Winter is the time for wood pigeons to form (well they probably form in autumn) larger groups. I take it that groups of wood pigeons have been a fairly uncommon sight for you. Do the carrion and hooded crow have other mates? I'm expecting to see a few more hybrids as more carrion crows are getting further north.
I had not seem Wood Pigeons here till they were blown in on a gale, unfortunately they decided to stay, having seen the amount of Beech Trees with their fruit no doubt, just wish they would go back from whence they came. No Hoody and Carrion do not have other mates. Hoody has been here for years and previously had a long time friend (a Carrion), they were always together and never bred (I called them the odd couple). The Carrion got shot. Hoody grieved for months - kept sitting with head down starting at their favourite place to sit together. Then a couple of months ago Hoody appeared with a new friend - a Carrion.
This is a bit of a long story, which some of you will have heard before. Hoody was abandoned as a fledgling and the Jays decided to adopt it. The Jays are very particular about what other birds are allowed on their patch. They allowed Hoody to have a friend, but any other Hoodies or Carrion that came near where chased off - attacked and it seems they are allowing Hoodies new friend to stay. (maybe it is on the proviso that they do not breed - lol).
That's a lot of wood pigeons! I always think they have proper character, especially seeing them on the ground!
I have just got back from my first proper trip to Scotland and saw my first hooded crows. I thought they were lovely and really enjoyed watching them. Found it really interesting to read what you said about one of them grieving their buddy. It's amazing to see the emotional intelligence of animals. How long did this grieving action go on for? Did it stop suddenly or was it faded out? My apologies for all the questions, I'm just interested in behaviour.
Hi Jeni Hoody grieved for about three months, then it was a further five months till it found a new friend. As a bye the bye we like watching the Hooded Crows along the shores, when the tide is out, Picking up mollusks flying up into the air and dropping them on the pebbles on the beach to crack them open. You can always tell the youngsters from the older more experienced ones, they don't get the 'drop height' quite right and take 3 - 4 attempts picking up the mollusks and dropping again.
That's really cool, how incredible to see first hand examples of emotional intelligence. I'm looking forward to spending some more time watching these birds and I will be sure to look out for the dropping behaviour - will have to see if I can pick out the youngsters.