Dear Readers, my quiz last week went so well that I thought I’d tax all of your brains some more! Let’s see how good we all are at identifying the various pigeon and dove species that you can find in the UK, not only by sight but also (gasp!) by sound. Several people seemed keen to learn a bit more about bird calls, so let’s start with these most familiar birds of all (at least in the UK). It’s true that we don’t have pigeons as splendid as the green ones that you can see in Asia, but to my eyes they all have a subtle beauty. So, without further ado, tell me what species of pigeon we’re looking at.
And now for the tricky bit. Below are the calls of the five species shown above. Can you match the call to the bird?
6. This is a very ardent individual, but which pigeon is it?
7. How about this little lot?
8. This is an amazing sound, but have you ever heard it?
9. And who is this?
10. And finally, who is this?
And what do you think are the similarities between the calls of all the pigeons? To me, the calls always sound a bit laboured, as if they’re an effort for the bird, and also a bit muffled, as if they’re being produced from deep inside the body, rather than the cleaner, higher notes of other birds. I wonder if it’s anything to do with the structure of pigeon species? I know that they are one of the few families of birds who can suck up water when they drink, rather than having to take a mouthful and then throw their heads back.
Answers tomorrow! Have fun!