by David Baillie
I wondered what was I going to write about. Would it really be that important?
Two native wood pigeons answered by flying in to perch right outside
my window. Looking one directly in the eye I knew, yes, I was to
write about the "Woodies".
Everyone has pet wood pigeons - they are so friendly, it won't be
news, but these pigeons apparently carry the news.
They've stopped cooing now, but for two months (Jan-Feb) they did lots
of it, as they got to know each other. The male performed magnificent
aerial climbs and falling swoops showing his talents to his intended.
She used to take off if he got too close, and they'd fly to the top of
the tallest tree, which they both agreed was the coolest place to be.
We had thought they were two adolescent males, but their madness was
not just youth, it was love.
First they plonked their heavy weights in the middle of our
blackcurrants breaking branches outwards. Soothing talk whenever we
saw them eating forest berries helped them learn what food was theirs.
Then I cleared a hanging curtain of muhlenbeckia exposing a bare
branch of tree Fuchsia. This become one of their favourite perches.
They like to tell us who's in command of our clearing by swooping
really close. This encourages us to stay in our place in case we get
our heads knocked off!
Being young they have learned new things like standing on the ground
to eat the currants (until we asked them not to do that) and talking
to us. The male has also been seen to loop the loop, flapping
furiously so as he topped his climb upside down, and made the circle.
Lorraine and I have been at Harmony, in the upper Waitati Valley, for
several years, so maybe it was their parents who told them "those
people are safe to live with." We have certainly never met such
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