Pigeon Columbia livia (domest.)
Pigeons are rock
doves that were domesticated
but have returned to their
original wild state. The
pigeons were domesticated
for a number of reasons,
food, homing pigeons for
messages and sport (racing
pigeons) or even for their
differing plumage and displayed
as fancy pigeons.
pigeon's lifespan can vary. In the wild
they can live up to 5 years but some pigeons
in captivity have lived for 30 years. Their
'natural' habitat is coastal cliffs but
their domestication has brought the pigeons
to buildings in our cities throughout the
world where they live happily feeding on
seeds in the fields or bread and other
foodstuffs discarded by people.Pigeons
are excellent fliers reaching speeds of
up to 60mph but are not migratory. The
female pigeon lays two white eggs and the
emerging young pigeons are known as squabs.
The numbers of starlings in the
UK are declining, perhaps due to pesticides
reducing the quantity of their invertebrate
prey. Starlings feed on insects and their
larvae, earthworms, snails, slugs etc. In
previous years large colonies of hundreds
of thousands could be seen wheeling in the
evening skies prior to roosting on buildings
and in trees. The starlings may migrate to
warmer climes in the winter but the UK starlings
are sedentary and swelled in numbers by eastern
starlings in the summer months.
starlings nest with straw and feathers
in wall voids or roof spaces and normally
raise one brood annually from a clutch
of four to seven eggs.
Gull Larus argentatus
large noisy gull that is found in coastal
areas and inland scavenging around rubbish
tips but fish andshellfish comprise a large
part of the Herring Gull's natural diet along
with carrion, grain and birds eggs. These
gulls are widespread inland during winter.
It can be seen around the rest of Europe,
Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.
adult Herring Gull is a large bird growing
up to 65cm in length with a wing span of
up to 158cm
Gulls lay a clutch of 2 - 4 eggs which
hatch after about 26 days.
Lesser Black Backed
Gull Larus fuscus
smaller than the Herring
Gull with grey/black upperparts
of the wings and back. They
are migratory gulls but increasing
numbers of the gulls are
over-wintering in the UK.
Their feeding habits are
similar to those of the Herring
Lesser Black Backed Gull has a wingspan
up to about 148 cm. They lay a clutch of
1 - 3 eggs.