Lessons from a pigeon family

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/salman2000/13043823055/">Salmando</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>

photo credit: Salmando via photopin cc

As luck would have it, there is a pigeon couple who was visiting the sill outside my bathroom window for the past week. They would be found there very regularly talking to themselves animatedly.

I have been told that once these birds get familiar with a place, they tend to make it their home. Since I have two toddlers at home, I am very wary of infections & was trying to keep these birds away.

One morning, however, I saw the bird carry a twig in her beak, which she dropped on the window sill. A little later, the other bird came carrying another twig. That’s when I realised, they are in the process of building a nest & eventually start a family! The mother in me just didn’t have the heart to throw away their nascent efforts of building a nest so I let them be.

Unexpectedly, this started a fun journey for my daughter & me. She is very fond of animals & theoretically we try to educate her as much as we can, but this development provided us an opportunity to show her how the process actually takes place. I would ask her to tip toe to the bathroom when the birds would arrive with the twigs. I introduced her to the couple & she promptly named them mamma & papa pigeon. Together we started watching how the nest was taking shape.

In the night, my otherwise difficult to subdue daughter, would consciously be quite when she would brush her teeth, as the mamma pigeon was resting. We all eagerly waited for her to lay an egg. And lo & behold, this Sunday, we were greeted in the morning with a shiny egg 🙂  . No one was happier than my daughter, who was telling her brother over & over again, that a small little birdie would come out of the egg!

But in all this process, what I was touched by most was the way the couple worked together. Right from scouting for a conducive place to build a nest, to picking of twigs, the male was always shouldering equal responsibility, in fact when the she-pigeon was resting on the nest to lay the egg, the male was found right next to her, throughout the night.

We as humans, the most advanced species, make such a big deal about how responsibility is to be shared between a couple, while here there were two birds, working in such harmony & love, that amazed me.

Now that the mother is incubating the egg, she is found 24×7 on the same spot, protecting her egg, while I have to answer my inquisitive daughter, where the papa pigeon is, when does the mamma pigeon drink any water, why don’t I feed the mamma….and so on. My daughter & I are eagerly waiting for the D-day when the egg would hatch 🙂 and the place I filled with chirping!

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