Pigeons in the Park

Columba livia

Pigeon. Or dove.

Joanna here, delving into the nitty gritty of the past. Asking myself what would be familiar to a time traveller dipping into history? What would be stunningly weird?

What I’m  pondering today is pigeons.

Like, “What is a pigeon and why isn’t it a dove?” and vice versa.
One of those cases we have two words for the same thing, really. Kind of comforting to know we're stocked up with synonyms.

 

Screen Shot 2021-01-27 at 11.35.42 AMBackground: There are 344 species in the Columbidae family worldwide. They're called pigeon or dove more or less at random. Whenever you think you’ve got some difference nailed down – like pigeons are larger and plumper – you’ll come across some tiny bitty twittering bird in the Far East that’s called a pigeon and category common sense goes flying out the window.

In other zoological news, pigeons are most closely related to cuckoos. Many of us have this problem.

The pigeon I want to talk about is the urban pigeon; the civic pigeon loitering the streets; the sophisticate Trafalgarinhabiting public places from Bangkok to Berlin, Wellington to Waukegan.
This pigeon is officially the "rock dove". Pigeon is also dove. 
You say Tomaato, I say tomahto.

The city pigeon is called the ”domestic pigeon” or Columba livia domestica. It's not particularly domesticated but its ancestors were. They went from wild to a farmyard- and household- domestic animal. 

Then some of the agricultural types moved to the city and went back to feral again. So they're  called both feral pigeons and domestic pigeons.

Srock dove in flight

Dove in flight

The word 'dove' entered Middle English as douve in C12, probably ultimately from Proto-Germanic. It might be related to “dive” in reference to its flight.
(Though pigeons don’t seem to dive much, really, IMO.)
But Columba, the name of the Order, is from Greek κόλυμβος  ”diver” so somebody thinks they dive.

'Pigeon' is C14, entering English through Old French from Latin pipio, onomatopoeia of the sounds of a young bird.

Since this is a Romance blog, I'll point out that dove has been a term of endearment since late C14.
I'd like to support pigeon also as a term of cuddliness.
Maybe said in a husky male voice with a French accent. “My leettle peegeon.”

Rock dove courtwhip

pigeons necking

Digressing just an instant to look at why pigeons are happy living in our urban midst.

Primus. The wild rock dove likes living on high flat ledges, like rocky cliffs. Our buildings recreate this environment. When a pigeon builds a nest on your windowledge in New York City, it is becoming one with an ancestral ledge overlooking the wine-dark sea.

Secundus. Those pudgy little bodies are amazingly agile and can burst into the air at a great rate of speed.

Discursing in the middle of the digression . . .

I used to take my son, age about five, to the parks in Paris to chase pigeons, which seemed to amuse all the creatures involved. Then one day he caught one. Bit of a shock all round.

Pet doveAnyhow, tertius, pigeons survive the predators of the city not only by nimbleness but because of how their feathers are attached.

According to the wiki, “body feathers have very dense, fluffy bases, and are attached loosely into the skin. Large numbers of feathers end up in the attacker's mouth and facilitate the bird's escape.”

And quartus, those little feathered suckers can lay a pair of eggs up to six times a year.

Medieval pigeons and presumably a dove maybe

Medieval pigeons

Rock doves have been with us, domesticated, for perhaps 5000 years. Household pigeons appear in Roman mosaics. In the Middle Ages we see doves sitting in their dovecotes overlooking and feeding upon the peasants’ crops. From ancient times pigeons carried our messages, were a pleasant target for a day out with a hawk, and made interesting pets.
They also made tasty pie.

Dined at home and Mr. Hawly with me upon six of my pigeons, which my wife has resolved to kill here.
     Samuel Pepys, who kept pigeons in his yard

Pigeon pie with beetroot

pigeon pie

So it was all the gentle usefulness of pigeons through the ages.
I come away with a feeling things have changed.
If you asked city folks what they think of pigeons, terms like "nuisance" and “flying rats” will scatter the conversation.

Paintings of C15 Florence and C19 Paris and etc. do not show pigeons in the city landscape. Was this a painterly convention? Did the grand open spaces of the past not host a flapping feathered multitude?

If not, why not?
Ancient cities and Medieval towns were not short of discarded human and animal food. The cliff-like nesting places were there in 1498 or 1880.

Why do I not find written references or paintings of ravening-flocks of pigeons?

Mercato vecchio

Mercato vecchio

… but no pigeons

I have a theory.
I think pigeons have been finding the necessities of life in the big city for a thousand years. What’s changed is people stopped bringing a big bag and scooping up the main ingredient of pigeon pie on the way home.

Can’t say exactly why that would stop. It’s very puzzling to me.

But thinking upon this I come away with a willingness to let historical fiction characters not shoo away flocks of nuisance pigeons on their stroll through Regency London. They can even stop to feed pigeons if they want to.
Apparently pigeons were queuing up for bird seed in Trafalgar Square as early as 1830.

So it's all good.

And you?  Do you feed wild animals? Bird feeders? Squirrel feeders? Water for the neighborhood coyote?

165 thoughts on “Pigeons in the Park”

  1. My neighbor used to keep pigeons for eating. I think it’s one of those old-fashioned things that have fallen out of favor, but who knows, it might come back, just as various offal-based dishes are appearing in restaurants again.
    I make sure I keep fresh, clean water for the birds during our hot summers. It’s quite a large bowl but the clean water is used and dirty within the hour — as well as drinking, they bathe in it, so it’s quite a task to keep the bowl full of clean water. My favorite wild birds are kookaburras and lorikeets. My grandfather used to put out bacon rind and offcuts from meat along his verandah rail and the kookaburras would line up for them. Not so many here in the city, though. But plenty of lorikeets.

    Reply
  2. My neighbor used to keep pigeons for eating. I think it’s one of those old-fashioned things that have fallen out of favor, but who knows, it might come back, just as various offal-based dishes are appearing in restaurants again.
    I make sure I keep fresh, clean water for the birds during our hot summers. It’s quite a large bowl but the clean water is used and dirty within the hour — as well as drinking, they bathe in it, so it’s quite a task to keep the bowl full of clean water. My favorite wild birds are kookaburras and lorikeets. My grandfather used to put out bacon rind and offcuts from meat along his verandah rail and the kookaburras would line up for them. Not so many here in the city, though. But plenty of lorikeets.

    Reply
  3. My neighbor used to keep pigeons for eating. I think it’s one of those old-fashioned things that have fallen out of favor, but who knows, it might come back, just as various offal-based dishes are appearing in restaurants again.
    I make sure I keep fresh, clean water for the birds during our hot summers. It’s quite a large bowl but the clean water is used and dirty within the hour — as well as drinking, they bathe in it, so it’s quite a task to keep the bowl full of clean water. My favorite wild birds are kookaburras and lorikeets. My grandfather used to put out bacon rind and offcuts from meat along his verandah rail and the kookaburras would line up for them. Not so many here in the city, though. But plenty of lorikeets.

    Reply
  4. My neighbor used to keep pigeons for eating. I think it’s one of those old-fashioned things that have fallen out of favor, but who knows, it might come back, just as various offal-based dishes are appearing in restaurants again.
    I make sure I keep fresh, clean water for the birds during our hot summers. It’s quite a large bowl but the clean water is used and dirty within the hour — as well as drinking, they bathe in it, so it’s quite a task to keep the bowl full of clean water. My favorite wild birds are kookaburras and lorikeets. My grandfather used to put out bacon rind and offcuts from meat along his verandah rail and the kookaburras would line up for them. Not so many here in the city, though. But plenty of lorikeets.

    Reply
  5. My neighbor used to keep pigeons for eating. I think it’s one of those old-fashioned things that have fallen out of favor, but who knows, it might come back, just as various offal-based dishes are appearing in restaurants again.
    I make sure I keep fresh, clean water for the birds during our hot summers. It’s quite a large bowl but the clean water is used and dirty within the hour — as well as drinking, they bathe in it, so it’s quite a task to keep the bowl full of clean water. My favorite wild birds are kookaburras and lorikeets. My grandfather used to put out bacon rind and offcuts from meat along his verandah rail and the kookaburras would line up for them. Not so many here in the city, though. But plenty of lorikeets.

