Monday, May 16, 2005

Morning Visitors

pigeons in the morning--as usual, click on the picture to get the big picture

we have a tiny peek out one door of our bedroom, through the living room, of the bird feeder. this morning i saw the very wary bandtail pigeons out there. i went quietly out the other door, down the hall and peeked around a corner through the kitchen. there were maybe 25 pigeons jostling for space on the feeder and on the ground below it. so i crept through the kitchen below window level over to the sliding glass door, turned on the camera and slowly moved it out to get a shot, while laying on the floor. i didn't put my head into pigeon view so i had to look at the little screen kinda sideways to point the camera properly. i took several shots. the camera, set on auto, set off its flash for some. the birds didn't seem to notice. trying for a view through the viewfinder, i moved my head out into view just a tiny bit. bye bye birdies.

update: more info on these pigeons-----the Band-tailed Pigeon, columba fasciata, is a new world bird. its habitat is the western americas and canada; from B.C. to Argentina. a flock may have fifty or more birds, or just one. it's hard to count a flock because they won't hold still. all jostling and flying off and back.

"To maintain homeostasis, pigeons cool off by expelling the layer of skin from the inside of their throats. This thin layer of skin looks similar to a bubble-gum bubble. Once expelled it increases the birds skin surface thus decreasing their body temperature."

i'm assuming that when the bird is cooled off it retrieves its layer of skin.

this info and a lot more, including the quote, is from the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

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