A Look Outside Our Window

Outside our flat is a roof area which is inaccessible (we live 4 stories up). Well, to us it’s inaccessible but to birds it’s a paradise of protection. After it rains there are puddles of water for them to get a safe drink, moss grows around the edges and in bright green patches here and there encouraging insects for them to nibble. Since it’s high up, next to some trees and a train track, its safe from cats and other predators.
Along the row of flats an old man throws out seeds from his window in the morning, pigeons flock to him. My favourite type: the Wood Pigeon, amongst them.
Wood Pigeons are elegant birds. I call them dusky roses due to the colour of their chests. They coo in the mornings sounding like cats purring, calling from the trees, a pleasant alarm clock.
We’ve been lucky enough to be able to observe them from our windows, in doing so we’ve seen many behaviours and differences between birds. As well as dusky roses we have Rock Doves (which I call sparkle necks, due to their sparkly necks) and they behave differently.
In mating the male dusky roses bow to females, beak to the ground and tail swooped up high. Hops bring them closer to their quarry, more bowing and more hops and often a chase in flight. The sparkle necks do what we call lion-pigeoning, which is poofing up their chests, spinning around the female, chasing them around.
The fights of the dusky roses reminds me of old fashioned duels. They square up next to one another, head bobs indicate readiness and then the waps begin. Short jabs, wide wing flaps and the winner coos loudly, shouting his victory from the rooftop, the defeated bird flies away; head low.
In the summer we have seagulls as well and, though they can be annoying, their laughing call makes me smile every time.
Seeing birds grooming, lying down relaxing in the sun, going about their life is a treat and something very special. I don’t think many people get the opportunity to see birds doing what birds do away from the world. But if you do get the chance, I highly recommend sitting with a cup of tea and watching them for an hour, you’ll be surprised at the personalities that emerge.

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