    Reply
  6. I like birds (put preferably NOT in pie (although I suppose pigeon pie is more appetizing than stargazy pie!); I also prefer that my birds not be in cages. OK for someone else but not good in our allergy ridden household.
    But in books? Anything you wish to write about birds will be OK with me (as long as it isn’t a small boy torturing animal life, but wenches don’t get into that.)te

    Reply
  7. I like birds (put preferably NOT in pie (although I suppose pigeon pie is more appetizing than stargazy pie!); I also prefer that my birds not be in cages. OK for someone else but not good in our allergy ridden household.
    But in books? Anything you wish to write about birds will be OK with me (as long as it isn’t a small boy torturing animal life, but wenches don’t get into that.)te

    Reply
  8. I like birds (put preferably NOT in pie (although I suppose pigeon pie is more appetizing than stargazy pie!); I also prefer that my birds not be in cages. OK for someone else but not good in our allergy ridden household.
    But in books? Anything you wish to write about birds will be OK with me (as long as it isn’t a small boy torturing animal life, but wenches don’t get into that.)te

    Reply
  9. I like birds (put preferably NOT in pie (although I suppose pigeon pie is more appetizing than stargazy pie!); I also prefer that my birds not be in cages. OK for someone else but not good in our allergy ridden household.
    But in books? Anything you wish to write about birds will be OK with me (as long as it isn’t a small boy torturing animal life, but wenches don’t get into that.)te

    Reply
  10. I like birds (put preferably NOT in pie (although I suppose pigeon pie is more appetizing than stargazy pie!); I also prefer that my birds not be in cages. OK for someone else but not good in our allergy ridden household.
    But in books? Anything you wish to write about birds will be OK with me (as long as it isn’t a small boy torturing animal life, but wenches don’t get into that.)te

    Reply
  11. Fascinating post, I love how detailed you are with your research to keep the eras authentic. We live in a rural area and in winter feed the birds with 6-7 sunflower and nyger feeders about the porches. It is interesting to see the different species, this year we have a flock of evening grosbeaks that are terrorizing the regular nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, jays, finches and sparrows. The doves look different than the pigeons I was used to in our previous urban landscape, smaller and browner. Come spring we have to remove all the feeders, Mr. and Mrs. Bear love sunflower seeds and will destroy the feeders to get to the seed. We do hang the hummingbird feeders in summer, but high. I have watched a bear sit under a feeder and tip it just so to drink up the nectar. They are cunning and determined!

    Reply
  12. Fascinating post, I love how detailed you are with your research to keep the eras authentic. We live in a rural area and in winter feed the birds with 6-7 sunflower and nyger feeders about the porches. It is interesting to see the different species, this year we have a flock of evening grosbeaks that are terrorizing the regular nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, jays, finches and sparrows. The doves look different than the pigeons I was used to in our previous urban landscape, smaller and browner. Come spring we have to remove all the feeders, Mr. and Mrs. Bear love sunflower seeds and will destroy the feeders to get to the seed. We do hang the hummingbird feeders in summer, but high. I have watched a bear sit under a feeder and tip it just so to drink up the nectar. They are cunning and determined!

    Reply
  13. Fascinating post, I love how detailed you are with your research to keep the eras authentic. We live in a rural area and in winter feed the birds with 6-7 sunflower and nyger feeders about the porches. It is interesting to see the different species, this year we have a flock of evening grosbeaks that are terrorizing the regular nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, jays, finches and sparrows. The doves look different than the pigeons I was used to in our previous urban landscape, smaller and browner. Come spring we have to remove all the feeders, Mr. and Mrs. Bear love sunflower seeds and will destroy the feeders to get to the seed. We do hang the hummingbird feeders in summer, but high. I have watched a bear sit under a feeder and tip it just so to drink up the nectar. They are cunning and determined!

    Reply
  14. Fascinating post, I love how detailed you are with your research to keep the eras authentic. We live in a rural area and in winter feed the birds with 6-7 sunflower and nyger feeders about the porches. It is interesting to see the different species, this year we have a flock of evening grosbeaks that are terrorizing the regular nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, jays, finches and sparrows. The doves look different than the pigeons I was used to in our previous urban landscape, smaller and browner. Come spring we have to remove all the feeders, Mr. and Mrs. Bear love sunflower seeds and will destroy the feeders to get to the seed. We do hang the hummingbird feeders in summer, but high. I have watched a bear sit under a feeder and tip it just so to drink up the nectar. They are cunning and determined!

    Reply
  15. Fascinating post, I love how detailed you are with your research to keep the eras authentic. We live in a rural area and in winter feed the birds with 6-7 sunflower and nyger feeders about the porches. It is interesting to see the different species, this year we have a flock of evening grosbeaks that are terrorizing the regular nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, jays, finches and sparrows. The doves look different than the pigeons I was used to in our previous urban landscape, smaller and browner. Come spring we have to remove all the feeders, Mr. and Mrs. Bear love sunflower seeds and will destroy the feeders to get to the seed. We do hang the hummingbird feeders in summer, but high. I have watched a bear sit under a feeder and tip it just so to drink up the nectar. They are cunning and determined!

    Reply
  16. When I was younger and lived in the city, there was an older gentleman who used to trap pigeons in his yard. He used a simple cardboard box and a stick with a string attached to it. I was told that he caught them to eat them. Only person I ever knew of who actually did that.
    Out here in the suburbs, where I live now, I like to watch the birds when I sit on my front porch. Hummingbirds are my favorites. I don’t have feeders, but I have lots of flowers that they like.
    There are a couple of doves that come around also. I think that they are doves – they are smaller and lighter color that the city pigeons. Anyway, there are two of them that are always together. I call them the Bickersons because as they walk along the sidewalk the one in front is silent while the one behind is constantly chattering away. You see, I have made up a story in my mind (smile).
    Lovely post.

    Reply
  17. When I was younger and lived in the city, there was an older gentleman who used to trap pigeons in his yard. He used a simple cardboard box and a stick with a string attached to it. I was told that he caught them to eat them. Only person I ever knew of who actually did that.
    Out here in the suburbs, where I live now, I like to watch the birds when I sit on my front porch. Hummingbirds are my favorites. I don’t have feeders, but I have lots of flowers that they like.
    There are a couple of doves that come around also. I think that they are doves – they are smaller and lighter color that the city pigeons. Anyway, there are two of them that are always together. I call them the Bickersons because as they walk along the sidewalk the one in front is silent while the one behind is constantly chattering away. You see, I have made up a story in my mind (smile).
    Lovely post.

    Reply
  18. When I was younger and lived in the city, there was an older gentleman who used to trap pigeons in his yard. He used a simple cardboard box and a stick with a string attached to it. I was told that he caught them to eat them. Only person I ever knew of who actually did that.
    Out here in the suburbs, where I live now, I like to watch the birds when I sit on my front porch. Hummingbirds are my favorites. I don’t have feeders, but I have lots of flowers that they like.
    There are a couple of doves that come around also. I think that they are doves – they are smaller and lighter color that the city pigeons. Anyway, there are two of them that are always together. I call them the Bickersons because as they walk along the sidewalk the one in front is silent while the one behind is constantly chattering away. You see, I have made up a story in my mind (smile).
    Lovely post.

    Reply
  19. When I was younger and lived in the city, there was an older gentleman who used to trap pigeons in his yard. He used a simple cardboard box and a stick with a string attached to it. I was told that he caught them to eat them. Only person I ever knew of who actually did that.
    Out here in the suburbs, where I live now, I like to watch the birds when I sit on my front porch. Hummingbirds are my favorites. I don’t have feeders, but I have lots of flowers that they like.
    There are a couple of doves that come around also. I think that they are doves – they are smaller and lighter color that the city pigeons. Anyway, there are two of them that are always together. I call them the Bickersons because as they walk along the sidewalk the one in front is silent while the one behind is constantly chattering away. You see, I have made up a story in my mind (smile).
    Lovely post.

    Reply
  20. When I was younger and lived in the city, there was an older gentleman who used to trap pigeons in his yard. He used a simple cardboard box and a stick with a string attached to it. I was told that he caught them to eat them. Only person I ever knew of who actually did that.
    Out here in the suburbs, where I live now, I like to watch the birds when I sit on my front porch. Hummingbirds are my favorites. I don’t have feeders, but I have lots of flowers that they like.
    There are a couple of doves that come around also. I think that they are doves – they are smaller and lighter color that the city pigeons. Anyway, there are two of them that are always together. I call them the Bickersons because as they walk along the sidewalk the one in front is silent while the one behind is constantly chattering away. You see, I have made up a story in my mind (smile).
    Lovely post.

    Reply
  21. Being a city girl by birth, I have always thought of pigeons as a normal part of the landscape. Once upon a time when my sister was ill of some unknown problem—they eventually decided to call it a virus affecting the central nervous system (she kept feeling dizzy—I called it possession by evil spirits), we used to go over to Central Park on sunny days, and I would read to her as we sat on a bench, listening to the breeze and the pigeons. People would give us pitying smiles, and I eventually realized that they thought she was blind. She wasn’t, and she eventually recovered completely, but pigeons always remind me of those days.

    Reply
  22. Being a city girl by birth, I have always thought of pigeons as a normal part of the landscape. Once upon a time when my sister was ill of some unknown problem—they eventually decided to call it a virus affecting the central nervous system (she kept feeling dizzy—I called it possession by evil spirits), we used to go over to Central Park on sunny days, and I would read to her as we sat on a bench, listening to the breeze and the pigeons. People would give us pitying smiles, and I eventually realized that they thought she was blind. She wasn’t, and she eventually recovered completely, but pigeons always remind me of those days.

