Saturday, 7 July 2012

Birds of Paris


When I last journeyed to Paris in 2010 I was a novice birdwatcher. Two years later I still am really. But I was very excited to think that I would see lots of amazing French birds. I had no idea what they would be.


Turns out



they were
pigeons

Big pigeons it must be said. But pigeons nonetheless. 

The first two pictures are Common Wood Pigeons (Columba palumbus). And the third what we informally call pigeons are actually Rock Doves (Columbra livia)


and sparrows

People don't get to walk on the grass in Paris



Pigeons do though
They snooze away undisturbed by the tread of human feet nearby.
Parisian pigeons must be some of the most chilled out pigeons in the world! 

Although it turns out pigeons have made a nuisance of themselves. It's illegal to feed them, and pigeon fanciers furtively feed them under the cover of darkness. 

I did actually get to see two non-sparrow, non-pigeons! I didn't know what they are, but due to the magic of Google.... I think I have identified the first one. 

Bonaparte's Gull/Mouette de Bonaparte
Named after Napoleon's nephew

I now think this must be a Black-Headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
Bonaparte's Gull is American

Maybe a thrush or a blackbird?


Sadly the most exotic birds of the trip


Saturday Snapshot, is a wonderful weekly meme from at home with books


Paris in July is cohosted by Karen at BookBath and Tamara at Thyme for Tea 

23 comments:

Eugenia O'Neal said...

That was great! I loved your commentary! Pigeons are all over, aren't they?

In London, if I recall correctly, they started a falcon patrol around Picadilly Circus to keep the pigeons away. It worked!

Eva said...

LOL! Yes, pigeons are all over the place, and they really like towns.
Loved your commentary too.

Trish said...

Isn't that so cool! The birds are similar but not quite the same. That pigeon in the grass looks pretty at home right there. That would never happen over here!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Great shots...and commentary! Thanks for sharing.

Here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

Kaye said...

OOh, I love these photos! Pigeons can be a huge nuisance. Gulls at the beach are a nuisance too. Signs on FL beaches warn people not to feed them but some people do anyway. The gulls can swoop in and try to take a bite of what you are eating. That's how bold they have become.

Paulita said...

This is funny. I'm doing Paris in July too. when I traveled to Paris with the kids, I told someone that we didn't see any wildlife at all. Then my daughter, 6, said "Mom, remember we saw that rat in Disneyland Paris." She saw the rat run around a trash can. The kids chased the pigeons too. Here's Mine

Christine Harding said...

We saw lots of pigeons in Paris as well... but there are none in my Paris pictures, which are at http://chriscross-thebooktrunk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/parisian-pictures-take-two.html

Kailana said...

When I was little there was an old man that used to feed the pigeons and I guess he kept them as pets, too? He was always full of droppings and I heard horror stories about his house... I hadn't thought about him in years. Random reminder and comment... :) I just think he was lonely.

Kailana said...

When I was little there was an old man that used to feed the pigeons and I guess he kept them as pets, too? He was always full of droppings and I heard horror stories about his house... I hadn't thought about him in years. Random reminder and comment... :) I just think he was lonely.

bermudaonion said...

It seems there are big pigeons in every big city.

Alyce said...

Pigeons seem to be universal, but it is fun to see different varieties. Is it standard everywhere in the city not to walk on the grass or just in certain areas?

Leslie said...

Awww, that's disappointing. It's the same here in Chicago. Unless you leave the downtown area all you will see are pigeons, sea gulls and sparrows, plus an occasional crow.

storygal said...

We have pigeons too. Many of them! But we have a lot of other birds too. I didn't know that people cannot walk on the grass in some places. Are children allowed to play on the grass?

marveloustales said...

But they're *French* pigeons, much more exciting. And I love that there's a bird named after Napoleon's nephew!

Bev Hankins said...

Lol, I love your punch line...turns out they were.....pigeons! But French pigeons! That makes all the difference in the world.

Here's my Snapshot.

Sim said...

Tres exotique! J'adore your captions and your punch line made me laugh out loud.
Great post!
Were those really exotic birds locked up behind glass??? So sad.

Kath Lockett said...

Gorgeous photos. I too, am becoming a bit of a 'twitcher' since leaving Oz and am seriously thinking of buying a bird book so that I can identify the sweet little 'coloured sparrows' that love buzzing around here.

rippleeffects said...

I didn't do any birdwatching the last time I visited Paris. Never thought of that. But you've shown me this is what I should do if I ever go back... look at the local birding habitat, and enjoy. Like going to the movies, I'd never thought of doing activities like these as a tourist. But then again, you've reminded me that this is exactly what a tourist should be doing... getting familiarized with the environment there. You've a lovely blog. I'll be stopping by more often. Thanks for visiting Ripple Effects. ;)

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

These were fun shots. To me Pigeons look similar to Mourning Doves - just bigger and more gray:)

Tamara said...

Louise, I love this post... thanks so much for being a part of Paris in July 2012. Because I just had a ball reading this post I'm going to randomly give you a Paris in July Prize.... Just contact me with a postal address.. see my email on my blog about me page.

Janine & Steve said...

When I worked in the city about ten years ago, I had an office that overlooked the back of a building infested with pigeons. We called it 'the pigeon brothel'. Those pigeons are insatiable- they are at it all day!!

skiourophile said...

Love this - so cute! My travelling downfall is photographing squirrels, which many people also consider pests, I think.

wordsandpeace.com said...

I believe yes this is what we call a "common black bird", "un merle" in French. it is as common as the robin in the US and has also such a beautiful whistling sound, especially early morning or late evening.
here is one sound recording:
http://ibc.lynxeds.com/sound/common-blackbird-turdus-merula/song