|looking for directions|
This was quite an eye opener as it proves that domesticated birds (and most animals) don't understand the dangers it awaits in the wild. Racing Pigeons ancestry chain started with the Rock Dove (a species which breeds on the island) so to see both birds behaviour together is quite educating. The Rock Dove is often alert watching out for predators even if its just a Gull flying over and are often flighty. The Domestciated Pigeon does not have that type of alertness and would let danger close to it. I felt sorry for the poor bird because in the end, over the centuries, humans has took one of birds senses away which is quite often a key to its survival.
If the bird was in its own flock of pigeons, then of course it has a greater chance of survival. If the flock encounters a Sparrowhawk visually, they do have a strategy to foil the predator. The flock will tighen up then lead the hawk quite high and as far away from the loft until they loose it before returning back home.
No one keeps racing pigeons on the island so how far and where do they come from?
Shetland and Orkney are 25 miles away across the sea which will be a easy flight here for these strong flyers. No doubt they were come as far from Norway, Scotland and mayby even England. On one occasion, when I was coming across on the Good Shepherd, about 10 miles out at sea, the crew released a crate full of pigeons of which they all went racing back to mainland Shetland, something I have never witnessed before.
|Mainland Shetland viewed from Fair Isle|
|I wonder if he survived the Skuas, Hawks and Cats!|
If any one has any questions or points to add, please feel free to reply to the post.