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.
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.
It’s difficult to get a clear shot of them in the canopy.
I’m often waiting with my camera when they come down to drink.
We never feed birds, but they certainly take advantage of our numerous bird baths.
Here they are waiting in a tulip tree. My husband was about to defrost the frozen birdbath below one mid winter’s day.
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..
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.
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.
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.