Saturday, June 3, 2017

Summer Guests

Every summer the wild Band-tailed Pigeons make stops at my bird feeder in the backyard. They are boisterous, noisy and bossy. They rule the bird feeder and eat everything in it. They are however much different than a city pigeon in that they will blast off into the sky with a loud clapping of wings if I so much as show my face in the window. As many of them that there are the population is in decline. Twenty years ago the flocks that visited my yard were forty to fifty in number. Now they are much smaller usually less than a dozen. My numbers are based upon pure observation but official records by game biologists paint the same picture. The population has dropped sixty three percent since the late 1960s. Though Band-tailed Pigeons are listed as a species of least concern,it has many things it is up against namely habitat loss and disease. Trichomonas gallinae, a single-celled microscopic protozoan that creates lesions in the beak and throat that eventually block the bird’s airway and throat, and kill off large numbers of them. Here is a Band-tailed Pigeon from my backyard yesterday morning. It was perched on an old stump that I placed by the bird feeder for them to land on. The pigeon was photographed from my photoblind from about eight feet away. This image was created with a Canon 7D MkII and a Canon 100-400IS v.1 lens. Lighting was provided by four Canon 540 EZ flashes with 2' x 2' soft boxes.#TeamCanon

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