    Reply
  23. Being a city girl by birth, I have always thought of pigeons as a normal part of the landscape. Once upon a time when my sister was ill of some unknown problem—they eventually decided to call it a virus affecting the central nervous system (she kept feeling dizzy—I called it possession by evil spirits), we used to go over to Central Park on sunny days, and I would read to her as we sat on a bench, listening to the breeze and the pigeons. People would give us pitying smiles, and I eventually realized that they thought she was blind. She wasn’t, and she eventually recovered completely, but pigeons always remind me of those days.

    Reply
  24. Being a city girl by birth, I have always thought of pigeons as a normal part of the landscape. Once upon a time when my sister was ill of some unknown problem—they eventually decided to call it a virus affecting the central nervous system (she kept feeling dizzy—I called it possession by evil spirits), we used to go over to Central Park on sunny days, and I would read to her as we sat on a bench, listening to the breeze and the pigeons. People would give us pitying smiles, and I eventually realized that they thought she was blind. She wasn’t, and she eventually recovered completely, but pigeons always remind me of those days.

    Reply
  25. Being a city girl by birth, I have always thought of pigeons as a normal part of the landscape. Once upon a time when my sister was ill of some unknown problem—they eventually decided to call it a virus affecting the central nervous system (she kept feeling dizzy—I called it possession by evil spirits), we used to go over to Central Park on sunny days, and I would read to her as we sat on a bench, listening to the breeze and the pigeons. People would give us pitying smiles, and I eventually realized that they thought she was blind. She wasn’t, and she eventually recovered completely, but pigeons always remind me of those days.

    Reply
  26. For those of you who never have, look up a picture of a baby pigeon. Very prehistoric looking and so ugly, they’re cute.
    I feed the birds during the winter though I often lose a lot of food to the deer who are tall enough to reach the base of the feeders. In summer, I have a few bird baths out as well as several hummer feeders. They migrate though in winter so those feeders are only out from March to October. But I love to watch them and often see little territory wars at the feeder between the three or four who usually stay around. And then there’s the Monarch butterflies who share the hummer feeder with them.

    Reply
  27. For those of you who never have, look up a picture of a baby pigeon. Very prehistoric looking and so ugly, they’re cute.
    I feed the birds during the winter though I often lose a lot of food to the deer who are tall enough to reach the base of the feeders. In summer, I have a few bird baths out as well as several hummer feeders. They migrate though in winter so those feeders are only out from March to October. But I love to watch them and often see little territory wars at the feeder between the three or four who usually stay around. And then there’s the Monarch butterflies who share the hummer feeder with them.

    Reply
  28. For those of you who never have, look up a picture of a baby pigeon. Very prehistoric looking and so ugly, they’re cute.
    I feed the birds during the winter though I often lose a lot of food to the deer who are tall enough to reach the base of the feeders. In summer, I have a few bird baths out as well as several hummer feeders. They migrate though in winter so those feeders are only out from March to October. But I love to watch them and often see little territory wars at the feeder between the three or four who usually stay around. And then there’s the Monarch butterflies who share the hummer feeder with them.

    Reply
  29. For those of you who never have, look up a picture of a baby pigeon. Very prehistoric looking and so ugly, they’re cute.
    I feed the birds during the winter though I often lose a lot of food to the deer who are tall enough to reach the base of the feeders. In summer, I have a few bird baths out as well as several hummer feeders. They migrate though in winter so those feeders are only out from March to October. But I love to watch them and often see little territory wars at the feeder between the three or four who usually stay around. And then there’s the Monarch butterflies who share the hummer feeder with them.

    Reply
  30. For those of you who never have, look up a picture of a baby pigeon. Very prehistoric looking and so ugly, they’re cute.
    I feed the birds during the winter though I often lose a lot of food to the deer who are tall enough to reach the base of the feeders. In summer, I have a few bird baths out as well as several hummer feeders. They migrate though in winter so those feeders are only out from March to October. But I love to watch them and often see little territory wars at the feeder between the three or four who usually stay around. And then there’s the Monarch butterflies who share the hummer feeder with them.

    Reply
  31. I remember going into town and being inundated by rock doves that there were certain places designated as “pigeon runs” as it was necessary to sprint to avoid them and their aerial bombings. Peregrine Falcons were introduces and the rock dove population is manageable. I also remember a school trip where we traveled to Europe with my French teacher and learned about pigeons ability to target people. My French teacher was a tall beautiful black woman and there on the Cliffs of Dover while waiting for our ferry, the pigeons plastered her. There were no seagulls around to blame, but there was a large population of rock doves. We all joked about having squab for dinner.
    As an adult, I live in a rural area and the mourning dove is more common. I love hearing them calling ah-ah-hoo-hoo-hoo in the evenings as the sun sets and listening to their wings whistle as they take flight.
    After recovering from life-saving surgery eight years ago, My husband put up bird-feeders out side the porch so I had something to watch and study as I had nearly no energy to do much of anything beyond rehab. About six month later, I became a birder and started making forays into my local parks to watch birds I couldn’t see in my backyard. I love going out in nature and finding birds in there natural habitat. During my trips into the city, I even stop on occasion to watch the rock dove flying as it evades a falcon, or scavenging for food among the litter.
    So in the space of my life, I’ve gone from cursing the dreaded sky rat I had to avoid as I ran from the parking garage to my office, to appreciating the rock dove for what it does within it’s environment.

    Reply
  32. I remember going into town and being inundated by rock doves that there were certain places designated as “pigeon runs” as it was necessary to sprint to avoid them and their aerial bombings. Peregrine Falcons were introduces and the rock dove population is manageable. I also remember a school trip where we traveled to Europe with my French teacher and learned about pigeons ability to target people. My French teacher was a tall beautiful black woman and there on the Cliffs of Dover while waiting for our ferry, the pigeons plastered her. There were no seagulls around to blame, but there was a large population of rock doves. We all joked about having squab for dinner.
    As an adult, I live in a rural area and the mourning dove is more common. I love hearing them calling ah-ah-hoo-hoo-hoo in the evenings as the sun sets and listening to their wings whistle as they take flight.
    After recovering from life-saving surgery eight years ago, My husband put up bird-feeders out side the porch so I had something to watch and study as I had nearly no energy to do much of anything beyond rehab. About six month later, I became a birder and started making forays into my local parks to watch birds I couldn’t see in my backyard. I love going out in nature and finding birds in there natural habitat. During my trips into the city, I even stop on occasion to watch the rock dove flying as it evades a falcon, or scavenging for food among the litter.
    So in the space of my life, I’ve gone from cursing the dreaded sky rat I had to avoid as I ran from the parking garage to my office, to appreciating the rock dove for what it does within it’s environment.

    Reply
  33. I remember going into town and being inundated by rock doves that there were certain places designated as “pigeon runs” as it was necessary to sprint to avoid them and their aerial bombings. Peregrine Falcons were introduces and the rock dove population is manageable. I also remember a school trip where we traveled to Europe with my French teacher and learned about pigeons ability to target people. My French teacher was a tall beautiful black woman and there on the Cliffs of Dover while waiting for our ferry, the pigeons plastered her. There were no seagulls around to blame, but there was a large population of rock doves. We all joked about having squab for dinner.
    As an adult, I live in a rural area and the mourning dove is more common. I love hearing them calling ah-ah-hoo-hoo-hoo in the evenings as the sun sets and listening to their wings whistle as they take flight.
    After recovering from life-saving surgery eight years ago, My husband put up bird-feeders out side the porch so I had something to watch and study as I had nearly no energy to do much of anything beyond rehab. About six month later, I became a birder and started making forays into my local parks to watch birds I couldn’t see in my backyard. I love going out in nature and finding birds in there natural habitat. During my trips into the city, I even stop on occasion to watch the rock dove flying as it evades a falcon, or scavenging for food among the litter.
    So in the space of my life, I’ve gone from cursing the dreaded sky rat I had to avoid as I ran from the parking garage to my office, to appreciating the rock dove for what it does within it’s environment.

    Reply
  34. I remember going into town and being inundated by rock doves that there were certain places designated as “pigeon runs” as it was necessary to sprint to avoid them and their aerial bombings. Peregrine Falcons were introduces and the rock dove population is manageable. I also remember a school trip where we traveled to Europe with my French teacher and learned about pigeons ability to target people. My French teacher was a tall beautiful black woman and there on the Cliffs of Dover while waiting for our ferry, the pigeons plastered her. There were no seagulls around to blame, but there was a large population of rock doves. We all joked about having squab for dinner.
    As an adult, I live in a rural area and the mourning dove is more common. I love hearing them calling ah-ah-hoo-hoo-hoo in the evenings as the sun sets and listening to their wings whistle as they take flight.
    After recovering from life-saving surgery eight years ago, My husband put up bird-feeders out side the porch so I had something to watch and study as I had nearly no energy to do much of anything beyond rehab. About six month later, I became a birder and started making forays into my local parks to watch birds I couldn’t see in my backyard. I love going out in nature and finding birds in there natural habitat. During my trips into the city, I even stop on occasion to watch the rock dove flying as it evades a falcon, or scavenging for food among the litter.
    So in the space of my life, I’ve gone from cursing the dreaded sky rat I had to avoid as I ran from the parking garage to my office, to appreciating the rock dove for what it does within it’s environment.

