Since we have had the influx of Rainbow Lorikeets into our garden I have noticed that their appearance has changed the behaviour of one of the other regular residents, a Bronzewing pigeon. Not all of them, just one.
The Bronzewings have been here since we moved in. When we arrived there were a terrified few who would blast into the sky at the slightest hint of us through the window.
It was a little self-defeating though, they are so well camouflaged that the only reason you notice them is the fact that they launch into the sky with all the grace of a bag of laundry. If they just stayed still they would be all but invisible!
Over time their numbers have crept up from a few to about twenty and now they are happy to see us move in the house without panicking. They won’t hang around in the garden while you are outside like the parrots do, but at least they don’t make a mad dash for freedom for the smallest reason.
With the regular attendance of the Rainbow Lorikeets there is always a bit of seed spread in the grass and one of the young Bronzewings has clearly developed a taste for the seed and the company.
This Bronzewing has proved to be a little less delicate than its brothers though. If there are pigeons and parrots grazing at the same time usually the smaller parrots rule the roost and push the pigeons around in an attempt to get the best spots. This pigeon however, has developed a behaviour that has shown it is not willing to be pushed around.
While they are grazing a parrot will move closer in an attempt to move the pigeon on. The pigeon will then raise one or both wings and stand up as tall as possible as if to say “Back off mate!” The parrot will move away and grazing will continue. Each time a parrot moves in the wing goes up and the parrot back off.
This was working really well for about a week and then the parrots must have decided that they would push the point. The pigeon had to up the ante.
Now the wing goes up, but if the parrot doesn’t back off in good time the pigeon bounces a few inches up into the air with a snap of the wings and a cracking flick of the tail in the direction of the parrot. The parrot backs off and the pigeon bumps back to the ground and resumes feeding.
If there is a particularly resistant parrot I have noticed that the bounce into the air is finished with the pigeon landing heavily on top of the parrot. Having what must seem like a giant feather pillow landing on your head would probably cause you to relinquish the dinner table too!
I wonder if a few generations down the track the Bronzewings will be dominating the garden, and the wary parrots will be dashing in to snatch up a few crumbs when they aren’t looking! 🙂
Sounds like you have an alpha male in the pigeon ranks. Are they really that unco..? The grace of a bag of laundry, sounds like it would look rather funny.
It has been interesting to see a creature who is normally so timid standing up for itself. I guess that is behaviour probably seen within the ranks of the pigeon pecking order but I have never seen them use it, especially on another type of bird!
Yes, they really are unco. Once they get going they fly very straight and very fast and look quite impressive zooming through the trees. But the bit from ground level up looks a bit like throwing a chicken through a hedge…. 😉
How wonderful!!! … Those Rainbow Lorikeets, beautiful as they are, can be bossy little blighters. Reckon you should give your brave, proud and courageous Pidge a “pet name” 😀 I too love watching the antics of Wildlife in my backyard… glorious!
So far he has just been called ‘The Grumpy One’ 😀
I love the lorries but they are real bullies, maybe it is their red eyes…. they look crazy…. 😉
Bird Wars. Better than TV. It’s great when everyone is accustomed to each other’s company both human and feathered, and the personalities shine through.
It IS better than tv, we have taken to keeping the bird book on the dinner table next to the glass doors for quick reference. So many birds come through once and only for a second and we want to know what they are!
I am really pleased that they are developing some sort of pecking order that doesn’t involve one type of bird keeping all the others away too.
I love the idea that the pigeon is going for a natural evolution approach and may pass that on to the next generation . Your garden could be responsible for the change that will undergo future bronzewings. Just think, in twenty years no-one will ever remember the lorikeets were in charge of the dining room.
I sometimes imagine that this bird is a rebellious teenager who has been turfed out of the clan for its bad attitude. Soon I can see all the young males joining his gang and rumbling the parrots whenever they come across each other 🙂
Not so bird-brained, then!
We have been interested to watch our hens seeing off the local cats in a similar way – standing tall and flapping wings, but we have yet to see them jump on a cat’s head! Clearly our local domestic cats are more fearful than your lorikeets.
I wonder if it because the cats have nasty teeth and claws and your chooks are smart enough to stay out of reach? 🙂 Our pigeon will be in trouble if a parrot fights back properly one day, they can give a nasty bite when they want to!
What a sassy bird! I wonder if it is an alpha, or just a runt that got sick of being pushed around by everyone. Perhaps this is a case of the wo… I mean the pigeon turning. 🙂
As I said to David, I imagine him being a rebellious teenager whose attitude was just too annoying for the adults to stand anymore…..out on his own in the big wide world. Although with that attitude he is going to get his butt kicked at every turn! 😀
Hey! He’s getting the seeds and the others aren’t. That makes him an Einstein amongst pigeons. 😉
World domination, one lawn at a time… 😀