View Full Version : Bird Brain

11th May 2012, 14:47
I was sitting in my lounge, minding my own business, on Tuesday afternoon when there was a sudden change in the light level and good solid bang on the window. I looked around to see a pigeon picking itself up from the patio and dusting itself off. Quite a pretty pigeon, not one of those fat wood pigeons which clear up all the food my partner puts out for the robins and blue tits which are busy feeding their young at this time. It looked a bit stunned but after a few minutes it started to act pigeon like and peck at the robin food.

An hour later and it was still there, walking about and drinking from the water bowl. Much later on and I saw it start to fly a bit and thought no more of it.

Yesterday morning, when my partner went out to top up the robin food, it was again wandering about on the patio. It had managed to avoid the attention of a fox which feeds on our patio every evening. It didn't seem bothered by her presence even when she went right up to it, in fact it didn't even move away till she went to touch it. We noticed that it had an excess of rings on it's legs so obviously not just another wild bird. Time to investigate a bit further.

From the pigeon racing websites and the numbers on it's leg we determined that it was from a Welsh pigeon racer and a call to their chap in Cardiff told us the owner's name and that it was released on Tuesday in Newbury.

So, Cardiff is west of Newbury, where we are is 25 miles east of Newbury, not a promissing start to the race. Two days on and it is still here and showing no signs of wanting to head for home.

This got me thinking. Is the bird showing some sign of intelligence? If every time it flies back home it gets put in a box and taken away again ............ Perhaps it thinks it may be better off on my patio. Perhaps it is the owner that is a bit daft, repeatedly sending it away and expecting a swift return.

Funny old world.


11th May 2012, 15:21
We have a large lounge with big french windows on either side. And we feed the birds. Occasionally a ring-necked parrot or a bronzewing pigeon decides to fly through what appears to be a gap and clonks itself on the window. Most get up (after a while) and fly off but occasionally they do themselves terminal damage. Don't see much evidence of intelligence!


11th May 2012, 15:39
The father of a schooldays pal of mine used to keep homing pigeons. Not sure about intelligence but they raced best when taken away from their mate with chicks in the nest. Young birds were more likely to get lost. If they do, some owners don't want them back.

11th May 2012, 17:01
That's a very attractive pigeon !

Don't know what it is about pigeons & doves but it's nearly always them flying into windows.

11th May 2012, 17:05
lounge with big french windows on either side

In our last house we had a bay window in the lounge that had the same effect. One day a collared dove tried to fly through the 'gap' and knocked itself out which proved a boon for the sparrowhawk that was chasing it.:eek:

Darwinism in action!


11th May 2012, 18:03
A wood Pigeon flew into my kitchen window early one evening, breaking it's neck. How it didn't break the single glazed window I'll never know.

Unfortunately this was before I learnt how to butcher Woodies. Any pigeons are now advised to stay away from my windows and garden, they will likely end up shot for the pot :D

11th May 2012, 18:24
I was in the house when I heard breaking glass.
I went upstairs and found a bedroom window broken.

I returned downstairs and went out to catch the blighters, but there was no sign of them, but they left a dead (still warm) pigeon (and there was no other projectile either inside or outside).

I worked-out that from certain angles the reflection in the (broken) window appeared like clear sky.

I was amazed that a pigeon could attain sufficient speed so that its inertia could break glass.

Milo Minderbinder
11th May 2012, 18:32
My sister had a couple of birdstrikes like that, each time leaving a perfect impression of the bird on the window from the "dust" that impregnates the feathers

First time was of an owl (we think a bran owl) leaving an image of head, body and splayed wings
The second time was a double strike of a pigeon AND the sparrowhawk chasing it
On neither occasion did they find the birds, but there are plenty of cats around there

11th May 2012, 19:24
Oh, real birds.

I thought this was a thread about Obama. :p

Okay, okay, I'll go quietly.

11th May 2012, 19:42
"The way to make glass visible to birds is to create visual markers on the glass, alerting them to the presence of a solid object."
Using UV-reflective materials on the glass was a solution - the window stays transparent to people, but not to birds.

