« I've been thinking about men | Main | Heroes in the Mist... »

July 06, 2006



Hmmm. Out the kitchen door I see a ton of fat robins that have orange breasts - they don't have red breasts, and we used to have cute little fat quail. We have ginormous crows that are super loud too, and little hummingbirds and finches. Sometimes we'll have like 20 finches in our wisteria. Our cats go bonkers, salivating for those juicy little finches. They literally bonk the glass doors with their heads.

Kathy in SM

I only see my neighbor's back steps out my kitchen window. But I have a flowerbox and get an occasionally hummingbird, and I always feel a little blessed afterwards. They're amazing little things!


Pigeons get a bad rap! I know they are considered the rodents of the avian world, but they seem to be devoted, loving parents. Years ago I worked in Los Gatos in a building that had a small, 10 space parking garage beneath. As I drove in one Monday morning, I had to stop for two big pigeons standing in the middle of the garage floor. They wouldn't budge, and I cautiously drove around them. I found their behavior quite curious, as they usually goodnaturedly ceeded the right of way to incoming vehicles. As I emerged from my car, I could hear them mournfully cooing as they paced a tight circle on the garage floor. Deciding to investigate, I walked closer to the pair and my heart just about broke in half. On the floor of the garage was what was obviously the remains of a pigeon egg, smashed to smithereens on the cement floor: a tiny splash of yellow yolk littered with tiny pieces of shell. The mommy and daddy pigeons stared at me in what I can only describe as tremendous grief. Evidently, they had made their nest on the exposed pipes of the parking garage. Those pigeons continued to block traffic and coo mournfully for the rest of the week, grieving for their lost little one. All the tenants of the building were very respectful of their need to sit pigeon shiva, and I think we all had a newfound empathy for pigeons after that.

Lillian S.

Julie, what a cute story! I hope that egg makes it. What will you name it? :) I live in the city and I've never seen a pigeon nest, so this is enlightening. My view from the kitchen window is the street and a little grocery store across from me. I do see my share of pigeons out there. Circe made my throat lump up!! Dang her. LOL. Did anyone see that thing on PBS about chickens? Speaking of birds?


Jules -

Keep your eyes on that nest. Pigeons ALWAYS lay two eggs. There should be another one along presently.

I can't believe you didn't name one of your pigeons "Walter!" SIGH! It was so wonderfully OBVIOUS.

BTW: The crows are a real problem, but probably not until after the eggs hatch. Apparently crows prefer squab to egg.

It took me a while to warm to the dark grey the pigeons are in San Francisco. I always thought they were darker here because of some selection because the city is dark - and then I realized that the pigeon are a lighter grey in Wisconsin because they have to deal with six months of snow!!

After watching them for twenty years, I am pretty fond of our city doves. Some of them have pretty hard lives.

Oh - I don't have a back door, but out my kitchen window I see Duboce Park - so I see lots of dogs and dog owners, and since I am on the second floor, I, too see the occasional hummingbird!!

Hope you enjoy your pigeon neighbors.

Donna S.

Julie, I just realized that you named the pigeons after Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, didn't you? :) If you have two baby pigeons, maybe you can name them Fred and Ginger. Or Clark and Carole. :)

Julie Anne Long

Kathy—I see hummingbirds in my yard pretty frequently. They're like...flying iridscent thumbs. LOL. Little fairy birds! I love them. Today is one of those rare, sunny July days here, and my garden is like a Disney cartoon, or something—filled with singing birds and butterflies and moths and flowers. LOL.

Lillian—I did see the chicken documentary on PBS. It was wonderful. I'm a sucker for just about any animal story.

Jeez, Circe, and Wisco Farm boy (squab?!? Eek! LOL), you're going to worry me even more! That's a beautful story, Circe. I think the eggs might hatch when I'm in Atlanta, so I have to warn my upstairs neighbors (who are on vacation) to keep an eye out for them. I haven't checked the nest for another egg yet—I don't want to frighten them off.

Walter PIgeon!! LOL. For some reason I gave them the name of lovers who ultimately parted. :) I don't know whether pigeons mate for life or not.

And You guessed it, Donna!! I don't know why those names came to me; they just popped into my head. If we get two baby pigeons, anybody else have any name suggestions?? (I like Clark and Carole. Liz and Dick?)

BTW, the anagram genius post down below still seems pretty active, so if y'all haven't checked it out, by all means go for it! keep the anagrams and the bird talk coming. :)


How about Romulus and Remus for the baby pigeons, if you get two of them? If you're going for bygone movie stars, how about Spencer and Katherine? Bert and Ernie? :)


Actually, this didn't happen in my backyard. Mostly around here we've got a concrete jungle. There is one little piece of grass about 2' wide and maybe 10' long where the dog upstairs does his business along the building next door to the west. All the rest of the greenery: trees, bushes and lawn to the south are fenced in--not even neatly--and protected by two vociferous guard dogs. If I just open my door and they are outside, they'll start barking like crazy just because they see that little slit of open door.

Anyway, one day about 2 months ago, I heard the birds outside in the parking lot on the east side of the building. I was really happy to hear them after the long winter. So I stepped up on my inverted drink crate to look outside. Here were the birds, chirping, singing, flying around, hopping, pecking in puddles. And then on the opposite wall I saw a couple of sparrows making out. The female was trying to build a nest while the male was hanging on to her back. Suddenly she wriggled free and flew off and I haven't seen them since. Unfortunately, I can't really look into their little place either to see whether they're actually down there but that was the first time I peeked...

LOL. It was funny. I wish they'd have come back. A robin once laid some eggs on the outside sill of my mother's bathroom window. Every once in a while we'd peek to see what was happening. About three weeks later, we looked out. The eggs were smashed and the nest partially destroyed. We suspect a squirrel of the massacre. We were so sad not to be able to see the little tiny birds as they hatched and grew. Mama robin had not built her nest in a safe area after all.

BTW, do pigeons always lay only one egg? If so, it's a wonder the pigeon population is so large. I remember that when we used to live more in a downtown area, the pigeons roosted high in a church near the next intersection from our house. You really had to take care not to get splattered.

The comments to this entry are closed.