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The poor pigeon has received a bad rap in our society.  The ubiquitous “feathered rats,” as urban dwellers often refer to them, are found almost the entire world over.  They’ve adapted incredibly well to living alongside humans, but ironically we hold this against them.

This pigeon was part of a small flock, about five birds total, who gathered early one morning to drink the water that had condensed on the metal roof of a small shed.  The water ran down the grooves in the corrugated metal and made tiny pools on the downslope side before dripping off the edge of the roof.  Each pool consisted of only a few drops, but it was enough to sustain the pigeons since each of them drank from several pools.

What I found fascinating is that the shed was at the end of a pier that jutted out into a salt-water inlet.  Even surrounded by salt water, a hundred yards or so from land, the enterprising pigeons found a source of fresh water that renewed itself nightly.

Being up on the roof, which was only about six or seven feet above the pier, kept the pigeons safe from the humans, and especially their kids and dogs, who congregate at the end of the pier.  There’s a small museum and a cafe there as well, and no doubt the pigeons found plenty to sustain them from the latter establishment as well.  They may well have lived under the pier and never needed to go to land unless they got a craving for fresh seeds or grains.

Having the pigeons up on the roof also made it easy for this photographer to get a “bird’s-eye” view of them without having to lie on the ground.  My preference for shooting animals is to get at or slightly below their eye level, which is obviously easier when shooting some species than others.  Here I was able to stand and have my tripod fully extended, which made the shooting very comfortable.  The coffee and freshly baked scone I bought at the cafe also contributed to my comfort.  Wildlife photography doesn’t always have to be uncomfortable and physically challenging.

Now if I could just get a snow leopard to take up residence on the pier alongside the pigeons…



  1. I’m with you all the way on comfortable wildlife shooting – especially the snow leopard.

    • Hi Lyle,

      Yep, the older I get, the less discomfort I’m eager to undergo for a shot. I definitely draw the line at frostbite, leeches, and restless natives… 😉

      RPRT Photo

  2. You captured the irridescence on the feathers perfectly! Beautiful.

    • Thanks, A.

      I love the little patch of green on the side of the pigeon’s necks that looks like it’s airbrushed…

      RPRT Photo

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