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Pigeon
 
Feral Pigeon - Columbia livia (domest.)
Pigeons are rock doves that were domesticated but have returned to their original wild state. The pigeons were domesticated for a number of reasons, food, homing pigeons for messages and sport (racing pigeons) or even for their differing plumage and displayed as fancy pigeons.
 

A pigeon's lifespan can vary. In the wild they can live up to 5 years but some pigeons in captivity have lived for 30 years. Their 'natural' habitat is coastal cliffs but their domestication has brought the pigeons to buildings in our cities throughout the world where they live happily feeding on seeds in the fields or bread and other foodstuffs discarded by people.

Pigeons are excellent fliers reaching speeds of around 75mph but are not migratory. The female pigeon lays two white eggs and the emerging young pigeons are known as squabs.

 

Starling
 
 

Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
The numbers of starlings in the UK are declining, perhaps due to pesticides reducing the quantity of their invertebrate prey. Starlings feed on insects and their larvae, earthworms, snails, slugs etc. In previous years large colonies of hundreds of thousands could be seen wheeling in the evening skies prior to roosting on buildings and in trees. The starlings may migrate to warmer climes in the winter but the UK starlings are sedentary and swelled in numbers by eastern starlings in the summer months.

The starlings nest with straw and feathers in wall voids or roof spaces and normally raise one brood annually from a clutch of four to seven eggs.


 

Herring Gull
 
 

Herring Gull - Larus argentatus
A large noisy gull that is found in coastal areas and inland scavenging around rubbish tips but fish and shellfish comprise a large part of the Herring Gull's natural diet along with carrion, grain and birds eggs. These gulls are widespread inland during winter. It can be seen around the rest of Europe, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean.

The adult Herring Gull is a large bird growing up to 65cm in length with a wing span of up to 158cm

Herring Gulls lay a clutch of 2 - 4 eggs which hatch after about 26 days.


 

Lesser Black Backed Gull
 
 

Lesser Black Backed Gull - Larus fuscus
Slightly smaller than the Herring Gull with grey/black upperparts of the wings and back. They are migratory gulls but increasing numbers of the gulls are over-wintering in the UK. Their feeding habits are similar to those of the Herring Gull

The Lesser Black Backed Gull has a wingspan up to about 148 cm. They lay a clutch of 1 - 3 eggs.

 

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