Monday, June 11, 2007

Pigeon Games

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... More About Birds and Animals...

Closeup of lost homing pigeonOur homemade pigeon trap

We made a pigeon trap today. As you can see, it's nothing fancy. It's just a box with a flap cut in the up-side (that is, in the former bottom of the box.)

The idea is that you prop the box up with a stick. When the bird goes under the box to eat the grain, you pull the stick out with the attached string. The box drops over the bird. Then you reach through the flap and hold the bird.

A helper then lifts the box a little and somehow, between the two of you, the bird is put into a cage. My idea is that we should slide something flat under the box and carry it to an enclosed area before making the transfer. We haven't reached that step yet because we haven't caught the bird.

Pigeon trapHe came close to the box a few times but he didn't go under it. He is finding fallen seed from the feeders and also the rice we threw on the ground for him yesterday. He doesn't seem interested in the grain under the box.

Tomorrow morning, I will rake that area and try to remove some of the extraneous food. Maybe then he'll be more interested in the food in the trap. I hope we can catch him soon because I have other things to do!

This afternoon, he was sitting on the roof (photo below.) I don't know where he is roosting tonight. I don't think he's in the tree where he spent the last two nights.

Dennis and his brother Steve had pigeons when they were kids. They didn't have racing pigeons, but they had rollers and tumblers (named for their distinctive flight patterns), kings, and fantails. Grandpa Netz fixed a pigeon loft in the barn, and the boys took care of them every morning before school.

That's why Dennis immediately realized this stray was a lost homing pigeon. I had no clue. I'd have guessed the bird was banded for some sort of scientific study.

Related post: A Pigeon Is Visiting Us

Homing pigeonLonely bird

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Lesa said...

Looks like you have one smart bird on your hands!

Genevieve said...

I am sorry to report that we have not seen him yet today. I hope that means he has flown on.

Collagemama said...

Heard an NPR segment about pigeons recently that was intriguing.

Author Andrew Blechman talks about Pigeons: The Fascinating Saga of the World's Most Revered and Reviled Bird.

I haven't seen the book yet, but the interview was full of surprises. To hear it:

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

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