Chidiya Udd

posted in: Latest | 6

What do you have to say about:
Blue_Rock_Pigeon_(Columba_livia)_in_Kolkata_I_IMG_9762If you live in an Indian city, you probably loath this grey winged creature that seems to have picked the dullest color to wear, and seems to derive sadistic pleasure in littering human habitation. Unlike most birds and well squirells, pigeons are actually cosy inside rooms and would make sure you pay heavily for negligence of your space.

Except that if you were in Ahmedbad, besides these grey pals, you would also be graced by the more exotic:


Of course, they don’t remain as exotic when you see them often enough to become aware of their mating rituals.

I recently noticed on a visit to this rather large bio-diversity park (has a lot of varieties of trees), I coudn’t see a single pigeon. And that is very surprising, because the park is in surrounded by buildings, and the buildings are infested by the pigeons. I visit that park often, and one gets to Crows, Mynah, Drongos, Hoopoe, but no pigeons :-O.

It is not that I miss the pigeons, but I am little shocked by their absence; getting to the park is just a matter of crossing the road. But then, Drongos and Hoopoe don’t grace our human abodes- I am sure they find us rather dull. Crows and Mynah seem like the egalitarian sorts- मनुष्य और प्रकृति में No भेद-भाव! Pigeons on the other hand, are biased against their own kind- मनुष्य चलेंगे पर पेड़ पौधों से हमें नफ़रत है.

Why is that? Why do pigeons concentrate in urban centers?

PS: For those of you are wondering about the title, though if you were raised in India you would almost definitely know what it refers to, ‘Chidiya Udd’ (translating to bird fly) was a childhood game. There was a whole song- chidiya udd, tota udd, myna udd, …..(something that doesn’t fly)….., patang udd, paper udd (and then fight over whether, paper is supposed to fly or not :-p)

Photo Reference:

(Sunday’s Post, Reap As You Sow is in response to this post)

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6 Responses

  1. Well as it was expected, I read the title and thought it would be about the game.
    I used to wonder about the same thing when I went to the park. The only logic I chose to satisfy my ‘wondering’ was that they require solid ground and solid roof to make their bedroom.
    Much like humans, the trickle natured branches and the moving trees aren’t good enough for their nests. Come to think of it where do crows build their nests. I saw them in the park but never saw a nest.

    As far as flying to the pa rk is concerned I think they just enjoy the reputation of being disliked whether by birds or by humans. They are loner species :p

  2. According to Wikipedia, the rock pigeon’s natural habitat is atop high cliffs. These were domesticated, first about 10,000 years ago, which led to the ‘domestic pigeons’. They were domesticated for various reasons, one of which was sending messages during war in the 19th and 20th century. They have been domesticated for so long, that they have become accustomed to living with humans in cities. ‘City pigeons’ ( or feral pigeons ) are the ones that got away ( from captivity ). For them, window ledges are a replacement for cliffs, and the city is their natural habitat. They are runaways. Street urchins. In fact, they are also known as street pigeons. They are on the loose. They are the fugitives. The outlaws. The vagabonds. The tramps. The unwanted.

    Man, I hate pigeons.

  3. That is something to contemplate. I never thought about that before. Good point you got there.

  4. […] (This post in in response to Wednesday’s Post, Chidiya Udd) […]

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