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TitanicWreck's Avatar
TitanicWreck TitanicWreck is offline
Posted 24th April 2005, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Boston MA
Age: 45
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Pigeons fighting- is this common?


The other day i spotted two piegons in a serious fight- it seemed too violent to be a courting ritual- I was curious why they fought- are they territorial?
Anyone here raise pigeons and have particular pigeons that do not get along?


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Lovebirds Lovebirds is offline
Posted 24th April 2005, 09:32 AM
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I think in most species there is one who "rules the roost" so to speak. When our breeding pairs are separated, we have a cock named "Bo" who is VERY territorial and just plain mean!! When I introduce a new cock to that section, I have to lock Bo up so that the new bird can take an empty nest box. Otherwise, Bo will take it along with his and the new bird is doomed to a perch only. Some fanciers would just get rid of a bird like Bo but I've had him since he was a baby and as mean as he is, he can be a sweetheart too, bowing and cooing to me. In the hens section we have a bird named "Angel" and one name "Bonnie". Angel hates Bonnie for some unknown reason. When all the birds come down to eat, Angel picks Bonnie out of the whole flock and chases her out to the aviary. I sometimes have to go in and catch Angel just so Bonnie can eat. Again, some would rid themselves of this "problem child" but I've also had her (both of them actually) since they were babies and Angel had produced a club/combine winner for us every year since we've been breeding from her. She's worth the trouble and I love both of them dearly.
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TitanicWreck TitanicWreck is offline
Posted 24th April 2005, 09:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Boston MA
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Thats solid proof that pigeons experience complex emotions....
Pity that some pigeons can be as mean spirited as people...

In the case where one pigeon picks on another- have you ever seen another pigeon stepping in and defending the pigeon being picked on?
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Lovebirds Lovebirds is offline
Posted 24th April 2005, 01:02 PM
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Only once in a while when new babies are in the floor at the beginning, Dad will SOMETIMES step in if another cock picks on his baby, but for the most part, they defend their nest and young in the nest but that's about it. Usually the fight is resolved when one decides he's been "beat up" enough and will fly away. A few times I've seen cock birds draw blood while fighting, but it usually doesn't come to that. One of them is usually smart enough to know he's being dominated and will back off.
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SmithFamilyLoft SmithFamilyLoft is offline
Posted 24th April 2005, 01:09 PM
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanicWreck
The other day i spotted two piegons in a serious fight- it seemed too violent to be a courting ritual- I was curious why they fought- are they territorial?
Anyone here raise pigeons and have particular pigeons that do not get along?
Hello Titanic,

I am afraid that pigeons are VERY territorial, in some cases to the extreme. I race my birds, and I admire this aggressive spirit which some birds display more then others. I feel this aggressive fighting spirit, comes through on race day. One of my selection criteria for my breeders, is the more aggressive and meaner, the better.

This means, I must undertake different management practices for my birds. In some lofts, young birds will be placed on the floor, so that all the parents will then feed them. I can not do that with my family strains. A YB on the floor of my loft will be killed by some of the meanest, cock birds you would ever one to see. This has caused problems with some fanciers acquiring my birds, they will take over every nest box in their new homes, and wreck general havoc.

The other down side, is some fanciers will refuse to place their birds in the same crate as mine on shipping night. They will just tear into another bird in their space. I suspect in nature, like most birds and mammals, the most aggressive males gain the best breeding grounds, nest places, food and of course females.
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John_D John_D is offline
Posted 24th April 2005, 01:14 PM
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You have the knack of coming up with thought-provoking topics, TW

My observations suggest there are particularly aggressive pigeons, timid or nervous pigeons, 'top dogs' (like Lovebirds describes), those who are only mean when they defend their nest or favorite perch... all kinds.

They are driven, really, by food, mates, roosts/perching places and nesting places, so they may compete in all these areas.

For ferals, food is often scarce, and worth defending. I find it interesting that this behavior is so ingrained that pigeons will often defend food (for instance, spreading wings over it to keep others away) even where - to us - there is ample food for all and no need to squabble over it.

They are social yet territorial, and one pigeon's perception of territory may be different to another's. Seems to me that mostly, given an increase in the number of pigeons in - say - an aviary, the territory shrinks and it becomes progressively easier to assimilate a new bird.

I have seen pigeons fight over mates, too. Most often, a male will try to drive his mate out of reach of potential rivals.

In the aviary, when we put Snowflake in for some fresh air and sun, he made the mistake of challenging one of the elders for a perch, and Hurdy (one of the longest residents) pursued Snowflake mercilessly all over the aviary until 'flake clung to the wire and 'asked' to be taken in the house again!

I don't believe pigeons have any kind of altruism, like you ask about stepping in to help another. They just don't have the abstract reasoning capacity.

John
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Lovebirds Lovebirds is offline
Posted 24th April 2005, 01:46 PM
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Warren, that is true about the babies. I know people who put their babies in the floor at a certain age and let them start fending for themselves. I can't do that either. If my babies are in the floor it's me who is guarding them. If I can't be in the loft then the babies remain in the nest boxes. Sometimes if I can catch all the cocks sitting on the eggs at the same time, it's a lot easier to put the babies down for a while.
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Renee
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TitanicWreck TitanicWreck is offline
Posted 25th April 2005, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Boston MA
Age: 45
Posts: 156
[quote=SmithFamilyLoft]Hello Titanic,

I am afraid that pigeons are VERY territorial, in some cases to the extreme. I race my birds, and I admire this aggressive spirit which some birds display more then others. I feel this aggressive fighting spirit, comes through on race day. One of my selection criteria for my breeders, is the more aggressive and meaner, the better.






Very interesting!
Its odd though downtown in the city, pigeons seem to share thier space with other pigeons that happen by....
But I noticed on my commute home, on the steel ceiling rafters of the bus stop, pigeons will roost on the same spot of the same ceiling beam every night, and will shoo away any other pigeons that try to take thier spot...
 

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breeding pairs, cock bird, nest boxes, young bird


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