The Pink Pigeon

Part of the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge : Unique

Ever photographed something Unique? …that was the challenge for this weeks photo challenge from WordPress, and yes! I have…or have I?

It was on a sunny Saturday afternoon when a white pigeon flew into the garden, but what made this so unique to your common ‘old’ garden variety was its pink streaks in its feathers. It stayed for quite a while on my daughters bedroom window, and wasn’t afraid of us at all before it finally flew off. At first I thought it was dye, but you could see the colour coming from deep within its tail feathers, was this a genetic abnormality? or had it eaten food with high levels of beta carotene and canthaxanthin or some other harmless natural food pigments, much in the same way Pink Flamingoes get their colour from feeding on shrimp. Or as I first thought, dyed deliberately by a bird keeper or accidentally splashed in a puddle of stained water. Either way it was a mystery as to what could have changed the colour of its feathers. I then ‘Googled It‘ and found only one like it, which was discovered in Ealing last year.

But I needed further advise, so it was time to call in an expert…my Dad, who was once an avid Pigeon Fancier and had kept his own flock of pigeons in a garden loft. Soon as he saw the photos he said ‘its blood’ …it seem’s his theory was that the poor bird had either had a scuffle with a cat or encountered someone with an air rifle, so what we thought was a unique Pink Pigeon could in fact be a gruesome act that would soon see the last days of this bird with the supposed injuries it had suffered …or so he thought, as nearly a month later I caught sight of it flying over my head whilst walking the dog.

So was this in fact an extremely rare ‘genetic’ species of pink pigeon? …just like the Nesoenas Mayeri which is native to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean which has the tell-tale grey wings which are absent from our Pink Pigeon.

A ‘Unique’ mystery with another happy ending.

On a side note:

Q: I remember watching a film as a kid which had a Pigeon that had its feathers dyed pink by the locals to create tourism to its island, I think it was an English-made film from the 40’s or 50’s…Anyone know the films name?

 

A: ‘Rockets Galore‘ by the Ealing Studios

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19 thoughts on “The Pink Pigeon”

      1. Still, I like you theory related to flamingoes and their colour. Maybe the colour was in the bird’s food? I think a Youtube video of Pinky is in order. Could it go viral and make you a media megastar? 🙂

  1. Curious sight. As the bird did not try to peck the pink colour out of its feathers you have to presume it was natural. I’ve read a rook would do this if it got paint on its feathers. It can see certain colours and would try to rid itself of the alien colour.

  2. How unique …. very pretty and excellent photos.
    Have to tell you a story about strange color birds – my friends had hens and they had a friend that was collecting exclusive “brands” of hens and they cost a fortune, but my friends so sick and tired of him bragging about his hens – so when he was coming to visit them .. the dipped their white hens into caramel coloring – so they green, red, yellow and blue hens when their friend arrived. He bought their trick. When then color started to fade away it looked a bit like this pink pigeon, but the small feather in the back of the hens stayed very colorful for a long time.
    I just had tell this story – absolutely hysterical it was – and he thought they where for real.
    I believe your pigeon is real.

      1. It was absolutely hysterical .. and I still laugh so I cry when I think about it. Was there .. when their friend visit *smile
        I’m sure you pigeon is real.

  3. Well that blood sure makes the pink look genetic to me. At first sight, I thought it was an original–DNA wise. No loss though because it turned out to be an original photo. Great details.

  4. I have never seen anything like this. Beautiful colour. Probably a dye, however it could be something else unique!

  5. Really enjoyed the pink pigeon as well as your blog in entirety – The bird could very well have imbibed pink algae just like the Flamingoes. Maybe he is a Zoo regular? It does not look like an injury to me- lovely things to ponder. 🎀

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