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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pigeons; a lot more information than we need to know

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In some areas, pigeons seem to be everywhere. Why? In the north Texas climate, they can breed February to December, often near "heat islands" with comparatively warm winters. They produce an average of 6.5 young per year. They don’t take time to rebuild nests each time either. Often, fecal pellets from the young nestlings accumulate and help cement the nest together. Unhatched eggs and even bodies of dead nestlings are incorporated into a nest. Their close relatives, Doves, share similar behavior.


A wintertime diet     We all know that many birds in north Texas eat insects. But what do they eat in the winter?  Winter doesn’t kill all insects permenantly. Actually, cold weather doesn’t eradicate insects since their bodies are very different from a human’s.  Also, insects survive as larvae and eggs -  tiny objects on things like the undersides of  bark and fallen leaves. Birds know where this food source can be found, which is why you see birds endlessly poking through leaf-litter on the ground.


OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.

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