May 28, 2018

Volunteer Pigeon

Dan had been hearing what he thought sounded like an owl - almost. We do have owls around, Great Owls mostly, which have a distinctive hoo hoo HOO. But this wasn't like that and we weren't sure if it was an owl at all. The identity of the mystery bird was solved last week when Dan went out to feed the chickens and discovered that a pigeon had joined them.


The pigeon was pecking for scratch in the chicken yard and seemed quite at home, but the chickens were in an uproar. Still, it came back for the next several days and finally the chickens settled down.


One day Dan saw our visitor at the coop chicken doorway looking in. Checking things out? The next day we found it inside the coop, cooing away quite happily!

Now it spends the night inside the coop, settled on the roof sill. So it looks like we've got ourselves a volunteer pigeon.


Apparently pigeons are rather difficult to sex, so we don't know if it's a male or female. Dan named it Walter, so if we ever figure out it's female, oh well.

It looks as though Walter has a leg band, so he must have escaped from somewhere. He won't let us get anywhere near enough to try and catch him. I've checked several lost-and-founds, but no one seems to be missing a pigeon. So I guess he's here to stay for as long as he wants.

Volunteer Pigeon © May 2018 by Leigh 

15 comments:

Michelle said...

Maybe a lost homing pigeon?

Leigh said...

Michelle, that would be something!

Gorges Smythe said...

The first one isn't bad. If a second one shows up - look out!

Leigh said...

Gorges, that's what I say!

Peter said...

It is probably a homing pigeon that got lost or blown off course. A number of years ago I found a similar bird who had been injured. After he recovered I traced the band number and contacted the owner who did not want him back. It seems that a homer that does not make it home is considered worthless. We released Brutus and he hung around for years, mating with a local bird and showing up at our bird feeder.
Peter

tpals said...

I found one in my yard once, but she was quite tame. I contacted the number on the leg tag and the owner came from the next state to fetch her.

Seeking Serenity said...

try to take a good photo and zoom in with your computer. There are homing pigeon websites.... they say they will move on after resting a bit, but i had one stay for months.

Fiona said...

Walter could be Wallace after Wallace Simpson😊

Leigh said...

Peter, welcome! And thank you for taking the time to comment. I know nothing about homing pigeons but it makes sense. If we can ever catch him we'll check the ID band and contact the owner.

tpals, from the next state? Amazing. This one won't let us get near, but then, he doesn't know us. Maybe if he gets tamer we can do that too.

Seeking Serenity, I'll have to try that. So far I can't get close enough to zoom that much, but it's something to keep trying for. I suppose then if he ever disappears, we'll know he continued on his way home.

Fiona, LOL. Dan was thinking of actor Walter Pidgeon. They are also known as rock doves, so I wanted to call him "Rocky." Dan's the poultry guy though, so Walter it is. :)

Michelle said...

Pretty interesting if it is a homing pigeon.

Ed said...

Very neat and interesting comments. I know nothing about pigeons other than in history books, they used to be eaten all the time.

Leigh said...

Michelle, I agree. Since we can't catch him to find out, at least we'll be able to assume his homing instincts led him back home, in the event he should disappear.

Ed, same here. Except I didn't know they used to be eaten! But why not, I suppose. Reminds me of Little House on the Prairie when they ate the blackbirds.

M.K. said...

That's so cool!!!!
Maybe you'l find pigeon eggs? Well, I think that's pretty neat.

troy oleary said...

We used to keep a barn full of pigeons when I was growing up. Dad used them to live train bird dogs (English pointers and German Shorthairs.) The barn had a one way door they would return through after use in the training.

For the most part the population was pretty self sustaining (they are fairly prolific) but sometimes snakes and rats would drop it down. When that happened more birds were caught at the lake, under bridges via boat and nets. Some would have tags on them. 2-4 weeks in the barn with food and shelter and they "rehomed."

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I think most of the pigeons I have seen are white. Are they helpful or harmful or just there? Nancy