Juvenile Crested Pigeon at our backdoor

As we move through our second week of Covid contact isolation (which means no leaving home or making personal contact) and the extended Sydney lock-down, as Delta continues its rapid spread here in many places close to home, my wife and I have been enjoying our time together, as she continues to work from home and I continue writing my 3rd book. During our coffee and lunch breaks in our courtyard while enjoying the warm winter sun, the Primulas and Pansies are flowering in all their glory.

When we enjoy our breaks together in the courtyard, my wife checks the Crested Pigeon nest which is well hidden deep within the tree branches, with her binoculars. The Crested Pigeon is one of our many native pigeons found all over Australia.  We discovered several days ago, in extreme gale forced winds, 2 fluffy additional bodies perched huddled together, away from the nest, with both parents deep inside the tree as the tree swayed with the icy cold winter wind gusting and howling up to 95 km/hr (59 m/h). Occasionally a parent would stand guard across the road and watch the nest in the wind. Notice the crest bent over and feathers blown.

We checked them the next day, they survived, and watched the parents do a tag team feeding tour, back and forth, also collecting an occasional throat full of water from our birdbaths below the tree to take to the thirsty fledglings.

Juvenile Crested Pigeons out of nest and in the wind.

The next day in the warm sun the weather had settled and we got some glimpses of the babies catching some Vitamin D.

I had been vigilant listening from my office for any alarm calls from the pigeons and Miners who now also oversee the welfare of the pigeon family, occasionally sending a scout to check they are alright. On several occasions now I have come to the assistance of the pigeon family when under attack by the local Currawong pair who you see hear enjoying the facilities, but the one in the tree is also covertly checking noticing the nest, and hearing hoot of the adult pigeon warning.

as well a Australian Ravens which have also taken a recent interest. You may remember this clip from last week:

Thankfully the sound of a dozen Noisy Miners mobbing the Raven and Currawong, brought me to the pigeons assistance, as I call out the Miners chase off the intruders. I have come to respect my resident miner coalition and they have, like the pigeons, and several other birds, come to trust us and allow us to watch them bathe and drink from our birdbaths.

Crested Pigeon parent gathering water for its young in the tree above

On several occasions the parent Crested has come and landed right next to me while sitting or standing in the courtyard, as if to say “How are things going ?” On two occasions it flew and landed right next to me for protection, being pursued by predator birds, which I chased off.  Yesterday one of the new juvenile pigeons lost its way and ended up at the back door, looking a little scared, yet not terrified.

We were at a loss as to what to do as we did not want the bird rejected by the parent so we left it alone and brought water, but it just sat  and waited, allowing me to get close. While I hung out the washing I heard the parent calling it in, and in seconds it flew up into the tree and made its way back to the nest, calling back to the parent.

These generally quiet, soft voiced, placid birds have an additional way of communicating danger and their intentions, by using the sound generated by their wing beats. They can signal their partner and young by the intensity and tone.

After lunch in the sun yesterday, we left some crumbs on the table for the Pigeons, which we do not normally do for wild birds, but these have almost become wild pets to us, and any food at this time will only help their busy cause. This morning I saw a parent pecking up the crumbs. Their normal diet is native grass seeds and plant seeds as well as insects and some leaves.

It was quiet near the nest today as the cold winds return. Not many birds attended the bath today,just the wing sounds of the parents running the food tag-team, as one comes in the other leaves, and so their day is spend feeding their young.

Despite our lock-down and forced isolation we were lovingly provided for as we enjoyed our resident bird family, bringing another live pair of replacements into the world. How wonderful is that, and we can see most of it from our sun room windows !


Have a wonderful week and stay safe and warm. To my friends also in lock-down, hoping that this wave resolves soon. It now appears our holiday is postponed again, and only God knows when I will have time with my grandchildren again after 2 years of disappointing cancellations.

I received another encouraging comment this week on how my books have blessed a family, which I will briefly share: The parent, a nurse, shared how grateful she was for my book “What Birds Teach Us” and how her husband and herself have been reading the book to their Kindergarten child each night. She shared how he is excited to learn the names and identify the many birds in the book, and that he is really enjoying it. She also shared how she wants to purchase several more copies for gifts to her extended family. Click here to purchase your copy safely online, it could also be a book to help young ones through the Covid lock-down and keep them busy.

If you are a birder and have grandchildren or nieces and nephews, why not introduce them to our Aussie birds and at the same time assist them to navigate their formative years with positive, helpful life skills that will help develop their character to make wise life choices for a happy and healthy life.

