A flying stalker

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A flying stalker

Postby beachlion » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:17 am

Today I went to the beach, skirted of course. I take a thermos with water and a few sandwiches with me because I'm litterally miles away from civilisation. I just finished my last sandwich when a pidgeon landed about 25 yards away from my spot. From a distance it looked already different from other pidgeons I see around Sandy Hook.
IMG_1609q.jpg


The bird was walking around and now and then picked something from the sand. It was slowly walking in my direction, a yard away it stopped and was staring at me. But there was nothing to eat left. The bird walked to the other side of my spot and was staring again. Then it walked to my backpack where I had packed my (finished) lunch. It was looking from the backpack to me and back again. When I walked to the shoreline, the bird followed me for a part, picking stuff from the sand. When I was back at the spot, the bird came again and stayed near my backpack.
IMG_1613q.jpg


From close up it looked like a carrier pidgeon because it was ringed. In Europe there are a lot of pidgeon racers. Those pidgeons are released at some place and the owner has to punch the clock when the pidgeon arrives at his dovecot.
IMG_1613qq.jpg


After another 15 minutes the pidgeon walked away because it realized you should not ask the cheap Dutch for food. ;)
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Re: A flying stalker

Postby Fred in Skirts » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:11 am

Did you try to pick it up?? I noticed a band on it's leg. That might have given you some information.
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Re: A flying stalker

Postby SkirtsDad » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:16 am

As a child I remember going to various hills with wicker baskets full of pigeons and watching them fly around in circles before working out their bearing and heading home. My grandfather kept and raced pigeons.
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Re: A flying stalker

Postby Caultron » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:23 pm

SkirtsDad wrote:As a child I remember going to various hills with wicker baskets full of pigeons and watching them fly around in circles before working out their bearing and heading home. My grandfather kept and raced pigeons.

Perhaps you can answer another question then.

Near my home is an overhead power line that runs east and west. Large flocks of pigeons sometimes perch on the wires, up to perhaps 100 of them, all on the same wire. I assume they all choose the same wire because of the flocking instinct, or to better pick up any alarms.

Remarkably, though, they always perch facing south. Why is that?

When they perch on a line running north and south, half face east and half west.
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Re: A flying stalker

Postby beachlion » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:20 pm

Fred in Skirts wrote:Did you try to pick it up?? I noticed a band on it's leg. That might have given you some information.


Thanks to the carelessness of some people with left over food in the Netherlands (and I believe other countries as well) there are a lot of pidgeons in the big cities. The pidgeons may look cute but their droppings are a big problem. Beside that they are a carrier of all sorts of parasites. Knowing that I don't like to touch any pidgeon, cute or tame or not, if I can avoid it. It might be a big city syndrome of me.
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Re: A flying stalker

Postby pelmut » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:04 pm

Caultron wrote:Remarkably, though, they always perch facing south. Why is that?

When they perch on a line running north and south, half face east and half west.

Is the wind blowing from the South?
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Re: A flying stalker

Postby Caultron » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:51 am

pelmut wrote:
Caultron wrote:Remarkably, though, they always perch facing south. Why is that?

When they perch on a line running north and south, half face east and half west.

Is the wind blowing from the South?

No, generally from the west.

It might be because those power lines are on the north side of the street, and so they might like facing the street to better detect scraps thrown by passing cars and pedestrians. But in that case, you'd thing they'd space themselves out along the whole stretch of road, so as to limit competition, rather than all perch together. Unless the flocking instinct wins out.

Then again, the two places I most often seem them are adjacent to a convenience store and a park.
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