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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started feeding birds in our backyard this spring and soon after the feral pigeons found the feeders. I've grown to love them more than the other birds that come to the feeders and buy pigeon feed especially for them and feed them in the morning and afternoon in the front and back yards.

I just threw them their food for the afternoon on the front verandah. Something startled them and they all flew away. I went back inside and looked out the kitchen window to see if they'd come back. Horrifically, I saw a pigeon standing on another pigeon's back and pecking it's head over and over. I ran back outside and it flew away. I bent over to help the other pigeon but it was too late. The other pigeons had pecked his head so badly his head was almost severed from his body.

It's so horrifying. The poor thing died as I held him. Just came in from burying him in the backyard. Last week a giant hawk killed a pigeon in the backyard and spent the next two hours under the a tree eating it. I almost got over that horror - but at least it was understandable to: a hawk doing what it does. But WHY would a pigeon attack and kill another pigeon? I can't get the image out of my mind. It was a lovely summer seeing the pigeons batheing (in the "spa") and sitting contentedly in the grass. But after the hawk and now witnessing a pigeon murder another pigeon, I can't take it. Does this happen often?
 

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Am sorry you had to witness that. Only time i have seen one pigeon really try to hurt another was when our adult male, Junior, would aggressively peck our male oops pigeon squeaker, to the point i had to cage him separately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
So it's not a normal behaviour? Could it have been some other dark feathered raptor bird instead of another pigeon? It all happened so fast. Maybe it was a raptor attack and that's what caused all the others to fly away and I didn't realize it? I know "it's nature" and suffering is part of it, but it's difficult to witness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to you both for replying. I've been watching them when feeding since the attack and haven't seen any further aggression, but I have to say I'm anxious everytime i feed them. I'm now worried not just about the hawks but also the potential that one of them may kill another of the flock.
 

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that makes sense, im sorry you had to see such a grizzly encounter. its definitely a little jarring the first time anyone sees a bird kill another bird, but it always helps me a little bit to remember that theyre like... literally dinosaurs and stuff, and that makes the bloodshed sound a bit more fitting and less, shocking? i guess? im not sure.

good luck with your future feedings, and hopefully you dont have to see it again
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Very good point, Spirtite. Nature of the "beast", I guess. Which I guess also explains your point, Ladygrey. It's just shocking. Being new to birding I only expected violence from raptors and not from the birds that are primarily vegetarian. I like to think other species don't share our faults - murdering others of our kind being one of them. lol
 
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