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Looking through old holiday pics I found the New Zealand thermal pools and geysers. These reminded me of the current tensions, pressures and anxieties bubbling up beneath the surface in our country at the moment as many of us are in forced lock-down in an attempt to quell the incredibly infectious Delta strain of Covid recently introduced by overseas travelers. Grief and disappointment run high. Our holiday is cancelled, but that is miner to the many who have lost livelihoods and even members of their family because of this virus. It is a time to refocus on what is important to our lives, God is trying to get the world’s attention.

Human effort alone will not quell the virus, especially while there are people who believe it is a hoax or they have authority issues about obeying the health orders. As we sit at home deep in thought reflecting, we realize that we can’t plan tomorrow any more, and we need to live a day at a time and be thankful for each moment and breath we breathe.

That we have enough food for today, somewhere to live and some one who loves us and cares for us. These reflections of our Creator connecting with each of us, making us aware that he provides everything we need and have, it is ours but only on lone. We are each deeply loved and each of us unique and individual, created to enjoy loving relationship with those we share this space with and with our Creator, who reflects his love in his generosity in allowing us to enjoy and share in it in this our life.  We enter this world with nothing but our lives and leave it the same. The words of the world’s wisest man Solomon, who also was the world’s most wealthy and powerful man in his time:What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun?  All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the disobedient he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” – Ecclesiastes 2:22-25

“The Lord will keep you in perfect peace, as you long as you keep your mind and thoughts directed to him, as you trust in him.” – Isaiah 26:3


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ashley@aussiebirder.com

‘To introduce people to our unique Australian birds,

So we can learn from them how to live a healthy and happy life.’

NOTE: All photos, videos and music used on this website are photographed, composed, performed  by the site owner and remains his copyrighted property, unless otherwise stated. The use of any material that is not original material of the site owner is duly acknowledged as such. © W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.

 

18 Comments »

    • Thanks Donna, we came out of isolation yesterday back into lock-down so now we can go for a walk for one hour within a 10 km radius. Sadly it is not getting better, and we have an idea why. Enjoy your weekend my friend !

      Liked by 1 person

      • Do you have to wear a mask during that one hour walk? It frightens me that we hear of yours and so many other countries are back in isolation and lock-down when in the U.S. we’re going about our business so freely. Rick and I are still keeping our distance from groups/crowds, and I always have our sanitizer with us. Please stay safe as you can, and we will too. Have a great weekend, my friend, I hope you are blessed with some wonderful sightings while out and about briefly!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Donna, we have to wear masks in close contact with anyone, in all stores and when meeting people which is currently not allowed. It is recommended to wear them outside, as many do at present, but most important if you pass someone. We take them with us and put them on if we pass anyone unavoidably, otherwise we will pass at a distance. Enjoy your weekend my friend, birding is not really permitted at present, unless you can do it without people suspecting you not exercising, as lingering is now a crime, they want people to stay at home during this time and only leave for essentials, only one person from a household permitted in a store.I may try some in a more secluded area possibly during the week, but sadly people are now walking who never use to just to get out of the house.

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  1. While it may not be all exotics and special birds, there is something really wonderful about a few backyard birds that ‘allow’ you to enter their backyard for even a few minutes.
    Cresties are not noted for their intricate nest building ability.
    in the Mallee where I grew up, it was generally 3 or 4 small twigs and some poo to hold it all together and then, ‘everybody hang on’.

    Been watching the unfolding numbers in Sydney with a ever extending sinking feeling in my stomach. We didn’t have the rapidity of the Delta variation, but we made up (if that is a right thing to say), by sheer overwhelmingly large numbers in the beginning.

    I do hope the leadership can get over the name calling and finger pointing and start to work together so that all those who are suffering can have some hope of relief.
    Why petty point scoring is so important when people are losing their livelihoods ,their balance and some their lives is a shame of epic proportion

    Like you we have a small family of Common Miners, they are great ‘watchdogs’ for unwanted, cats, ravens and magpies. They of course are pests, and have established, along with the Common Starlings homes under just about every ill fitting tile on roofs in the area.
    Still, its better than daytime TV.

    Good luck as you progress along the contact isolation, and no doubt you are looking forward to being able to at least get out for a little walk about the neighborhood.

    And to all those selfless ones who are putting themselves on the danger edge each day. What heros and heroines they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks David, yes we are privileged to have the pigeons and other birds allow us to be a part of their world. It does hing a lot around the keeping the birdbaths topped and clean, and looking out for the welfare of the family. I hadn’t seen the male Maggie lately and he turned up while we were having lunch in the courtyard. At first he wan’t sure but after some thought proceeded bathing only a few feet from us, in the past he would sometimes splash us in the process. We had our last jab and our first excursion out the gate for 2 weeks, and hope to take our permitted 1 hour walk within the 10 km radius today, as the wind and cold from will hit tomorrow, which I presume you already know about there. My wife is not feeling good about going back to work tomorrow, back in the front line, but thankfully they are being more vigilant at the door to check people. We can only pray people will start to realize, but despite the many infections anti-vaxers is going to protest today, and now Alan Jones is bagging out Gladys trying to find fault. Like you I take my hat off to the selfless suffering front liners medical, police grocery workers etc who are bravely out there, we spoke with some of them yesterday, and the are suffering exhaustion and stress from long hours and difficult angry people. Enjoy your weekend my friend 🙂

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  2. Hello Ash,
    The crested pigeon is such a lovely bird and I am glad you and your wife have the trust of both the parent and juveniles.