    Reply
  35. I remember going into town and being inundated by rock doves that there were certain places designated as “pigeon runs” as it was necessary to sprint to avoid them and their aerial bombings. Peregrine Falcons were introduces and the rock dove population is manageable. I also remember a school trip where we traveled to Europe with my French teacher and learned about pigeons ability to target people. My French teacher was a tall beautiful black woman and there on the Cliffs of Dover while waiting for our ferry, the pigeons plastered her. There were no seagulls around to blame, but there was a large population of rock doves. We all joked about having squab for dinner.
    As an adult, I live in a rural area and the mourning dove is more common. I love hearing them calling ah-ah-hoo-hoo-hoo in the evenings as the sun sets and listening to their wings whistle as they take flight.
    After recovering from life-saving surgery eight years ago, My husband put up bird-feeders out side the porch so I had something to watch and study as I had nearly no energy to do much of anything beyond rehab. About six month later, I became a birder and started making forays into my local parks to watch birds I couldn’t see in my backyard. I love going out in nature and finding birds in there natural habitat. During my trips into the city, I even stop on occasion to watch the rock dove flying as it evades a falcon, or scavenging for food among the litter.
    So in the space of my life, I’ve gone from cursing the dreaded sky rat I had to avoid as I ran from the parking garage to my office, to appreciating the rock dove for what it does within it’s environment.

    Reply
  36. Great post, Jo! I remember being taken to Trafalgar Square for the first time as a 10-year old. My dad bought some seed for me to feed the birds with and suddenly they were sitting all over me – on my head, arms and shoulders! I was delighted but at the time it never occurred to me they could be dirty. I love birds and we have a feeder outside our kitchen window. Sometimes the local doves (pigeons?) come and join the smaller birds and they are beautiful. Don’t want to ever eat one though!
    (PS. Thanks for the Old English version douve – they are still called ‘duva’ in Swedish so that’s obviously a Germanic thing)

    Reply
  37. Great post, Jo! I remember being taken to Trafalgar Square for the first time as a 10-year old. My dad bought some seed for me to feed the birds with and suddenly they were sitting all over me – on my head, arms and shoulders! I was delighted but at the time it never occurred to me they could be dirty. I love birds and we have a feeder outside our kitchen window. Sometimes the local doves (pigeons?) come and join the smaller birds and they are beautiful. Don’t want to ever eat one though!
    (PS. Thanks for the Old English version douve – they are still called ‘duva’ in Swedish so that’s obviously a Germanic thing)

    Reply
  38. Great post, Jo! I remember being taken to Trafalgar Square for the first time as a 10-year old. My dad bought some seed for me to feed the birds with and suddenly they were sitting all over me – on my head, arms and shoulders! I was delighted but at the time it never occurred to me they could be dirty. I love birds and we have a feeder outside our kitchen window. Sometimes the local doves (pigeons?) come and join the smaller birds and they are beautiful. Don’t want to ever eat one though!
    (PS. Thanks for the Old English version douve – they are still called ‘duva’ in Swedish so that’s obviously a Germanic thing)

    Reply
  39. Great post, Jo! I remember being taken to Trafalgar Square for the first time as a 10-year old. My dad bought some seed for me to feed the birds with and suddenly they were sitting all over me – on my head, arms and shoulders! I was delighted but at the time it never occurred to me they could be dirty. I love birds and we have a feeder outside our kitchen window. Sometimes the local doves (pigeons?) come and join the smaller birds and they are beautiful. Don’t want to ever eat one though!
    (PS. Thanks for the Old English version douve – they are still called ‘duva’ in Swedish so that’s obviously a Germanic thing)

    Reply
  40. Great post, Jo! I remember being taken to Trafalgar Square for the first time as a 10-year old. My dad bought some seed for me to feed the birds with and suddenly they were sitting all over me – on my head, arms and shoulders! I was delighted but at the time it never occurred to me they could be dirty. I love birds and we have a feeder outside our kitchen window. Sometimes the local doves (pigeons?) come and join the smaller birds and they are beautiful. Don’t want to ever eat one though!
    (PS. Thanks for the Old English version douve – they are still called ‘duva’ in Swedish so that’s obviously a Germanic thing)

    Reply
  41. We do have a bird feeder, and in addition to the wild varieties like cardinals, woodpeckers, etc. we get visited by domestic pigeons. We also get visited by a Cooper’s hawk who eats the pigeons. Maybe because they are plumper, or because they are ground feeders, those are the only birds he(or she) seems to catch. We’ve never actually seen the hawk in the act of catching a pigeon, but sometimes we see him sitting quietly waiting for a victim, sometimes tearing it to shreds and eating it, and sometimes we just see the telltale pile of feathers in the back yard. It happens so often that my husband has started feeling sorry for the pigeons(they never seem to learn!) and talked about chasing the hawk away. But I find it a bit thrilling, I love seeing raptors, and also I believe in letting nature take its course. So, AITA?

    Reply
  42. We do have a bird feeder, and in addition to the wild varieties like cardinals, woodpeckers, etc. we get visited by domestic pigeons. We also get visited by a Cooper’s hawk who eats the pigeons. Maybe because they are plumper, or because they are ground feeders, those are the only birds he(or she) seems to catch. We’ve never actually seen the hawk in the act of catching a pigeon, but sometimes we see him sitting quietly waiting for a victim, sometimes tearing it to shreds and eating it, and sometimes we just see the telltale pile of feathers in the back yard. It happens so often that my husband has started feeling sorry for the pigeons(they never seem to learn!) and talked about chasing the hawk away. But I find it a bit thrilling, I love seeing raptors, and also I believe in letting nature take its course. So, AITA?

    Reply
  43. We do have a bird feeder, and in addition to the wild varieties like cardinals, woodpeckers, etc. we get visited by domestic pigeons. We also get visited by a Cooper’s hawk who eats the pigeons. Maybe because they are plumper, or because they are ground feeders, those are the only birds he(or she) seems to catch. We’ve never actually seen the hawk in the act of catching a pigeon, but sometimes we see him sitting quietly waiting for a victim, sometimes tearing it to shreds and eating it, and sometimes we just see the telltale pile of feathers in the back yard. It happens so often that my husband has started feeling sorry for the pigeons(they never seem to learn!) and talked about chasing the hawk away. But I find it a bit thrilling, I love seeing raptors, and also I believe in letting nature take its course. So, AITA?

    Reply
  44. We do have a bird feeder, and in addition to the wild varieties like cardinals, woodpeckers, etc. we get visited by domestic pigeons. We also get visited by a Cooper’s hawk who eats the pigeons. Maybe because they are plumper, or because they are ground feeders, those are the only birds he(or she) seems to catch. We’ve never actually seen the hawk in the act of catching a pigeon, but sometimes we see him sitting quietly waiting for a victim, sometimes tearing it to shreds and eating it, and sometimes we just see the telltale pile of feathers in the back yard. It happens so often that my husband has started feeling sorry for the pigeons(they never seem to learn!) and talked about chasing the hawk away. But I find it a bit thrilling, I love seeing raptors, and also I believe in letting nature take its course. So, AITA?

    Reply
  45. We do have a bird feeder, and in addition to the wild varieties like cardinals, woodpeckers, etc. we get visited by domestic pigeons. We also get visited by a Cooper’s hawk who eats the pigeons. Maybe because they are plumper, or because they are ground feeders, those are the only birds he(or she) seems to catch. We’ve never actually seen the hawk in the act of catching a pigeon, but sometimes we see him sitting quietly waiting for a victim, sometimes tearing it to shreds and eating it, and sometimes we just see the telltale pile of feathers in the back yard. It happens so often that my husband has started feeling sorry for the pigeons(they never seem to learn!) and talked about chasing the hawk away. But I find it a bit thrilling, I love seeing raptors, and also I believe in letting nature take its course. So, AITA?

