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Calum Andrew Morrell

Bird food war zone

Written on the 7th of July, 2024

Yesterday morning I put some food out for the wild birds that visit my garden. This is a regular occurrence and not worthy of note on it's own. Unusually, just a minute later, I heard fighting and looked out to see a wood pigeon and feral pigeon viciously attacking one another. To be clear, there was no shortage of food for both and it was even spread out. This is my normal approach and they tend to eat near one another without too much issue.

I opened my door to break up the fight at which point the wood pigeon flew off and the feral pigeon went straight back to feeding.

Another minute or so later I was at my desk and heard a tremendous sustained noise and looked out to see a stand off between two feral pigeons, two wood pigeons, three magpies, at least two jackdaws (though I suspect there were another two on my roof joining in) and a crow, which was doing low fast swoops to try to scare the other birds away. There's often minor bickering which usually sorts itself out quickly, but I've never experienced anything like this before.

On breaking things up, this time no birds remained and I noticed rather a lot of feathers on the ground. Thankfully not flight feathers but the soft, small, breast feathers that seem to come out more readily. It's possible the scattering was from the first fight I broke up, though I didn't notice them at that point.

Since then I've confirmed that my woodpigeon (I say mine, mostly because he's not too worried about my presence and often sits somewhere he can watch me) is around and looking well; at least two of the magpies have been bombing around as usual (and the feathers weren't from them anyway); the jackdaws have been chattering away normally (and again, the feathers clearly weren't theirs); and the crow is, well, omnipresent.

My only concern is that I haven't spotted either of the feral pigeons and they're such regular visitors this is concerning me a little. I'll see what happens later today. In the meantime I'm just sitting at my desk listening to BBC Radio 3 and playing Civilization VI until I'm tired enough to sleep.

fighting, garden, pigeons