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Monday, October 19, 2009

I returned home after running some errands this afternoon to find a flurry of avian activity on a small woodlot across the street from my house.  Band-tailed Pigeons, American Robins and European Starlings were busy collecting ripe berries in a pair of side-by-side Madrona trees.  A Steller's Jay and a Bewick's Wren could both be heard calling and chattering from a Douglas Fir nearby.

After grabbing my camera from inside the house, I watched the mixed flock of foragers go about their business.  I was especially fascinated by the Band-tailed Pigeons.  They were quite adept at maneuvering their relatively large bodies along the thin branches.  They were able to tip forward, backward and even turn upside down in a manner that seemed more chickadee-like than pigeon-like. 

Once each of the dozen or so pigeons had eaten their fill, they flew into the upper branches of the fir from which the jay and wren had been calling.  Now, with both trees free of the larger-bodied birds, the robins and starlings continued to forage in the Madronas for several more minutes.  After satisfying their appetites, they too moved on.

See more photos of the Band-tailed Pigeons on

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