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Friday, December 18, 2009

Pigeons on the Space Station

pigeons flying around a grain elevator

OK, it's not really a space station, but that's what I call it. It's a cooperative grain elevator, and it's just one field away from me. With all the towers and guy wires and the noise of the motors, it's just a bit too futuristic for the landscape I would prefer. I know this is inconsistent, since I'm really a fan of local agriculture, but... it's weird.

pigeons flying around a grain elevator

So, that is why I have a flock of pigeons. Now, I just looked up the life span of a pigeon on Wikipedia, and it is 35 years! I guess the unusual ones that I have been seeing for a few years are probably the same individuals. I know that wild animals rarely live as long, but these birdies are very well fed, so they only have to watch out for my hawk or perhaps a fast fox if they aren't paying attention when on the ground.

Yesterday I asked you to look for the birds that were different. Most of you noticed that there were a couple of birds that were a different color. And there you have it. This wasn't supposed to be a tough quiz! Here's your first peek.

brown mottled pigeons

When this flock wheels in the sunlight those two birds with the mottled brown color just stick out like golden coins in a tub of lead slugs! But I don't usually carry the binoculars on walks out my back door. The new camera did a fine job though- aren't they gorgeous?!

brown mottled pigeons

I had no idea that they were mottled like this. And look at their tails- it seems to me as if they are like negative and positive images of each other. I tried to find out more about brown pigeons, and did find one other picture, but that bird is all brown. I've linked to it below.

brown mottled pigeons

I did get a couple more interesting shots of the one with darker brown- I think I'll call this one Dusty, since his wings are speckled. The one with the all brown wings will be Rusty.

brown mottled pigeons

I'll try to get some more pictures of Rusty and Dusty. The group seems to live permanently at the grain elevator- not a big surprise. Meanwhile, I'll just end with an image I altered for fun, but I like the way it came out.

pigeons in relief

See Through the Fence
See My Brown Pigeon Friend from Wichita Falls, Texas


RNSANE said...

Very interesting, indeed. I am amazed that pigeons have that long a life span! Yours probably will with such a good source of food close by..but that is why they would make a tasty morsel for a fox or other predator!!

Anonymous said...

I rarely see a brown pigeons, so it's awesome that you've showed them here, and the I like the effect in the last image too!

rainfield61 said...

Oops!! You have frozen themm.

Lin said...

I like that special effect! How did you do that???

Sharkbytes said...

Carmen- Yes, they sure weren't being very careful this day. Too interested in the grain on the ground.

Icy- Maybe you will get a picture of some too.

rainfield- yeah! The first time I ever got them to slow down.

Lin- it's the emboss effect in my graphics program.

Jean said...

they come in flock and leave in flock too

A smile from SJ =)

WillOaks Studio said...

What a neat sequence!! And that final altered photo was very inspiring to me. You made the pigeons, which I think of as a filthy pest here in our barn, look pretty cool for a change!

Ann said...

I had no idea pigeons could live that long. You got some good photos of them. I like your altered image also

Rick (Ratty) said...

I like when I see a few different animals in a group. They're true individuals. I wonder if birds get to flaunt their individuality. I like the alteration you did to that last picture. It looks like a carving on a stone wall.

Julia said...

Cool looking pigeons in the flock there. We get many different variations here. I did not know they could live so long either. Surprising.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi SJ- Yes they do! They really woosh around in a huddle.

Karen- Well, they sure are messy birds in groups, but their colors really are lovely, even the gray ones.

Ann- Nope, me neither... Although I have a friend whose canary is over 20. So I can believe it.

Ratty- I have watched this flock long enough to say that they don't treat the brown ones any different at all. I understand that horses to discriminate based on coat color. I've never noticed that dogs do... it is interesting.

Julia- You'll have to share your "rock doves."