Pigeon parable

We have a small garden.  Even so, it contains at least four wood-pigeons’ nests—or may be the four nests of one pigeon.  They are rather messy affairs, built of twigs.

We’ve had wood pigeons hanging around all summer.  They bill and coo on the wires above our garden, bathe in the bird bath and look forward to the daily scattering of bird food.

Billing and cooing

Billing and cooing

Then today I had the temerity to prune the winter jasmine on the front of the house.

Newly-pruned winter jasmine

Newly-pruned winter jasmine

A pigeon landed on the roof and then flew onto the wire and watched me (disapprovingly?) from a distance.  I knew there was one nest in there as I’d seen a pigeon flying in and out a few weeks ago.  I hadn’t expected there to be three.

The pigeon looked disapproving

The pigeon looked disapproving?

Now I see there’s a pigeon nesting in the cobnut tree on the other side of the housewhether this is the bird with all the nests in the winter jasmine, I don’t know.  If so, it seems wasteful to have all those homes sitting empty; is this an ornithological parable of the rural housing problem in Britain today?

Pigeon nesting in the cobnut tree

Pigeon nesting in the cobnut tree

But having read Mark Avery’s blog on the demise of the passenger pigeon 99 years ago, I must be glad of my wood pigeons and their twiggy nests.  It would be a sad world if they too were to become extinct.


About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
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