    Reply
  46. Here in Austin we have a great number of white wing doves. There are many who live around my house, and I get to hear them. I believe that it is easy to see why they are connected to lovers. Their voices sound as though they are making sweet sounds for someone nearby.
    We also have red tailed hawks who live near. And it is amazing how a hawk flying overhead can make all the many doves become invisible. Well if I am honest, blue jays, cardinals, even the brave mockingbirds become very quiet.
    I have seen mockingbirds attacking a hawk sitting on a power pole. The hawk sat and did not even turn his head. I called the Texas wildlife department and spoke to an agent. I am not sure what I expected. Maybe they could zone all hawks to become protected from assault? Or not. The agent said that the hawk would not have cared what the mockingbird was doing. He also told me that if the hawk wanted to be assertive the mockingbird would be gone.
    When I walk my dog,I have found feathers from what was once a bird. It is probably the owls who also live around me. I love the sound of birds singing. Even the wren who makes a nest on the light over my patio sounds terrific to my ears.
    I have a bird bath/water bowl outside for birds. I get dragonflies, butterflies, cats, possums and I am not sure who drops by at night. I have a tip, if you don’t want your dragonflies and butterflies to drown, put some rocks in your bird bath, They have to have somewhere to stand.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  47. Here in Austin we have a great number of white wing doves. There are many who live around my house, and I get to hear them. I believe that it is easy to see why they are connected to lovers. Their voices sound as though they are making sweet sounds for someone nearby.
    We also have red tailed hawks who live near. And it is amazing how a hawk flying overhead can make all the many doves become invisible. Well if I am honest, blue jays, cardinals, even the brave mockingbirds become very quiet.
    I have seen mockingbirds attacking a hawk sitting on a power pole. The hawk sat and did not even turn his head. I called the Texas wildlife department and spoke to an agent. I am not sure what I expected. Maybe they could zone all hawks to become protected from assault? Or not. The agent said that the hawk would not have cared what the mockingbird was doing. He also told me that if the hawk wanted to be assertive the mockingbird would be gone.
    When I walk my dog,I have found feathers from what was once a bird. It is probably the owls who also live around me. I love the sound of birds singing. Even the wren who makes a nest on the light over my patio sounds terrific to my ears.
    I have a bird bath/water bowl outside for birds. I get dragonflies, butterflies, cats, possums and I am not sure who drops by at night. I have a tip, if you don’t want your dragonflies and butterflies to drown, put some rocks in your bird bath, They have to have somewhere to stand.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  48. Here in Austin we have a great number of white wing doves. There are many who live around my house, and I get to hear them. I believe that it is easy to see why they are connected to lovers. Their voices sound as though they are making sweet sounds for someone nearby.
    We also have red tailed hawks who live near. And it is amazing how a hawk flying overhead can make all the many doves become invisible. Well if I am honest, blue jays, cardinals, even the brave mockingbirds become very quiet.
    I have seen mockingbirds attacking a hawk sitting on a power pole. The hawk sat and did not even turn his head. I called the Texas wildlife department and spoke to an agent. I am not sure what I expected. Maybe they could zone all hawks to become protected from assault? Or not. The agent said that the hawk would not have cared what the mockingbird was doing. He also told me that if the hawk wanted to be assertive the mockingbird would be gone.
    When I walk my dog,I have found feathers from what was once a bird. It is probably the owls who also live around me. I love the sound of birds singing. Even the wren who makes a nest on the light over my patio sounds terrific to my ears.
    I have a bird bath/water bowl outside for birds. I get dragonflies, butterflies, cats, possums and I am not sure who drops by at night. I have a tip, if you don’t want your dragonflies and butterflies to drown, put some rocks in your bird bath, They have to have somewhere to stand.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  49. Here in Austin we have a great number of white wing doves. There are many who live around my house, and I get to hear them. I believe that it is easy to see why they are connected to lovers. Their voices sound as though they are making sweet sounds for someone nearby.
    We also have red tailed hawks who live near. And it is amazing how a hawk flying overhead can make all the many doves become invisible. Well if I am honest, blue jays, cardinals, even the brave mockingbirds become very quiet.
    I have seen mockingbirds attacking a hawk sitting on a power pole. The hawk sat and did not even turn his head. I called the Texas wildlife department and spoke to an agent. I am not sure what I expected. Maybe they could zone all hawks to become protected from assault? Or not. The agent said that the hawk would not have cared what the mockingbird was doing. He also told me that if the hawk wanted to be assertive the mockingbird would be gone.
    When I walk my dog,I have found feathers from what was once a bird. It is probably the owls who also live around me. I love the sound of birds singing. Even the wren who makes a nest on the light over my patio sounds terrific to my ears.
    I have a bird bath/water bowl outside for birds. I get dragonflies, butterflies, cats, possums and I am not sure who drops by at night. I have a tip, if you don’t want your dragonflies and butterflies to drown, put some rocks in your bird bath, They have to have somewhere to stand.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  50. Here in Austin we have a great number of white wing doves. There are many who live around my house, and I get to hear them. I believe that it is easy to see why they are connected to lovers. Their voices sound as though they are making sweet sounds for someone nearby.
    We also have red tailed hawks who live near. And it is amazing how a hawk flying overhead can make all the many doves become invisible. Well if I am honest, blue jays, cardinals, even the brave mockingbirds become very quiet.
    I have seen mockingbirds attacking a hawk sitting on a power pole. The hawk sat and did not even turn his head. I called the Texas wildlife department and spoke to an agent. I am not sure what I expected. Maybe they could zone all hawks to become protected from assault? Or not. The agent said that the hawk would not have cared what the mockingbird was doing. He also told me that if the hawk wanted to be assertive the mockingbird would be gone.
    When I walk my dog,I have found feathers from what was once a bird. It is probably the owls who also live around me. I love the sound of birds singing. Even the wren who makes a nest on the light over my patio sounds terrific to my ears.
    I have a bird bath/water bowl outside for birds. I get dragonflies, butterflies, cats, possums and I am not sure who drops by at night. I have a tip, if you don’t want your dragonflies and butterflies to drown, put some rocks in your bird bath, They have to have somewhere to stand.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  51. I welcome pigeons and ducks and rabbits – even chickens – as backyard pets and Sunday dinner. It’s a more humane lifestyle for the beasts and a more realistic one for the family.
    I like the expansion of the menu into all parts of the animals. In theory. My enjoyment of some of these is more theory than practice, I’m afraid. One side effect is the hearty peasant cuts have gotten more expensive.

    Reply
  52. I welcome pigeons and ducks and rabbits – even chickens – as backyard pets and Sunday dinner. It’s a more humane lifestyle for the beasts and a more realistic one for the family.
    I like the expansion of the menu into all parts of the animals. In theory. My enjoyment of some of these is more theory than practice, I’m afraid. One side effect is the hearty peasant cuts have gotten more expensive.

    Reply
  53. I welcome pigeons and ducks and rabbits – even chickens – as backyard pets and Sunday dinner. It’s a more humane lifestyle for the beasts and a more realistic one for the family.
    I like the expansion of the menu into all parts of the animals. In theory. My enjoyment of some of these is more theory than practice, I’m afraid. One side effect is the hearty peasant cuts have gotten more expensive.

    Reply
  54. I welcome pigeons and ducks and rabbits – even chickens – as backyard pets and Sunday dinner. It’s a more humane lifestyle for the beasts and a more realistic one for the family.
    I like the expansion of the menu into all parts of the animals. In theory. My enjoyment of some of these is more theory than practice, I’m afraid. One side effect is the hearty peasant cuts have gotten more expensive.

    Reply
  55. I welcome pigeons and ducks and rabbits – even chickens – as backyard pets and Sunday dinner. It’s a more humane lifestyle for the beasts and a more realistic one for the family.
    I like the expansion of the menu into all parts of the animals. In theory. My enjoyment of some of these is more theory than practice, I’m afraid. One side effect is the hearty peasant cuts have gotten more expensive.

    Reply
  56. I have not eaten pigeon myself. I think they’d be like quail – quite a lot of work to get to a small amount of meat. I guess I’m a lazy eater.
    I wouldn’t want to eat a city pigeon. Too much exposure to urban pollution. If I were a gigantic hunting cat, Smilodon for instance, and routinely preyed on humans, I’d avoid city dwellers for the same reason.

    Reply
  57. I have not eaten pigeon myself. I think they’d be like quail – quite a lot of work to get to a small amount of meat. I guess I’m a lazy eater.
    I wouldn’t want to eat a city pigeon. Too much exposure to urban pollution. If I were a gigantic hunting cat, Smilodon for instance, and routinely preyed on humans, I’d avoid city dwellers for the same reason.

    Reply
  58. I have not eaten pigeon myself. I think they’d be like quail – quite a lot of work to get to a small amount of meat. I guess I’m a lazy eater.
    I wouldn’t want to eat a city pigeon. Too much exposure to urban pollution. If I were a gigantic hunting cat, Smilodon for instance, and routinely preyed on humans, I’d avoid city dwellers for the same reason.

    Reply
  59. I have not eaten pigeon myself. I think they’d be like quail – quite a lot of work to get to a small amount of meat. I guess I’m a lazy eater.
    I wouldn’t want to eat a city pigeon. Too much exposure to urban pollution. If I were a gigantic hunting cat, Smilodon for instance, and routinely preyed on humans, I’d avoid city dwellers for the same reason.

    Reply
  60. I have not eaten pigeon myself. I think they’d be like quail – quite a lot of work to get to a small amount of meat. I guess I’m a lazy eater.
    I wouldn’t want to eat a city pigeon. Too much exposure to urban pollution. If I were a gigantic hunting cat, Smilodon for instance, and routinely preyed on humans, I’d avoid city dwellers for the same reason.

