Cute ugly pigeon chicks

Only a mother could love these, someone has commented on facebook! But here at Wheatland Farm’s eco lodges we love all our Devon Wildlife, even the pigeons.

These ugly but so cute chicks are wood pigeons – just the two of them in a fraglile looking tangle of twigs in the oak tree of Wheatland Farmhouse’s garden. The viewing point is Euan’s personal treehouse, so I’m afraid most of our eco lodge guests will have to be content with pictures. Euan will be taking care not to be too much of a noisy neighbour over the next couple of weeks.

Or maybe they’re not pigeons at all, but actually dodo chicks, back from extinction? Looks feasible right now….

In case you didn’t know, wood pigeons are the birds incessantly saying ‘Take two leaves piggie, take two leaves piggie, take two leaves piggie, take!’. This characteristic call is generally considered to be referring to delicious cabbage family plants in the vegetable patch. That’s maybe not that relevant if you’re not a grower, but when we were kids there was a constant battle between pigeons and gardening, involving nets and bird scarers etc. If we’re honest, less wary pigeons sometimes ended up in the cooking pot, along with the garden greens, when their pesky antics got too much.

The wood pigeon call is not to be confused with the more delicate and slender looking collar dove, whose refrain says ‘I see you! I see you!’. You can hear both at Wheatland Farm, but wood pigeons are by far the more common of these two birds.

The pigeon population seems to be thriving – we know of another nest, and this year we haven’t been finding any pigeon remains, so probably the sparrowhawk that was taking them a while back has moved on. Perhaps the young ones had better watch out though.