All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bird Education

Last year I posted the story of my "Hook Bird" which changed my life  forever, developing a love of birds that has continued to grow since I was a 10 year old boy.

A couple of years after my hook bird incident we had some neighbors a couple of blocks from us that up and left in the middle of the night one night. Their boys were keeping pigeons in a chicken coop that was behind the small old house they were renting. We were all afraid to go near that home, it had a reputation of being the haunted house in our neighborhood.

The neighbor that lived across the street from the old house knew they had pigeons back there and was concerned that after a week they might be starving so he went over and opened the door to the chicken coop. Pigeons were now flying around the neighborhood but of course being pigeons they always went home to the chicken coop. My brother and I went over and caught several of the birds and took them home. We pleaded with my dad to let us keep them and he reluctantly agreed. He helped us build a small pigeon loft and so began one of the most fun, interesting and educating hobbies I ever had. To this day I keep telling myself now that my kids are grown that I want to get some pigeons again but so far just haven't found the time to get started, some day I hope to once again enjoy the hobby of my youth.

Some of the kids in the neighborhood teased me because I would spend hours sitting with and observing my pigeons. I learned a lot of things about their behavior. I watched their courting displays and learned how to tell a male from a female just by their behavior. I thought it was very interesting how attentive the male pigeons were tho their mates how they would strut and dance around the females dragging their tails and then how they would kiss, the male regurgitating food into the crop of his mate, then go off and gather nest material. I observed how both parents took turns setting the eggs and the young after they hatched, how they both fed and took care of the babies. The pigeons were loyal and devoted to their mates. It was all very educational to a young 11 year old boy. I really loved that hobby and we kept it up until my second year of high school when we both became so involved in other activities we just didn't have time for the pigeons any more.

When I started drawing birds to make my bird list I practiced by drawing pictures of the pigeons we raised as kids. I never did get any photos of them so these pictures I drew are all I have of them besides the fond memories. Here are pictures I drew of some of my beloved pigeons:

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