THE WHITE HEADED PIGEONS

My first encounter with an Australian White Headed Pigeon was rather disconcerting. There is a skylight over my bed and I woke one morning to find one peering  down at me. They are often  called Baldy Pigeons, which seems  rather unkind.

 

White Heded Pigeon

Hello down there!

Since then I have become aware of a pair who visit  our Blue Mountains garden every year.  Oddly enough their preferred roosting tree is a  giant, Californian Redwood. I haven’t spotted a nest, but there must be one up there. They only build  a  scant platform of sticks.

 

White Headed pigeon on the nest.

Scrappy nest. (Photo credit Australian Museum)

It’s difficult to get a clear shot of them in the canopy.

White heded pigeons in Californian redwood.

In the safety of the Redwood.

White Headed Pigeon

Way up high.

I’m often waiting with my camera when they come down to drink.


Pir of white heded pigeons.

 

We never feed birds, but they certainly take advantage of our numerous  bird baths.

 

White Heded Pigeons

Sip sip.

Here they are waiting in a tulip tree. My husband was about to defrost the frozen birdbath below one mid winter’s day.

 

White headed pigeons

Waiting for a drink.

Much to my joy, as soon as Rob had melted the ice the parents brought the young ones  down from the Redwood.  White headed pigeons rarely produce two eggs, but these certainly  look like twins. They are not snowy white like the adults..

 

Young white headed pigeons

The young twins.

The young are fed on regurgitated pigeon milk, which is said to resemble  cream cheese.

The other thing I love about these gentle birds is their pretty pink feet with white stripes.  I can’t help thinking of  socks.

So very trendy, and complemented by the  patch of pink  high on the beak.

 

White headed pigeon

Mr Big!

The pigeons are only found in Queensland and New South Wales. Their diet consists of seeds and berries, especially laurel and privet berries. And yes, there is a lot of introduced laurel and privet around here; considered environmental  weeds to be honest. I got rid of mine, so I feel lucky that this sweet family still chooses to return each year.

 

White Headed Pigeons

A bit overcrowded

My affection for these birds is only rivalled by the Wonga pigeons, who are full time residents in my garden. Their story can be read HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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