    Reply
  61. Those bears. They will get to the feeders whatever you do and you CANNOT encourage them near the house, however much you are in favor of them being safe and happy in the woods.
    I suppose a responsible woodland dweller doesn’t want to encourage wild birds to be dependence on feeders, really. Having them available only for the hardest times of the year makes environmental sense.

    Reply
  62. Those bears. They will get to the feeders whatever you do and you CANNOT encourage them near the house, however much you are in favor of them being safe and happy in the woods.
    I suppose a responsible woodland dweller doesn’t want to encourage wild birds to be dependence on feeders, really. Having them available only for the hardest times of the year makes environmental sense.

    Reply
  63. Those bears. They will get to the feeders whatever you do and you CANNOT encourage them near the house, however much you are in favor of them being safe and happy in the woods.
    I suppose a responsible woodland dweller doesn’t want to encourage wild birds to be dependence on feeders, really. Having them available only for the hardest times of the year makes environmental sense.

    Reply
  64. Those bears. They will get to the feeders whatever you do and you CANNOT encourage them near the house, however much you are in favor of them being safe and happy in the woods.
    I suppose a responsible woodland dweller doesn’t want to encourage wild birds to be dependence on feeders, really. Having them available only for the hardest times of the year makes environmental sense.

    Reply
  65. Those bears. They will get to the feeders whatever you do and you CANNOT encourage them near the house, however much you are in favor of them being safe and happy in the woods.
    I suppose a responsible woodland dweller doesn’t want to encourage wild birds to be dependence on feeders, really. Having them available only for the hardest times of the year makes environmental sense.

    Reply
  66. I am deeply impressed by anyone who traps and eats pigeons. And a simple box trap. Good for you, says I.
    I would wish to encourage the consumption of urban squirrels, I think, except for the whole toxic environment stuff.
    My father, who came from the deep South and was very poor, shot squirrels in his youth and spoke fondly of them as a meal.

    Reply
  67. I am deeply impressed by anyone who traps and eats pigeons. And a simple box trap. Good for you, says I.
    I would wish to encourage the consumption of urban squirrels, I think, except for the whole toxic environment stuff.
    My father, who came from the deep South and was very poor, shot squirrels in his youth and spoke fondly of them as a meal.

    Reply
  68. I am deeply impressed by anyone who traps and eats pigeons. And a simple box trap. Good for you, says I.
    I would wish to encourage the consumption of urban squirrels, I think, except for the whole toxic environment stuff.
    My father, who came from the deep South and was very poor, shot squirrels in his youth and spoke fondly of them as a meal.

    Reply
  69. I am deeply impressed by anyone who traps and eats pigeons. And a simple box trap. Good for you, says I.
    I would wish to encourage the consumption of urban squirrels, I think, except for the whole toxic environment stuff.
    My father, who came from the deep South and was very poor, shot squirrels in his youth and spoke fondly of them as a meal.

    Reply
  70. I am deeply impressed by anyone who traps and eats pigeons. And a simple box trap. Good for you, says I.
    I would wish to encourage the consumption of urban squirrels, I think, except for the whole toxic environment stuff.
    My father, who came from the deep South and was very poor, shot squirrels in his youth and spoke fondly of them as a meal.

    Reply
  71. Birds are evocative animals. We see them and are carried back to scenes in the past.
    For me, this is so true of hummingbirds. I see one and I think of the feeders I had on the porch a few years back when I lived int he woods.
    I’d have a dozen hummingbirds in sight at one time, darting back and forth, like jewels fighting.
    Good days.

    Reply
  72. Birds are evocative animals. We see them and are carried back to scenes in the past.
    For me, this is so true of hummingbirds. I see one and I think of the feeders I had on the porch a few years back when I lived int he woods.
    I’d have a dozen hummingbirds in sight at one time, darting back and forth, like jewels fighting.
    Good days.

    Reply
  73. Birds are evocative animals. We see them and are carried back to scenes in the past.
    For me, this is so true of hummingbirds. I see one and I think of the feeders I had on the porch a few years back when I lived int he woods.
    I’d have a dozen hummingbirds in sight at one time, darting back and forth, like jewels fighting.
    Good days.

    Reply
  74. Birds are evocative animals. We see them and are carried back to scenes in the past.
    For me, this is so true of hummingbirds. I see one and I think of the feeders I had on the porch a few years back when I lived int he woods.
    I’d have a dozen hummingbirds in sight at one time, darting back and forth, like jewels fighting.
    Good days.

    Reply
  75. Birds are evocative animals. We see them and are carried back to scenes in the past.
    For me, this is so true of hummingbirds. I see one and I think of the feeders I had on the porch a few years back when I lived int he woods.
    I’d have a dozen hummingbirds in sight at one time, darting back and forth, like jewels fighting.
    Good days.

    Reply
  76. I wish I had monarchs come by here. I’ve planted a few butterfly-friendly bushes and will do more next spring, but the poor things are fighting a great battle against pesticides, and not doing too well, and I can only help them a little.
    I do not have an actual bird bath. I put out the dog’s water dish, mostly, and let the birds share, which they do. But it’s not shaped optimally.
    I think I have to go buy an actual bird bath.

    Reply
  77. I wish I had monarchs come by here. I’ve planted a few butterfly-friendly bushes and will do more next spring, but the poor things are fighting a great battle against pesticides, and not doing too well, and I can only help them a little.
    I do not have an actual bird bath. I put out the dog’s water dish, mostly, and let the birds share, which they do. But it’s not shaped optimally.
    I think I have to go buy an actual bird bath.

    Reply
  78. I wish I had monarchs come by here. I’ve planted a few butterfly-friendly bushes and will do more next spring, but the poor things are fighting a great battle against pesticides, and not doing too well, and I can only help them a little.
    I do not have an actual bird bath. I put out the dog’s water dish, mostly, and let the birds share, which they do. But it’s not shaped optimally.
    I think I have to go buy an actual bird bath.

    Reply
  79. I wish I had monarchs come by here. I’ve planted a few butterfly-friendly bushes and will do more next spring, but the poor things are fighting a great battle against pesticides, and not doing too well, and I can only help them a little.
    I do not have an actual bird bath. I put out the dog’s water dish, mostly, and let the birds share, which they do. But it’s not shaped optimally.
    I think I have to go buy an actual bird bath.

    Reply
  80. I wish I had monarchs come by here. I’ve planted a few butterfly-friendly bushes and will do more next spring, but the poor things are fighting a great battle against pesticides, and not doing too well, and I can only help them a little.
    I do not have an actual bird bath. I put out the dog’s water dish, mostly, and let the birds share, which they do. But it’s not shaped optimally.
    I think I have to go buy an actual bird bath.

    Reply
  81. I’ll admit to having a fondness for the untidy pigeon. I’ve spent many urban afternoons watching them and the kids in city parks.
    I’m also delighted with the hawks and falcons who’ve been encouraged to take up residence and feed upon pigeons. Such an elegant solution.

    Reply
  82. I’ll admit to having a fondness for the untidy pigeon. I’ve spent many urban afternoons watching them and the kids in city parks.
    I’m also delighted with the hawks and falcons who’ve been encouraged to take up residence and feed upon pigeons. Such an elegant solution.

    Reply
  83. I’ll admit to having a fondness for the untidy pigeon. I’ve spent many urban afternoons watching them and the kids in city parks.
    I’m also delighted with the hawks and falcons who’ve been encouraged to take up residence and feed upon pigeons. Such an elegant solution.

    Reply
  84. I’ll admit to having a fondness for the untidy pigeon. I’ve spent many urban afternoons watching them and the kids in city parks.
    I’m also delighted with the hawks and falcons who’ve been encouraged to take up residence and feed upon pigeons. Such an elegant solution.

    Reply
  85. I’ll admit to having a fondness for the untidy pigeon. I’ve spent many urban afternoons watching them and the kids in city parks.
    I’m also delighted with the hawks and falcons who’ve been encouraged to take up residence and feed upon pigeons. Such an elegant solution.

    Reply
  86. “Dove” may well have entered Old English directly through Old Norse “dufa” – so it could be a close association there.
    I simplified the many Germanic cognates by drilling right down to proto-German.
    I have a special dinky feeder that excludes bigger birds like crows, magpies, and – yes – pigeons.

    Reply
  87. “Dove” may well have entered Old English directly through Old Norse “dufa” – so it could be a close association there.
    I simplified the many Germanic cognates by drilling right down to proto-German.
    I have a special dinky feeder that excludes bigger birds like crows, magpies, and – yes – pigeons.

    Reply
  88. “Dove” may well have entered Old English directly through Old Norse “dufa” – so it could be a close association there.
    I simplified the many Germanic cognates by drilling right down to proto-German.
    I have a special dinky feeder that excludes bigger birds like crows, magpies, and – yes – pigeons.

