'(The Blog) With No Name', perhaps best described as a stream of notes and thoughts - 'remembered, recovered and (sometimes) invented'.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Business As Usual...

An 'African Tulip' tree stands next to our office building, its foliage is at the same level as a window opening out from my cubicle and one can always see little birds with long, curved beaks fluttering around the clusters of garishly red flowers. Hanging limp from the bare branches below and scattered on the ground farther down are remnants of the same flowers - like pieces of torn balloons.

In a very sheltered niche below one of the office windows, two pigeons built a nest sometime back. There were two eggs in there and then two fledglings, huddling close to one another, throbbing with fresh life. Then one day, one of the fledglings lay very still while the other still seemed to shiver... and the next day, neither was moving. The two pigeons were still siting around. Now, the nest appears more or less abandoned, the pigeons are rarely seen, and the fledglings have crumbled into amorphous lumps of down..

A pair of owls - bigger than crows, smaller than kites, brown to deep brown wings, dirty white bellies with black marks, ashen, heart-shaped faces, smallish beaks like pieces of plastic sticking out of the mouths - sit on a tree facing our office, oblivious of being stared at. They look bored; their eyes are often closed and they often sway back and forth gently as if dozing. They sit there all day, day after day..

Update on December 26th:
Pigeons have built a new nest in another window-niche. Today morning, there were two freshly laid eggs in there, in all their innocence. And the old 'ruined nest' is being reused as well; just saw, among the withered remains of those poor fledglings, yet another very fresh egg!

Note: Did a bit of googling on 'nest reuse' among birds. It appears to be a much studied and rather complex subject, although I am totally new to it. The reuse could be at different levels - the site may be reused or the actual structure of the nest may be reoccupied. Moreover, a nest may be reused in the same season - as is happening at our office - or in a future season (in the case of flimsy pigeon nests, a distant future reuse may not be feasible). And it is not clear if the reuse I am seeing is by the same pair of parent pigeons or if there has been a takeover.

In general, nest reuse involves a complex tradeoff - it saves effort but increases the risk of infections and parasites. And the Wikipedia article on pigeons does not mention nest reuse.


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