Winter rolls along, the bird activity at home is very sporadic. I miss the days of constant flow at the feeders, having double digits of American Goldfinch, more than one pair of Northern Cardinals, White Breasted Nuthatches, etc. Even the masses of Starlings kept things interesting. I guess that's life, things change for one reason or another, and so have I.
Most know I've done a complete turn around on my feelings towards Pigeons. No longer are they a nuisance and just Hawk food. As most are aware, one Pigeon we named "Pierre" changed all that some time ago.
Pierre and I have a unique bond that has built up over time. He was the one who broke the barriers that summer morning back in 2012 by walking up to Angie and I, and landing in our laps.
But in the last 6 months, some of his flock have caught on to the game of getting good grub from my hand. Pierre's lady Maggie was next in line, followed by Jesse, an early arrival couple named Walter and Skye. Jesse wasn't a take on Breaking Bad at first, it was just a unisex name. Then we got hooked on the show last summer and later on came along the Walter/Skye couple who feed together so nicely. I've got Norman New Guy or maybe it's Norma New Girl. And then there's the Ginger Kid. A reddish Pigeon who has been around twice as long as Pierre that I can recall. Yep, everyone is catching on.
There's more who've come and gone in the last while, not sure where they all go. Hawks get 'em? Or they just have other feeding stations to hit through the day. I like to believe it's the second one for all of them but who really knows. Pierre has lengthy absences in the colder months or when the Hawks do a few attacks. He was last seen on Monday and later that morning a Coopers Hawk did a bold attack on one Pigeon right in front of me out on the back deck. Since then, the regulars in the flock have not come around. A pair of courting Red-tails in the 'hood are adding to the dangers.
But a few lone birds fly in and one has got my attention.
Surely he's been around with the others and I've not noticed him. But with everyone else gone, he's coming after me whenever we cross paths. What I really notice about this bird is how much of a light weight he is compared to Pierre. No stock on this one at all. And when I rub my fingers along his front, all I feel is skin and bones under those feathers.
I'm sure it's a matter of time with him coming to me before he's got some bulk to him.
Those photos were from yesterday, March 6th, my first encounter with him.
Today has been a real quiet morning. I'm not sure what threat is around but there have been no birds stopping in. The Squirrels have been crying much of the time. Jays are screaming a few houses over. But as noon rolls around, this guy shows up again. He's on the same clock as Pierre. As soon as I step outside, raise my hand, he's on me.
He eats and eats and cleans my hand right up till there's nothing but seed dust. Then flies back to the clothes line rail and waits for another handful. We go through this a few times.
Yesterday upon doing this belly rub, he would nip at my fingers. Today... no problem.
It's funny how my fingers disappear under his feathers. That doesn't happen with Pierre.
I should post a Pierre in hand pic like this to show the difference in size between the two birds.
The way he sits on my hand is different too. He squats right down over the food, like he's protecting it.
I'm sure Pierre will be around again soon and it will be interesting to see these two mingle. I know Pierre is gonna give him a beating. I'll have to feed one in each hand, probably spread my arms apart. We went through the same thing with Jesse.
So, meet my new friend. Name yet to be given. Ta daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!