Toy stories: Pompadour Green Pigeons and friends

The Pompadour Green Pigeon looks like a toy to me. I bet that every night – woodland creatures dip them in buckets filled with green paint. By dawn, they are free to roam in the hills. They fly around, ornamenting the trees with their madly-purple shoulders. And giving neck-cramps to birders.

My neck will snap if I ever go to the rain forests of Papua and spot the Western Crowned Pigeon. She will spread her crown for me. And I will quickly leave after taking a few photographs. Too much beauty can break me down. It can make me cry.

The feral Rock Doves in Chennai used to make me scurry away, in tears, as a child. But it was because I was scared. They would make eerie sounds at night. I would sleep with one eye open, picturing their ghoulishly-pink feet up against the window in my room. To make matters worse, they would soil the passenger seat of my dad’s scooter.

It has been an emotional roller-coaster with these doves / pigeons.

During the past few years, I have seen many of them in the hills of southern India. Different colours and theme songs. Each one a breath of fresh dew. The scent of love like camphor.

The Spotted Dove is a common sight. Like their cousins in the city, they gravitate towards human habitats. It helps them with nest-building and food-gathering chores. I was lucky enough to shoot a video of one having an evening snack with a little friend of hers in Valparai.

I have caught on camera – the Pompadour Green Pigeon, the Grey-Fronted Green Pigeon, the Yellow-Footed Green Pigeon, the Mountain Imperial Pigeon and the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon. In the city, I have also spotted the Laughing Dove and the Red-Collared Dove.

The commercially-sold white doves can be seen fluttering about too. But they just look like tumbling dolls of flesh.

White Doves, Chennai

A
tumbling
doll of flesh
gathers no love;
a puppet is
as the hand,
inside, does.

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32 comments

  1. What is it about the pigeon/dove profile that is so dovely/pigeonly? I knew even before I read what they are, that they were pigeons/doves. Yours, of course, are much prettier than our dull grey Canadian pigeons.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. wow…………this is the amazing bird that i have ever seems, i hope someday you wan to make history for each bird. and you reasearch for it……thank a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely pictures! Emerald Doves are gorgeous, aren’t they? I remember having a very close encounter with one in the mangroves. Did not know that they are state birds of Tamil Nadu! Must ask my parents if they know that πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That must have been some bejeweled mangrove! My folks didn’t know either. My mom was thrilled since she had assumed it would be the peacock. And gosh, we wouldn’t want it to be the peacock. She gets enough attention.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, the best mangrove here in Singapore! Even home to crocodiles. Hahaha that’s true! She’s still as beautiful though πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha it would be quite interesting to have a staring contest with Mr. Croc! His eyes are bright, intelligent, and let’s say, quite cunning πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. That Emerald Dove…such a beautiful dinner jacket. Our Rock Dove (common pigeon) is most beautiful but gets a bad rap since they are so adaptable. Our government regularly culls tens of thousands of them because of their nature alone (nesting, pooping, flocking…how DARE they!). Our variety in Texas are mostly tans and browns. Look up Inca Dove and his plumage.

    They are all fabulous creatures and have amazing homing brains. We all should appreciate more. ‘Stop hug and roll’ is a firing post title and I’m glad you overcame your fear of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ours rockers have a nasty reputation too. They still sometimes hear a mouthful from me just for old time sake. As you said though, they are gorgeous creatures more deserving of our tolerance. I just saw the Inca dove. She looks like she was sculpted with only the wind for a sharp instrument. So beautiful, Shannon!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never been able to see or understand what it is about birds that can make someone love them so much. It’d be a lie to say I agree with you. But, I hope someday that my eyes open up to their beauty, as well, for every creature is equal… It’s just we who need the tuning. sigh

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s quite alright, sheth. Birding is something that , I believe at least, finds people and not the other way around. Maybe something equally beautiful and warm will find you too, if it already hasn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. As always C, I find solace in your words. I heard stories about you being scared of pigeons in college, but didn’t really enquire. Now I know. It’s kind of funny. I am not too fond of pigeons. I thought, for a long time, that they caused my allergies. But I think they are beautiful in their own way, a subtle beauty about them.

    Liked by 1 person

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