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.
“I’m bigger than you, so watch it!”
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! 🙂