I've been watching the antics of three grey crows that form a small gang hereabouts. Last night, in the near darkness and drizzle, when I was walking by the sea, I saw them in formation pecking their way across a swathe of village greenery because, perhaps, the worms were out.
I LEARNED a lot about pigeons last week thanks to the remarkable belligerence of a sparrow. She took umbrage at a pigeon pecking the pavement near her, a fat, well-groomed pigeon, like most street pigeons here in Ibiza, in the Balearic Islands.
How do millions of birds travel thousands of kilometres and make a return trip to the same nesting site each year? Maybe they have some sort of hidden satnav that humans know nothing about or some other mysterious means of guiding them across oceans, writes
He was a sad sight, the young heron when I took him from the freezer, so much of nature’s energy and artistry evident in the wings, in the strong flight feathers, in the fearsome beak, in the powerful feet, all wasted now, a consummately beautiful and efficient creation flaccid and bedraggled in death.
I was sitting under a tree on a sweltering day in the Czech Republic when my mobile rang and Kevin Hanly, on the line from west Cork, told me that he and his wife Beth had found a dead heron in our driveway when they’d crossed the lane from their house to feed our domestic heron, as they always do during our absence.
It may not seem like one of life’s great mysteries, but a quick internet search reveals that people from across the world – London to Hong Kong, Cape Town to Buenos Aires – are asking this same question: for all the pigeons out there in our cities, where are all the dead ones?
Did you know that some of our visiting summer birds engage in a form of cruise control and sleep while flying? Just one of the nuggets of information from readers following our piece last week on swallows, swifts and martins.