Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pigeon Portraits

     I like pigeons. They get no love from most but I love them. I think pigeon haters are just misinformed. These birds are intelligent,  adaptable, and even beautiful. Pigeons are more than just "rats with wings." Pigeons, in real life are called rock doves, the ones we know (and love) and are related to the now extinct dodo bird and other species of doves and pigeon.
A mourning dove overlooks Greenwood Cemetery from my yard. A relative of the pigeon, these doves make a mournful sound that is often confused for an owl.
This is from when I used to work at Central Park Zoo, this a a pigeon. The largest species in the world, the Victoria Crowned Pigeon.
     Rock doves are amazing. I sat on a bench for 45 minutes in a small park near my home and they were the only living things that kept me company, strutting right near my feet and seemingly stepping it up when I pulled out my camera. They didn't judge me, they came right over. I hope my pictures can convince you that these guys are better than you thought:

This one is a pied (for the white primary wing tip feathers) and a checker- for the checkered black markings on the wing itself. The iridescent feather of the neck are stunning. Pigeons have different names for their plumage, which makes sense because all pigeons do not look the same! Also noticed this guy had some twine strung up around his foot. Poor thing.
Same pigeon as above- gorgeous, right?
This is the "blue bar" plumage- the usual look for a rock dove.
Show off...
Everyone complains how  "dirty" they are... honestly, does this guy look dirty?!  Birds spend tons of time preening- keeping their feathers clean and in tip-top shape. If pigeons were filthy, they wouldn't be able to fly.


So sweet!
Another checker who ventured very close to me, which I welcomed. I love those orange eyes!
An absolutely stunning dinosaur. Birds are indeed living dinosaurs....