Squab the Deck

Birds seem to love our house. On two occasions we were forced to evict starlings nesting in our dryer vent (whom we affectionately named Scratchy and Scratchy II), birds of all feather like to rest on our bathroom window to watch us shower, and pigeons gently coo us to sleep.

After a long stretch of cold, wet weather we once again ventured out on our porch only to discover another nest, this one belonging to a pigeon. The mother pigeon was rather skittish and probably for good reason not trusting of the human trying to fix his bike so near her eggs. We named her Didi after a rather skittish person we know. Any time one of us went out on the porch, Didi would run frantically down to the edge looking over her shoulder the whole time and then fly off to the power lines.

A few days later the eggs hatched, producing two cute in a very ugly way pigeon squab. Didi is a bit less skittish now that she has her young to protect, although she has to venture off more often in search of food. I expect the wilds of Somerville are good places to hunt down the pigeons natural prey: bread crumbs and stale french fries. Being good hosts we try to keep an eye on the baby pigeons while Didi is away. Needless to say, our landlord doesn’t like this at all.

I searched online for information about baby pigeons (such as the plural of squab) and learned that seeing baby pigeons is considered a rare feat. I also found a site that tells how a baby pigeon grows. Apparently our two chicks will spend about four weeks total in the nest while mother Didi stuffs them with gourmet meals. After that time the squab will look more like pigeons and start to fend for themselves a bit more. I also read that the male pigeon is involved in caring for the young, but I’ve only observed one pigeon tending this nest (like I can tell them apart).

Didi guards her eggs.

The freshly hatched squab chicks.

One week later, one week uglier. Sorry Didi, I know they’re the apple of your eye.

More on the pigeons as they develop.



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