“I was driving out and saw this white pigeon, which I think was a juvenile Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), in the middle of a road in my condo enjoying the cool air and morning sun. This was after an overnight heavy shower cleared the highly polluted air that enveloped Singapore for the past few days.
“It was so innocent that three cars went past it with a mere clearance of 1 to 2 feet but it remained unmoved. I had to gently shoo it to the side of the road for its own safety. In so doing I came to within touching distance of the bird.
“A short video showing the juvenile enjoying the morning sun, taken from a distance of about 3 to 4 feet, can be viewed here:
Sun Chong Hong, Singapore, 25th October 2010
Note: If you look carefully at the video, you will note that both eyelids play a part in the closing of the eye. The upper eyelid drops halfway while the lower moves up. The image on the left is a screen grab that shows the same thing. Check out an earlier post on eyelids HERE.
Lee Chiu San
Dear Chong Heng,
The poor bird was probably not in good health, which is why it allowed such a close approach. Yes, it is an immature bird, though I cannot be sure that it is Columbia livia. It could also be a hybrid of Streptopelia tranquibarica, another dove that has been domesticated for centuries.
Immature birds sometimes leave the nest (or are released during religious ceremonies by well-meaning but ill-informed people, before they are fully capable of independent living.
Such birds appear surprisingly tame because they are weak with hunger. Hopefully, the subject of your video pulled through.
Sun Chong Hong
Hi Chui San
I suspected the bird to be sick too. One kind gentleman in my condo took the bird in for the night and release it the next morning. Since then I have not seen it again.
Lee Chiu San
Dear Chong Hong,
Glad to hear that someone tried to care for the bird. Hope it recovered.
Some species can tolerate acidic waters better than others. However, in an interconnected ecosystem, what impacts some species eventually impacts many more throughout the food chain—including non-aquatic species such as birds.