Friday, June 17, 2011

Niche Finding-What's in a Name?

These birds have problems but they probably don't know it. First of all, they found a niche--seem very self-satisfied about it--but it is not without inconvenience--mostly to their human landlords--Guido and I. Second, they have an image problem. Third, they can't be, well, pigeonholed. 
Their first problem is most likely the least of their worries. They picked the right humans to inconvenience. Suffice to say that we are not bird-haters. These two have picked our little window for the laundry room as their nesting niche.  Nevermind that there are holes all over town, these birds have taste. There will not be either natural light or direct ventilation for the laundry room unless we want to hazard babies falling onto the washing machine.
We all know about their image problem. Guido calls these birds pigeons with a certain distaste that can only be said to come from prejudice. If you check out this website, you will see that labeling them pigeons is just not exactly a scientific  moniker. The italians here call them colombe (doves) not piccioni (pigeons)--but that's not the only problem. It seems they are both (all?) from the dove family and the distinctions are mostly made by irrational judgment--doves are white and live in peace and pigeons are rats with wings. Then why do the Italians call these doves? I'm not smart enough to figure it out so I'll just call them colombe. Remind you of any human problems?


  1. Catching up after a rather busy time, a lovely tribute to your neighbour in your last post. As for this one reminds me of the problem we had last year when some pigeons took up residence inside a house left vacant for just a few days. Oh yes rats with wings!



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