Wednesday, 30 March 2016

"Pigeon Love"

Many times as I have moved slowly through the woodland enjoying the peace and quiet, have I been startled by an unseen Woodpigeon exploding out of a tree close by with much wing clapping and leaf rustling, the white bars on its wings giving its identification away.

I am sure that I read somewhere that was the purpose of the wing clapping was to confuse a would be predator,as it makes its getaway, certainly gets my attention when I'm not expecting it.

I have often seen the male Wood Pigeon rising up into the air on its display flight where it claps its wings and gently glides down with its tail spread.

Today I witnessed a more gentler side to the Woodpigeon and I have never witnessed this next stage, that it is until today, on my garden fence.

So the male Wood Pigeon has impressed the female with its 'wing clapping' display flight, they are beginning to pair up.

My first thought was that they were involved in some mutual preening, but no, this was 'courtship feeding'  the female had inserted her beak into the corner of the male's beak  and appeared to be feeding her, with I believe, regurgitated pigeon milk. apparently this happens several times before copulation.

I have witnessed this courtship feeding once before with last years Robins, but he was feeding her with tidbits from  his foraging activities.

Robin - 'courtship feeding'

1 comment:

  1. They are a cute pair! I've seen collared dove doing similar things.