    Reply
  89. “Dove” may well have entered Old English directly through Old Norse “dufa” – so it could be a close association there.
    I simplified the many Germanic cognates by drilling right down to proto-German.
    I have a special dinky feeder that excludes bigger birds like crows, magpies, and – yes – pigeons.

    Reply
  90. “Dove” may well have entered Old English directly through Old Norse “dufa” – so it could be a close association there.
    I simplified the many Germanic cognates by drilling right down to proto-German.
    I have a special dinky feeder that excludes bigger birds like crows, magpies, and – yes – pigeons.

    Reply
  91. I had squirrel for dinner as a child out on the farm. Not much meat on the little guys, but they sure made good gravy. Actually, I admire squirrels for being able to adapt to urban life so well. Seems like their only natural enemy is the automobile.

    Reply
  92. I had squirrel for dinner as a child out on the farm. Not much meat on the little guys, but they sure made good gravy. Actually, I admire squirrels for being able to adapt to urban life so well. Seems like their only natural enemy is the automobile.

    Reply
  93. I had squirrel for dinner as a child out on the farm. Not much meat on the little guys, but they sure made good gravy. Actually, I admire squirrels for being able to adapt to urban life so well. Seems like their only natural enemy is the automobile.

    Reply
  94. I had squirrel for dinner as a child out on the farm. Not much meat on the little guys, but they sure made good gravy. Actually, I admire squirrels for being able to adapt to urban life so well. Seems like their only natural enemy is the automobile.

    Reply
  95. I had squirrel for dinner as a child out on the farm. Not much meat on the little guys, but they sure made good gravy. Actually, I admire squirrels for being able to adapt to urban life so well. Seems like their only natural enemy is the automobile.

    Reply
  96. Thank you so much for the birdbath tip.
    I have generally had water out on my porch, theoretically for the cat or dog who doesn’t want to bother to come in, but in practice itm devolves into a drinking hole for the squirrels, who deliberately foul it.
    I find it very hard to scrape up sympathy for squirrels and wish the coyotes who are currently encroaching on my small town neighborhood, would take out squirrels instead of the local cats.

    Reply
  97. Thank you so much for the birdbath tip.
    I have generally had water out on my porch, theoretically for the cat or dog who doesn’t want to bother to come in, but in practice itm devolves into a drinking hole for the squirrels, who deliberately foul it.
    I find it very hard to scrape up sympathy for squirrels and wish the coyotes who are currently encroaching on my small town neighborhood, would take out squirrels instead of the local cats.

    Reply
  98. Thank you so much for the birdbath tip.
    I have generally had water out on my porch, theoretically for the cat or dog who doesn’t want to bother to come in, but in practice itm devolves into a drinking hole for the squirrels, who deliberately foul it.
    I find it very hard to scrape up sympathy for squirrels and wish the coyotes who are currently encroaching on my small town neighborhood, would take out squirrels instead of the local cats.

    Reply
  99. Thank you so much for the birdbath tip.
    I have generally had water out on my porch, theoretically for the cat or dog who doesn’t want to bother to come in, but in practice itm devolves into a drinking hole for the squirrels, who deliberately foul it.
    I find it very hard to scrape up sympathy for squirrels and wish the coyotes who are currently encroaching on my small town neighborhood, would take out squirrels instead of the local cats.

    Reply
  100. Thank you so much for the birdbath tip.
    I have generally had water out on my porch, theoretically for the cat or dog who doesn’t want to bother to come in, but in practice itm devolves into a drinking hole for the squirrels, who deliberately foul it.
    I find it very hard to scrape up sympathy for squirrels and wish the coyotes who are currently encroaching on my small town neighborhood, would take out squirrels instead of the local cats.

    Reply
  101. Perhaps we can encourage the coyotes, who are slowly headed into urban and suburban environments, to eat squirrel.
    We could put up little two-foot-high billboards praising the tastiness of squirrels.

    Reply
  102. Perhaps we can encourage the coyotes, who are slowly headed into urban and suburban environments, to eat squirrel.
    We could put up little two-foot-high billboards praising the tastiness of squirrels.

    Reply
  103. Perhaps we can encourage the coyotes, who are slowly headed into urban and suburban environments, to eat squirrel.
    We could put up little two-foot-high billboards praising the tastiness of squirrels.

    Reply
  104. Perhaps we can encourage the coyotes, who are slowly headed into urban and suburban environments, to eat squirrel.
    We could put up little two-foot-high billboards praising the tastiness of squirrels.

    Reply
  105. Perhaps we can encourage the coyotes, who are slowly headed into urban and suburban environments, to eat squirrel.
    We could put up little two-foot-high billboards praising the tastiness of squirrels.

    Reply
  106. You could put a less-than-shallow bowl out and a rock in it. That gives the birds something to sit on. I have two birdbaths that are outrageously old and no longer hold water so I put those huge clear liners that go underneath the extra large planters in the old bowls and set a rock in there. It works really well.
    I’ll give you a tip for the Monarchs. You can buy milkweed or I’d be happy to send you seeds next year. I have so many plants, I pull them as soon as they start most of the time. I either pick the leaf the Monarch has laid her egg on (one per plant usually to avoid competition) or pluck the wee beasties off when they’re a quarter inch in length and have a Monarch house that they stay in. Then I just replace the leaves every day. Not at all hard work, just a few minutes a day. I keep them through the lifecycle and let them go once they’ve butterflied 😉 It’s fascinating and I’m giving them a chance that way. I released 27 this past fall.

    Reply
  107. You could put a less-than-shallow bowl out and a rock in it. That gives the birds something to sit on. I have two birdbaths that are outrageously old and no longer hold water so I put those huge clear liners that go underneath the extra large planters in the old bowls and set a rock in there. It works really well.
    I’ll give you a tip for the Monarchs. You can buy milkweed or I’d be happy to send you seeds next year. I have so many plants, I pull them as soon as they start most of the time. I either pick the leaf the Monarch has laid her egg on (one per plant usually to avoid competition) or pluck the wee beasties off when they’re a quarter inch in length and have a Monarch house that they stay in. Then I just replace the leaves every day. Not at all hard work, just a few minutes a day. I keep them through the lifecycle and let them go once they’ve butterflied 😉 It’s fascinating and I’m giving them a chance that way. I released 27 this past fall.

    Reply
  108. You could put a less-than-shallow bowl out and a rock in it. That gives the birds something to sit on. I have two birdbaths that are outrageously old and no longer hold water so I put those huge clear liners that go underneath the extra large planters in the old bowls and set a rock in there. It works really well.
    I’ll give you a tip for the Monarchs. You can buy milkweed or I’d be happy to send you seeds next year. I have so many plants, I pull them as soon as they start most of the time. I either pick the leaf the Monarch has laid her egg on (one per plant usually to avoid competition) or pluck the wee beasties off when they’re a quarter inch in length and have a Monarch house that they stay in. Then I just replace the leaves every day. Not at all hard work, just a few minutes a day. I keep them through the lifecycle and let them go once they’ve butterflied 😉 It’s fascinating and I’m giving them a chance that way. I released 27 this past fall.

    Reply
  109. You could put a less-than-shallow bowl out and a rock in it. That gives the birds something to sit on. I have two birdbaths that are outrageously old and no longer hold water so I put those huge clear liners that go underneath the extra large planters in the old bowls and set a rock in there. It works really well.
    I’ll give you a tip for the Monarchs. You can buy milkweed or I’d be happy to send you seeds next year. I have so many plants, I pull them as soon as they start most of the time. I either pick the leaf the Monarch has laid her egg on (one per plant usually to avoid competition) or pluck the wee beasties off when they’re a quarter inch in length and have a Monarch house that they stay in. Then I just replace the leaves every day. Not at all hard work, just a few minutes a day. I keep them through the lifecycle and let them go once they’ve butterflied 😉 It’s fascinating and I’m giving them a chance that way. I released 27 this past fall.

    Reply
  110. You could put a less-than-shallow bowl out and a rock in it. That gives the birds something to sit on. I have two birdbaths that are outrageously old and no longer hold water so I put those huge clear liners that go underneath the extra large planters in the old bowls and set a rock in there. It works really well.
    I’ll give you a tip for the Monarchs. You can buy milkweed or I’d be happy to send you seeds next year. I have so many plants, I pull them as soon as they start most of the time. I either pick the leaf the Monarch has laid her egg on (one per plant usually to avoid competition) or pluck the wee beasties off when they’re a quarter inch in length and have a Monarch house that they stay in. Then I just replace the leaves every day. Not at all hard work, just a few minutes a day. I keep them through the lifecycle and let them go once they’ve butterflied 😉 It’s fascinating and I’m giving them a chance that way. I released 27 this past fall.

    Reply
  111. Squirrel was the original ingredient for Brunswick Stew. I MIUCH prefer the chicken versiom which I occasioally make. MUCH meatier dish. (But then I am not the stuff my pioneer ancestors were made of, and don’t wish to be unless I’m in a book.)

