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In yesterday’s post I posted a video of my husband bowing his head and cooing to a tame pigeon who responded by flying onto his head and shoulders. The pigeon reacted to his attempt at talking pigeon, which we found very amusing, despite being a behaviour we had seen before.

After we had lived with Georgie and Elmo for a while our behaviour towards other pigeons changed. When I first met Dora at a wildlife rescue centre I bowed and cooed to her and she responded by rushing up to me, fanning her tail and dancing around in a circle. I found her response amazing and couldn’t wait to try it out with other feral pigeons! Sure enough, both my husband and I found that when you bow your head and coo like a pigeon you’ll get some sort of a response from the receiving pigeon – ranging from a slight cock of the head to a full blown rush and dance routine!!

It tends to work more on feral pigeons that are a bit tame (either because they had been hand-reared or because they are used to being around humans). Little Minnie also responded well to bowing and a bit of cooing. And today I bowed and cooed at a feral pigeon at work who was making too much noise in the I.C.U. (it kept calling out for attention) and it stopped what it was doing, cocked its head at me and made a movement as if it was going to come towards me, however, it then thought against it and just watched me making a fool of myself as bowed my head, shook my shoulders up and down and cooed like a pigeon (or tried to at any rate).

I don’t know what we’re saying in pigeon when we imitate their behaviour, but it seems to attract their attention and encourage a response. Maybe we’re being a bit too flirtatious? Whatever message we’re conveying with our silly behaviour it is certainly getting their attention!