[Tweeters] Band-tailed Pigeons

hrudkaj mary hrudkajm at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 29 19:24:44 PDT 2007



Over here in north Mason County I still have plenty of band-tailed pigeons around. From a high of 45 in late August I'm now holding at around 32 with about a quarter of those being juveniles (no nape band). Several of the adults are just coming out of molt and are showing rudimentary nape bands but are still easily distinguised from the juveniles.

I feed the pigeons on the ground as I have a large yard here on the edge of the wilderness. The pigeons, and other ground feeders, get a mix of sunflower seeds, dove/quail mix, and cracked corn. I think the pigeons prefer the black oil sunflower seeds as they will sometimes descend upon the deck and hanging feeder for the sunflower seeds. They have an amazing array of hisses and grunts they vocalize depending on how close another bird is to the one making the noise.

In late August the USGS was in the Pacific Northwest putting satellite transmitters on band-tailed pigeons. Their website is ' werc.usgs.gov/ ' which has the telemetry on the pigeons as well as several other world-wide species of migratory birds. The three birds tagged in my yard are 75691, 75701 and 75702. I believe 75701 is deceased as it's signal hasn't moved since shortly after it was tagged. 75702 is a long distance wanderer having been from my place, near Tahuya, all the way west to the high range between the Quinault and Snokomish river watersheds. It's back in my area now and from how often the local flock come in to feed they may be here for a while. The USGS tagging was done in order to study the migration patterns and areas of resting of the pigeons between here and their wintering grounds in California.

Guess all the pigeons, and all the other feathered feeders here, will have to eat off the deck tomorrow morning as I don't plan on taking a wet early morning hike out to the summer feeding area.

Mary Hrudkaj
Belfair/Tahuya
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