Wood Pigeons, here in the UK, have the dubious honour of appearing on the list of game birds that it is legal, for those who go in for that sort of thing, to shoot. I must say that I am not overwhelmed by these pigeon’s intelligence and I can only put the increase in their population, shown in the latest statistics, down to good luck. Or possibly the security through obscurity that everyone is so fond of. It has also occurred to me that, as the Wood Pigeon is smaller than things like Pheasant and Grouse, it may just be that those people who shoot at things, prefer to shoot at things that are big enough to be able to hit, without having to be a particularly good shot. This would mean that the Wood Pigeon relies on insignificance – rather than obscurity, either way, there seem to be a great many, no doubt grateful, pigeons about.
I had thought to find you a recipe for pigeon pie, just in case your Wood Pigeons ever became an agricultural pest, but the one I found was so complicated and needed so many pigeons I gave up on the idea. It was one of those fashionable ‘Haute Cuisine‘ sort of recipes, and reading through it, I just couldn’t believe that real people would go to that much trouble for a mere pigeon.
This is actually, one of Jackie’s pictures. The bird table is in the back garden and the kitchen window looks out in that direction. One of Jackie’s self imposed tasks is to keep the bird feeders topped up. Our birds are very fond of Jackie and wouldn’t like her to feel unappreciated so they work hard at emptying the various feeders, to make sure that she always has at least one to refill. The bird who shows the most concern for Jackie’s emotional needs is the Great Tit. The minute she hangs a filled seed feeder on the hook on the bird table, two or three of them will appear and start to empty it, throwing seed right, left and centre to get the job done.
As soon as they have a reasonable amount of the seed spread over the ground at the base of the bird table, the Lower Story Clean-up Squad will put in an appearance. Members include the Stock Dove family, an occasional Wood Pigeon, the Back Garden Blackbird and, when the Blackbird isn’t looking, a Robin or two – and of course, we must also mention an assortment of Chaffinches and Sparrows. These last few days they have been joined by the Jay. We have seen him around before, but he is usually too shy to stop and chat. In the Autumn he gathers acorns, his favourite food, and hides them. He’s not above stealing a squirrel’s hoard, if he spots him in the process of hiding some.