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We recently saw an adult badger in our garden, much to our delight! We hadn’t seen one a very long time (last time: Garden views). I wasn’t able to take a photo of the badger because of the poor light (it was night) and I didn’t want to scare the badger away with flash photography. The badger was munching away at the food the neighbour had left for the fox family and as we were watching him we could see two little fox cubs peering through the hedge looking at the badger. They didn’t have the courage to chase the badger away.

In the morning we heard a commotion as the feral pigeons kept flying away from the big breakfast I put out for them. We soon saw the reason for the noise:

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The fox cubs were chasing the pigeons away and proceeded to eat the peanuts and seed that I had put out for the pigeons. Cheeky little things!! :)

With the sun shining so warmly lately the pigeons have been enjoying a bath in the garden and a good sunbathing session too.

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The feral pigeons often search the ground for things to eat but as you can see the grass is too long for comfort so I mowed the lawn to let the pigeons peck at the ground with ease.

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Halfway there!

While the ferals are mostly on the ground in my garden the woodpigeons like to forage in the trees and bushes. They are quite dexterous for such large birds. You’d think they wouldd have trouble standing on the thin branches but these woodies know how to get to the best bits of the plants without much trouble.

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Lately I’ve been a bit lazy in videoing Elmo and Georgie (on top of my natural laziness I’ve also been having problems uploading the videos so I’ve been avoiding having to do so). There are some funny and interesting behaviours I want to capture for all to see, however, it seems that whenever these behaviours happen I haven’t got my camera near me, and by the time I have managed to get it out the behaviour has stopped. Georgie and Elmo don’t do repeats.

So what behavours do I want to capture? Well, every now and then Elmo has a bit of a freak out: he flaps about like crazy in the living room, hovers about then lands. It’s like he’s got all this energy in him that he needs to release – and the rapid flapping and fluttering helps him expel it all. Sometimes Elmo manages to fly quite high. He hasn’t done a somersault in a while, which is good since he used to land hard on his back. I was always afraid he’d break his neck, but now he has more control over his flapping so I don’t worry so much.

There’s a cute behaviour that I need to capture: Whenever Elmo or Georgie hang out with either Richard or myself in the kitchen they tend to stand on our feet. Is it because the floor in the kitchen isn’t carpeted and therefore a bit cold to stand on? Possibly. I have to say though that it makes cooking quite difficult when you’ve got a pigeon hanging onto your foot as you try to move without disturbing them. I almost get away with it before Georgie gets fed up with my moving about and tells me off with a few angry pecks and coos.

Another behaviour: Elmo rarely wing slaps. While Georgie is free and easy with the wing slapping, Elmo isn’t. He’ll take you by surprise. Something you’ve put near him will scare him and he’ll lash out in defence. I think I will struggle to capture this on video because it is too unpredictable. I believe I already have video of Georgie slapping since she’s easier to predict. If I want additional footage all I would need to do is flash a torch at her and she’d go berserk. But that’s not a nice thing to do so I won’t provoke her just for the footage.

And lastly, Elmo chases me in the morning. I can hear his pitter patter as he races after my uncovered feet – eager to peck them. I really don’t know why he’s so angry in the morning. I try not to aggrevate him, but he likes to give me a hard time before I go to work. Maybe I should have a little camera at floor level to capture this? In the winter, when it’s darker in the mornings, Georgie is very cranky. I let her out for the hour before I go to work but sometimes she simply sits on the sofa and doesn’t want me to disturb her. I guess she’s not a morning person.

So watch this space. One day you may be seeing more short videos of the silly and wonderful things Elmo and Georgie do every day! :)


A while back I came across a photo of a flock of pigeons that were multi-coloured – painted vibrant reds, greens, pinks and purples. It was a beautiful photo. It struck me as something fanciful and playful. The photo didn’t have a caption so I didn’t know who or why the pigeons were dyed as they were and I soon forgot about it.

A few days ago I came across another photo of painted pigeons and my curiosity was awakened. I needed to find out the story behind the photos so I googled ‘painted pigeons’ and ‘coloured pigeons’ to see what would pop up.

To my disappointment only a few photos appeared with little to no information, however, after careful searching through the internet I managed to find a link to a website that explained the photos. Finally!

But first I had found a site with photos of coloured racing pigeons from the Murcia region of Spain: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-15248305/stock-photo-coloured-racing-pigeons-from-the-murcia-region-of-spain.html

As well as these photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/staffy/3345022740/in/set-72157604833950737/

After more googling I found this one:

Image from: http://oreneta.com/kalebeul/

Two people had commented on the photo explaining everything, with a link to the following website: http://www.cichlidlovers.com/birds_pica.htm

So basically the Picas (Spanish Modern Thief Pouters, Palomas Deportiva) are flown in a competition – the cock pigeons chasing a hen. The cock pigeons are painted so that the judges can identify which pigeon is whose and score them according to how close a cock pigeon gets to the hen and impresses it with its courting abilities. The one that gets the most points wins. (To read more on this go to: http://www.cichlidlovers.com/birds_pica2.htm)

While I find the painted pigeons very beautiful it was quickly pointed out to me (by my lovely husband) that it must not be a nice experience for the pigeons. Most pigeons don’t like to be held and have their wings and feathers manipulated for any length of time (even Georgie, who’s extremely tame, doesn’t like it) so I can imagine that the painted pigeons must experience discomfort and distress from being painted.

And then to tease the cock pigeons by depriving them of hens and finally release them to chase a single hen pigeon for hours (even days in some cases)! I have to admit that I feel very sorry for both the cock pigeons and the hen. It’s not really fair for them. Why should they be treated in such a way just to satisfy human beings desire to ‘compete’ and win money?

Some people might think that I’m being overly judgemental and idealistic, however, I don’t like animals being used for human gain unnecessarily – especially for so called ‘sport’. I believe that animals should be admired and respected and seen for what they truly are – incredible beings that can feel and experience life in ways we do not.