Ward Life: Pigeon Love

So, I’ve been here a while and I last wrote about the pigeons over a week ago, 6th of April. It’s the 12th today, and things have certainly moved on. I have sat on the bench vapouring at least 4 times a day since the 6th observing their behaviour and it’s been both interesting and confusing, to say the very least! I, naively, feel like their friend/guardian – it’s pretty obvious to everybody in here that they’re a big part of my world.

There’s been loud cooing, sitting close to each other and flying away – all at irregular intervals. At many a time, I’ve been convinced that they were having a ‘domestic’ – or the pigeon equivalent to divorce or going on going on the Jeremy Kyle show, but it seems I was very wrong. This morning I woke up to see the female sitting on some twigs. She’s nesting and it’s such a pretty sight. Pairs of pigeons are monogamous, often breeding in consecutive seasons for as long as both birds of a pair live.

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Hergest Pigeons

Specialists observe the nesting habits of these birds as being unique. The male chooses a site in view of the female, selecting one stick and bringing it back and lays it in front of his mate. The female who stays at the nesting site accepts the sticks the male brings to her and places them underneath her.

The nest is saucer-like in shape and made of stems, and leaves. The female can sit on the nest a day or two before the first egg is laid. Generally 2 white eggs are laid. Both the male and female will incubate the eggs although the female does the incubation during the night.

Here’s as close a picture as I could manage without frightening them.

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‘In love’

Today, I don’t feel strong enough to discuss any personal issues. I’m emotionally exhausted and feel right on edge and I have done since I woke up. My goal is to try and move my mind, to avoid falling into destructive behaviour.

I suppose that what’s touched me about all of this is that beautiful new beginnings can happen in places like these. Beautiful beginnings supported by as little will, a couple of twigs and leaf. Nature is extraordinary.

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