Sunday, 20 February 2011

Feral pigeons...................................................and protecting Northwich

Feral Pigeon (Columba livia)
Plumage differs so much individuals are so easy to watch

Netting protects the sculptures
Spikes on ledges deter perching
 Spikes and a plastic owl  (doesn't he look scary? not)
More netting
The pigeons still find a place to perch
Shall we go in?
 In a hurry!
We have some lovely old buildings in my home town of Northwich in the county of Cheshire England.
Due to salt extraction beneath the town in the 19th century Northwich suffered massive subsidence causing buildings to sink and collapse. Replacement buildings were wooden framed so they could be jacked up (and even moved) if the ground beneath them started to disappear. My walk this weekend was to capture images of our local Feral Pigeons and show some of the attempts to stop them roosting on these wonderful old buildings some decorated with painted carvings. To try and keep the birds off the buildings nets and rows of spikes on the ledges now adorn Northwich's black and white timber framed structures.Feral Pigeons are descended from Rock Doves but truly wild Rock Doves are now confined to remote cliffs in the North and West of the UK.
Feral Pigeons are a bird we all see in our towns and cities but are considered by some to be a pest.
Me?......I love to watch them feeding around the feet of shoppers and enjoy seeing the variations of plumage.
For more images of the buildings in my home town I have created a new page..... Northwich.
Just click on the title. It is located under my profile.

I have added a selection of old photographs showing the effects of the salt works subsidence.
They show another meaning to the term...........................shoplifting.


Dave said...

One has to be impressed by the sheer variety of the Feral Pigeon's coloration's. After looking at some of those pics, I have a sinking feeling...

grammie g said...

Hi Andrew...well... I learn more and more interesting things on your blog, that I won't ever know!!
Not only are your a historian,but a humorist..: }}
The shoplifting line is brilliant..hahahaha!!
Your photos show the story very well and the old pictures are great!!
The photos of the pigeons in front of the store is just to funny!! : }}
Great post !!

Dave said...

superb and informative post Andrew. Of course I can relate to the feral pigeon population too....

I reckon Northwich could do with a Peregrine or two so the netting could come down.

joo said...

I know that people don't like them and I almost understand why, but....they are so beautiful!
I've never been to Cheshire - seems it's a mistake!

leschornmom said...

When I was was expecting my twins. I was in the hospital for 12 weeks in a row. The only view from my window was another wall to the hospital and 7 pigeons that frquented it's ledge. I loved their personallities and even named them. I have loved pigeons ever since!
Here they're refered to as "rats with wings" no one likes them and everyone in town is constanly trying to rid their houses of them.
Great pic! Love the information about the buildings and architecture to! I think I've got my husband hooked on your site too!

Gary said...

Wonderful post Andrew!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

holdingmoments said...

I think pigeons are great. Such a variety of colours and markings.
Interesting facts about your home town too Andrew.

mick said...

Interesting history of your town. All birds are beautiful but I am glad I don't have those ones roosting around my place!

Robin Robinson said...

"Shoplifting," very funny! I love pigeons, too. All birds, actually even those regarded as vermin. Pigeons have great eyes and irridescent feathers. Plus, I appreciate anything that's "plucky" enough to adapt the way that they have. The plastic owl with the spikes is delighfully ironic. Don't you think so?

Frank said...

Interesting post Andrew, particularly the historic images. We used to be plagued by Ferals but the Woodpigeon has now taken over as the dominant garden variety.

EmptyNester said...


The pigeons are so pretty and I like their different plumage. I also took a look at the pictures of the town--it's so pretty!

Love the birds, the town, the humor, the info, and the photos!

Mike B. @ said...

That owl looked like a cartoon character. Not too scary!

Stewart M said...

Hi - I dont mind watching pigeons, there are so many types.

Makes me wonder how far birders would travel to see them if they were rare. I think we can miss the interest in common things some times.

Cheers - Stewart M

NicoleB said...

Amazing to see the old and new shots together.
It is a beautiful town, I guess.
I understand the netting protection, but the spikes always give me the creeps :(
I love watching the feral doves too. We had some on the balcony the other day making the most peculiar sounds, probably trying to see if they can roost in my empty flower pots ;)

Springman said...

What a gorgeous town you live in. I can understand trying to protect the sculpture but the double assault from the mines below and the doves above is perplexing. The plastic owl! You've got to get a shot of a dove sitting on his head.

Adam Tilt said...

Definitely an under-appreciated species as they always provide something to watch when in town and city centres. We are fortunate to have some "true" Rock Doves up near our holiday home on the Isle of Mull.

pattyler1 said...

Those Pigeons may be pests but they do have lovely plumage! I can understand why the town takes such measures against them though - those carvings are wonderful. Interesting, also, to see the effects of the salt mining.

Small City Scenes said...

Lovely old photos--even with the devastation.

I have always liked pigeons. they are characters and even so pretty. I must say they are messy but it is a give and take world. MB

eileeninmd said...

I like the pigeons and they are very colorful. Great photos of the pigeons, buildings and that scary owl.

Jean said...

Pigeons can be pretty but I am glad they haven't found my feeders.
A very interesting post about your town. Love the statues and the old photos.

Sondra said...

They are so successful and beautiful-- interesting Buildings too..shoplifting for sure!!

NatureFootstep said...

great post. Sure, they can sometimes be troublesome. It is the same in Sweden even if we don´t have that many birds.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

An interesting bird post and history of your beautiful area -- thanks for sharing. I think the pigeons can be beautiful, but although I love birds I have to admit that pigeons are kind of creepyto me when there are too many (as in big cities, where they can actually be rather aggressive).

theconstantwalker said...

Many thanks for all your kind comments.
I really do appreciate them.
Kind regards Andrew.

JM said...

Pigeons are beautiful birds but, unfortunately, a plague here too. The second has a fantastic pattern. The old photos are really interesting.