Pigeon’s are such common birds that I have taken them a little bit for granted . . . until earlier this summer. Every evening, they would sit in the same spot, upon a strip of wood above my lounge window. They were so obviously into each other that I couldn’t help but take note.
Aside from the very regular mating, they would spend much of the evening with the necks entwined and the beaks together. They looked like a couple of teenagers on a date, kissing and canoodling. It was very sweet.
I was so fascinated by their behaviour that I decided to learn a bit about them, and discovered that their entwined necks was preening, and the locked beaks was something known as billing, where the female puts her beak into the males beak. It’s all part of the courtship behaviour, and so I surmised, they were ‘in love.’
Given that their behaviour was different to many, very promiscuous, garden birds, I wondered if they were monogamous. I checked online, and discovered I was right; pigeons do mate for life and they have a strong bond. The courtship display is a regular occurrence, reaffirming and reinforcing their relationship.
Unfortunately, I’m sad to say, this story does not have a happy ending. About four weeks ago two pigeons became one. I don’t know what happened, but I fear she (or maybe he) perished. Every night, the lonely male sits in the same spot, and scans his territory, seemingly unhappy, cooing softly and looking for his mate.
Of course, she could be on a nest, but I fear too much time has past without a sighting. I can always hope . . .