Shades of grey
Whilst pigeons may not be everyone’s cup of tea there’s no denying that they do have a certain beauty, if you take the time to appreciate it. With iridescent necks, beady red eyes and an assortment of plumage patterns and colours what is not to like?
This particular flock live and roost not far from my home overlooking the Aberystwyth harbour. The flock contains an assortment of colours from the “typical” steely grey pigeon to a striking black and white pied individual.
Here is most of the flock all lined up together showing that pigeons are anything but just boring grey!
This variety makes it relatively easy to tell the birds apart and get to know a few of the birds as individuals. Here I have referred to them all by their distinguishing feature.
The most obvious pigeon within the flock is the pure white male. He is an albino, meaning he has a genetic abnormality resulting in a loss of pigment. Unlike the other birds who have dark beaks, his beak too has lost it’s pigment resulting in a pink appearance.
I know this individual is male as I have often seen him displaying to females as shown below.
This bird has a white chest and a faint dusting of white on the head with the most vivid green and purple iridescence on it’s neck.
This bird appears to be the dominant bird within the flock, often behaving quite aggressively to the others, chasing them away from a food source with fierce pecks.
This female has a beautiful white and black pied pattern throughout her plumage. She is a very curious and friendly individual often the first to approach in the hope of a handout of food.
This female is a quite unremarkable and has the typical pigeon colouring most resembling that of their wild rock pigeon ancestors with the ‘blue bar’ wing pattern (a plain wing with two distinct black stripes).
She is however quite easy to spot among the others as she is very delicate and petite, noticeably smaller than her companions.
This male is an impressive individual, dark steely grey in colour with a bright flash of white on his wing primaries and white speckles on the head.
He appears to be the mate of the petite female mentioned above. Here you can clearly see how small she is!
One of several predominantly white birds within the flock, this bird should not be mistaken for another albino. This individual has a dark beak and a sparse scattering of brown/black feathers on her body.
Another large male with a distinct white patch under the chin, rather like a beard!
This is another female with the wild blue bar wing pattern, however she is easily recognised by the large white blotches on her chest.
Here she is being pursuing by an interested male.
All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2016 © http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com