BBC News - Biomimicry: Beaks on trains and flipper-like turbines (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15480620)

11th May 2012, 19:47
We had a similar thing occur a few years back. Got in contact with the owner, then followed his advice, which was basically to just keep an eye out for the pigeon until it regained its strength.

Took a week or so, but one day it was gone!

The funny thing is, it does return about once a year, round about the same time, and stays for a few days... Which may explain a few lost races!!

Loose rivets
11th May 2012, 19:55
. . . leaving an image of head, body and splayed wings

Milo, that's just reminded me. I'd often wondered about the perfect focus of the image. The 'wing dust' as I called it was obviously being directed with precision. I suddenly realized it must be some kind of Xerox effect, the bird perhaps being charged. Inertia starts it off, and then the static does the rest.

Poor things. I used to hang cutouts of hawks on strings on bright days to stop the carnage. We had two picture windows, and lived in a garden that was filled with birds. (until the Mabpies took over :* )

Looking from the garden, all you could see was the reflection of the trees. A fast bird would be focusing into infinity I would guess, and the sudden stop must have been . . . rather surprising.

Sparrow hawks. One huge bang was followed by a hawk hitting the window. He turned and carried on his pursuit of the luckless dove. When I went outside, there was so much pigeon detritus, what ever flew off must have been running on andrenalin and half a dozen feathers.

O,BTW, the cutouts worked well, bringing their focus onto the glass.

11th May 2012, 20:47
. . . leaving an image of head, body and splayed wingsWe used to get these routinely in our old house, which had a lot of large windows. Some were near perfect imprints of said bird, complete with details of their heads etc. The kids used to call them angels.

We never found any deads pigeons below - I was amazed how they could survive a head-on solid impact. Maybe they flared at the last second when they were confronted with what they assumed to be a bird coming in the opposite direction.

Tough birds to be sure.

11th May 2012, 20:57
We keep a bird feeder in the backyard to keep the indoor cats amused. The pigeons feed off the ground underneath. Her 11Fanness happened to be looking out the window just as our neighborhood hawk swooped in for lunch, catching one of the pigeons quite off guard.

Feathers everywhere.

Had to go outside to convince the hawk to make the order "a take away", thank you very much.

11th May 2012, 21:11
I found it was pointless to intervene after a hawk-strike.

The initial impact probably destined the victim to its fate, but it's distressing to watch (and hear) a bird being pulled-apart whilst still alive . . .

If the stricken bird could be 'rescued' it usually died anyway, and the raptor would merely catch another . . .

11th May 2012, 22:18
JH, done that a few times, usually with the revolving ones:eek:

11th May 2012, 23:04
Wonder what sort of imprint this bird brain left behind?

Crazy Streaker Epic Failure - YouTube

Krystal n chips
12th May 2012, 04:01
Had a similar perfect impression on the window last year....expected to find a battered pigeon but it seemingly managed to fly out of the garden albeit with its gyros well and truly toppled....

3 others have no been so lucky...one was transiting West-East across the A1 near Wetherby....I was going North-South in a 7.5 ton wagon...its last view alive would have been a large white mass....another decided to take on a glider at Gutersloh at about 200ft on the launch and another did the same at the top of the launch at Bruggen....the latter recently deceased arrived back on earth adjacent to the winch....went down to the winch later and we noted it had a ring on....with all the compassion and finesse for which the RAFGSA are noted, the winch driver suggested we send the ring back to the UK for identification...how to remove the ring however?....bolt croppers for fixing cables have many uses...there was also a fairly lengthy discussion as to whether we could eat the deceased, but as no BBQ was planned that night, the local fox got a home delivery so to speak.

Pigeons.....surpassed only by pheasants as contenders for the most stupid bird in the world contest.

Loose rivets
12th May 2012, 04:36
Well, I think we can put the bloke in Shy's post down as having the silliest laugh in the world.