    I am sorry that the COVID situation is not improving, even with a strong leadership. Unfortunately, the situation here is also on a downward spiral and we are all concerned that it will worsen during/after the Olympics.

    You and all your family (and grandchildren) are in our daily thoughts and prayers. I am sorry for my silence, it has been a manic time. I look forward to writing in more detail soon, and catching up on your bird blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Takami, it is good to hear from you again, it must be a very difficult time for you both. We had our second jab this morning and have just come out of isolation, thankfully without Covid. We are amazed that Japan is pressing ahead with the games at such a time as this. It must be scary there as it is here for many, as so many refuse to obey the health orders. We also continue in prayer for you both and for better days. Blessings my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful to watch these chicks and their parents raise them. It’s wonderful that they’re learning to trust you. You may have generations of them nesting there. Wouldn’t that be cool!

    I’m keeping you and your country in my thoughts and prayers, and hope that your lockdown ends soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah, I appreciate your kind thoughts and prayers greatly. Yes this is the second generation that we know of in this tree, producing 2 live babies each year, hopefully it will continue. The parents waited for me to fill the birdbath this morning and then immediately started doing the water relay to the youngsters. A possum once nested in the same tree and a Butcherbird many years ago and the possum still returns some nights in summer to eat the flowers. We come out of isolation tomorrow, but remain in lock-down which looks like extending as things get worse. We get our second jab tomorrow as well as navigate shopping when things are very risky.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Now we can watch and see which Avian Wonders the Lord sends your way.” I agree with Lee, the Lord draws His creation and often does so to bless His people- like you!
    Love the Crested Pidgeon at your door! We’ve had ordinary pidgeons come to our apt door, 5th floor, thru stairway window, esp in winter. They like our doormat, prob bc we give breadcrumbs!
    But something better happened yesterday. Coming out of the basement laundry room, through the trash/recycling area, a tiny sparrow scurried by, poor thing had a broken wing.
    Wasn’t sure what to do, but while lugging my laundry I kept thinking of that song, “His eye is on the sparrow” and watching me too!
    SO, I returned with a paper shopping bag and, after a big chase around heaps of trash, I successfully got him!
    This, of course, is nothing like your days! I don’t think I’ve ever held a bird in my hand. Precious to me.
    Jumped in a cab to the Bird Sanctuary and, hopefully he’ll be on the mend!
    Thanks brother Ashley, for all your fine posts and godly inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lisa Beth, what a lovely story you shared, it touched my heart, you reached out to the tiny bird in its hour of need, you are such a blessing dear sister in so many ways. You always inspire and encourage me with your warm comments, I so appreciate it, especially at this time when I have not left home for 2 weeks, and so missing my walks in the forests. Richest blessings to you, hubby and Starry Night 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely story about your resident family crested pigeons and how wonderful to see the littlies grow up! The parents have done well to raise them this far, I know they are not the best nest builders and remember as a child regularly finding broken eggs on the ground because of the flimsy nest they made in the tree in our yard. I wish you all the best coming through the latest covid restrictions unscathed, I feel very fortunate to be in my little covid free bubble on the Apple Isle. Let’s hope people wake up to themselves soon and start obeying the health directives for everyone’s benefit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • THanks Sue, yes we would all prefer to be in Tassie at the moment, though my wife says the only thig stopping us living there is she hates the cold. I love it. We often joke about how opposite we are in our preferences, but its all fun and makes life interesting as well as challenging at times. We found one broken egg at the foot of the nest several weeks ago and thought the worse, but we have 2 new babies so we are very thankful they survived the Currawong and Raven attacks. Both birds appear to have ceased their coming now as I have chased them off, as have the Miners too many times and the youngsters are growing rapidly and fully fledged. Yes it it is hard to believe there are still people believing the virus is a hoax and they have a right to infect everyone because they do not want to obey health directives, but that is the reality of fallen human nature, the rebels heart. Enjoy your week, and hope you have some warm sunny days amid the cold spells my friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lee, yes our gracious Father is looking after us and bringing the birds to us as he did for Adam. Another gale force windy day here and the pigeons are hanging on again, it looks like they may have taken their first excursion this morning. We will be allowed to leave our home to get our last jab on Friday, and maybe shop. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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