.
“The nesting habits of these birds are a bit unique. The male chooses a site in view of the female, selecting one stick and bringing it back, lays it in front of his mate.
The female who stays at the nesting site accepts the sticks the male brings to her and places them underneath her” – Wild Bird Watching
Don’t stop feeding them during nesting season.
The old wisdom that you shouldn’t feed birds with seeds during the nesting season is a myth handed down – it is still causing harm. The parents will chew the seed and regurgitate for their young. So seed IS safe to feed during the nesting season. When you think about it stopping feeding during this time is particularly mean as this is precisely when wild birds are working hardest.
The only caution is avoid whole peanuts as birds can choke on them.