February 21, 2020
| Rock Pigeons by Melissa Rowell |
Our seventh and penultimate BirdSpotter category was all about celebrating our regular feeder visitors that often get overlooked by more exciting rarities. Congratulations to our BirdSpotter Judges’ Choice winner, Melissa Rowell of Vestal, NY! Melissa captured this intimate look at a pair of Rock Pigeons, which showed off their colorful iridescence and drew everyone’s attention to this species that lives the background of our everyday lives. Melissa says:
One early morning in February, shortly before Valentine’s Day, I was in Clearwater, FL sitting on the beach photographing much loved Snowy Egrets. I happened to look over my shoulder at a rock wall, and there were two Rock Pigeons soaking up the sun. I turned back to the much flashier egrets, and then, a few minutes later, happened to cast a glance at the pigeons again. I was enthralled by what I saw. They had begun rubbing beaks and were preening one another. So adorable! The egrets were temporarily forgotten as I turned my attention, and my camera, to the loving pigeons who were celebrating Valentine’s Day early.
Rock Pigeons are prevalent across North America, avoiding only the northernmost, arctic habitats. They are widespread in urban habitats, and are also found in more rural places around barns and tall, rocky cliffs. Rock Pigeons will come to platform or large hopper feeders that have sunflower seeds, safflower, corn, peanut hearts, and millet, and readily peck at food that has fallen to the ground underneath.
Submissions are open now for the eighth and final BirdSpotter category Potpourri! Now it’s time to share that photo you’ve been waiting to submit all season. Submit your photo by 11:59 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, February 27, 2020 for a chance to win. These winners will be announced the next day, on Friday, February 28, so that voting for the Grand Prize contest can begin on Saturday, February 29! Biweekly People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice winners receive prizes from the Cornell Lab and our sponsor, Wild Birds Unlimited. Anyone can participate by entering a photo and voting for their favorites! Find out more about the BirdSpotter contest.