    Reply
  112. Squirrel was the original ingredient for Brunswick Stew. I MIUCH prefer the chicken versiom which I occasioally make. MUCH meatier dish. (But then I am not the stuff my pioneer ancestors were made of, and don’t wish to be unless I’m in a book.)

    Reply
  113. Squirrel was the original ingredient for Brunswick Stew. I MIUCH prefer the chicken versiom which I occasioally make. MUCH meatier dish. (But then I am not the stuff my pioneer ancestors were made of, and don’t wish to be unless I’m in a book.)

    Reply
  114. Squirrel was the original ingredient for Brunswick Stew. I MIUCH prefer the chicken versiom which I occasioally make. MUCH meatier dish. (But then I am not the stuff my pioneer ancestors were made of, and don’t wish to be unless I’m in a book.)

    Reply
  115. Squirrel was the original ingredient for Brunswick Stew. I MIUCH prefer the chicken versiom which I occasioally make. MUCH meatier dish. (But then I am not the stuff my pioneer ancestors were made of, and don’t wish to be unless I’m in a book.)

    Reply
  116. You pick the coolest topics, Joanna! I seem to recall my father threatening to shoot some pigeons that were a nuisance in his garden, and my mother refusing to cook them if he did. I’m pretty sure my dad had eaten pigeons as a child.
    I have a bird feeder, and I often throw bad apples into the yard for whatever wildlife wants them. I once threw out the skin of a watermelon, and a turtle feasted on it! As for coyotes — no, I want them to go away. They scare the cats and even took one of them (or so we assume).

    Reply
  117. You pick the coolest topics, Joanna! I seem to recall my father threatening to shoot some pigeons that were a nuisance in his garden, and my mother refusing to cook them if he did. I’m pretty sure my dad had eaten pigeons as a child.
    I have a bird feeder, and I often throw bad apples into the yard for whatever wildlife wants them. I once threw out the skin of a watermelon, and a turtle feasted on it! As for coyotes — no, I want them to go away. They scare the cats and even took one of them (or so we assume).

    Reply
  118. You pick the coolest topics, Joanna! I seem to recall my father threatening to shoot some pigeons that were a nuisance in his garden, and my mother refusing to cook them if he did. I’m pretty sure my dad had eaten pigeons as a child.
    I have a bird feeder, and I often throw bad apples into the yard for whatever wildlife wants them. I once threw out the skin of a watermelon, and a turtle feasted on it! As for coyotes — no, I want them to go away. They scare the cats and even took one of them (or so we assume).

    Reply
  119. You pick the coolest topics, Joanna! I seem to recall my father threatening to shoot some pigeons that were a nuisance in his garden, and my mother refusing to cook them if he did. I’m pretty sure my dad had eaten pigeons as a child.
    I have a bird feeder, and I often throw bad apples into the yard for whatever wildlife wants them. I once threw out the skin of a watermelon, and a turtle feasted on it! As for coyotes — no, I want them to go away. They scare the cats and even took one of them (or so we assume).

    Reply
  120. You pick the coolest topics, Joanna! I seem to recall my father threatening to shoot some pigeons that were a nuisance in his garden, and my mother refusing to cook them if he did. I’m pretty sure my dad had eaten pigeons as a child.
    I have a bird feeder, and I often throw bad apples into the yard for whatever wildlife wants them. I once threw out the skin of a watermelon, and a turtle feasted on it! As for coyotes — no, I want them to go away. They scare the cats and even took one of them (or so we assume).

    Reply
  121. I’m a big Tom Lehrer fan so that’s nice to know. Are you aware that he recently put all his lyrics into the public domain? That’s quite the gift!

    Reply
  122. I’m a big Tom Lehrer fan so that’s nice to know. Are you aware that he recently put all his lyrics into the public domain? That’s quite the gift!

    Reply
  123. I’m a big Tom Lehrer fan so that’s nice to know. Are you aware that he recently put all his lyrics into the public domain? That’s quite the gift!

    Reply
  124. I’m a big Tom Lehrer fan so that’s nice to know. Are you aware that he recently put all his lyrics into the public domain? That’s quite the gift!

    Reply
  125. I’m a big Tom Lehrer fan so that’s nice to know. Are you aware that he recently put all his lyrics into the public domain? That’s quite the gift!

    Reply
  126. 1.We have a great picture of my daughter (about 18 mos) chasing pigeons in Florence. 2. My uncle raised pigeons, for what reason I don’t know. We saw them out back when my cousins took us to see them. 3. Have you heard about Julia Quinn’s graphic novel, Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron? Due out in August.

    Reply
  127. 1.We have a great picture of my daughter (about 18 mos) chasing pigeons in Florence. 2. My uncle raised pigeons, for what reason I don’t know. We saw them out back when my cousins took us to see them. 3. Have you heard about Julia Quinn’s graphic novel, Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron? Due out in August.

    Reply
  128. 1.We have a great picture of my daughter (about 18 mos) chasing pigeons in Florence. 2. My uncle raised pigeons, for what reason I don’t know. We saw them out back when my cousins took us to see them. 3. Have you heard about Julia Quinn’s graphic novel, Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron? Due out in August.

    Reply
  129. 1.We have a great picture of my daughter (about 18 mos) chasing pigeons in Florence. 2. My uncle raised pigeons, for what reason I don’t know. We saw them out back when my cousins took us to see them. 3. Have you heard about Julia Quinn’s graphic novel, Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron? Due out in August.

    Reply
  130. 1.We have a great picture of my daughter (about 18 mos) chasing pigeons in Florence. 2. My uncle raised pigeons, for what reason I don’t know. We saw them out back when my cousins took us to see them. 3. Have you heard about Julia Quinn’s graphic novel, Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron? Due out in August.

    Reply
  131. I’m afraid I don’t match up to my tough ancestors at all. It’s just as well I’m not a time traveller.
    “Squirrel stew, M’am?” He holds up a ladle.
    “Umm. No, thank you. I think I’ll just fill up on bread.”

    Reply
  132. I’m afraid I don’t match up to my tough ancestors at all. It’s just as well I’m not a time traveller.
    “Squirrel stew, M’am?” He holds up a ladle.
    “Umm. No, thank you. I think I’ll just fill up on bread.”

    Reply
  133. I’m afraid I don’t match up to my tough ancestors at all. It’s just as well I’m not a time traveller.
    “Squirrel stew, M’am?” He holds up a ladle.
    “Umm. No, thank you. I think I’ll just fill up on bread.”

    Reply
  134. I’m afraid I don’t match up to my tough ancestors at all. It’s just as well I’m not a time traveller.
    “Squirrel stew, M’am?” He holds up a ladle.
    “Umm. No, thank you. I think I’ll just fill up on bread.”

    Reply
  135. I’m afraid I don’t match up to my tough ancestors at all. It’s just as well I’m not a time traveller.
    “Squirrel stew, M’am?” He holds up a ladle.
    “Umm. No, thank you. I think I’ll just fill up on bread.”

    Reply
  136. We have coyotes in the neighborhood. They’ve been seen.
    I let the cat out so she can sit in the sun. But I watch her and bring her back in when I’m going to go away from the windo. It’s not really safe for her.

    Reply
  137. We have coyotes in the neighborhood. They’ve been seen.
    I let the cat out so she can sit in the sun. But I watch her and bring her back in when I’m going to go away from the windo. It’s not really safe for her.

    Reply
  138. We have coyotes in the neighborhood. They’ve been seen.
    I let the cat out so she can sit in the sun. But I watch her and bring her back in when I’m going to go away from the windo. It’s not really safe for her.

    Reply
  139. We have coyotes in the neighborhood. They’ve been seen.
    I let the cat out so she can sit in the sun. But I watch her and bring her back in when I’m going to go away from the windo. It’s not really safe for her.

    Reply
  140. We have coyotes in the neighborhood. They’ve been seen.
    I let the cat out so she can sit in the sun. But I watch her and bring her back in when I’m going to go away from the windo. It’s not really safe for her.

    Reply
  141. I’m always interested to see graphic novels. The whole anime / graphics thing is so creative. I seek them out when one of my authors goes into the format just to have a new way of looking at their work.

    Reply
  142. I’m always interested to see graphic novels. The whole anime / graphics thing is so creative. I seek them out when one of my authors goes into the format just to have a new way of looking at their work.

    Reply
  143. I’m always interested to see graphic novels. The whole anime / graphics thing is so creative. I seek them out when one of my authors goes into the format just to have a new way of looking at their work.

    Reply
  144. I’m always interested to see graphic novels. The whole anime / graphics thing is so creative. I seek them out when one of my authors goes into the format just to have a new way of looking at their work.

    Reply
  145. I’m always interested to see graphic novels. The whole anime / graphics thing is so creative. I seek them out when one of my authors goes into the format just to have a new way of looking at their work.

    Reply

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