Tag Archives: Rock Dove

Birds at Christmas

Silkitoppa – Bohemian Waxwing – Bombycilla garrulus

The garden has been teeming with birds this Christmas. Some very rare visitors that we don’t see every year. Keeping them fed has been one of the Christmas chores and a happy one.

Three Bohemian Waxwings have decorated the garden with their stay. Their beautiful colours are hard to match.

Auðnutittlingur – Redpoll – Carduelis flammea

Redpolls stay with us most of the year and in winter they are never far away. There have been at least 20 – 25 every day.

Gráþröstur – Fieldfare – Turdus pilaris

Fieldfares very seldom grant us the favour of a visit at Christmas. Now we have had four of them most days. They are quite dominating and find it hard to share food with the others.

Krossnefur – Common Crossbill / Red Crossbill – Loxia curvirostra

The Crossbills are peaceful birds and their lovely colours make them stand out now when everything is covered in snow. Five of them have come here to feed daily and mingle with the other visitors.

Bjargdúfa – Rock dove – Columba livia

Now Rock Doves are becoming more and more common here in the garden and they make good use of the sunflower seeds that we put out. They are here in the dozens and we are sad to admit that we sometimes wish they would go somewhere else once in a while.

Other birds in the garden are Redwings, Blackbirds, Snow Buntings, Starlings and one very Christmassy Robin.

Unusual dinner guests

Bjargdúfa – Rock Dove – Columba livia

This is the first year that we have had pigeons in the garden, both Rock Doves and Wood Pigeons.  We have no idea why this is happening now but with cereal farming on the increase Iceland is probably becoming more attractive to them.

At first they were quite shy but now they have got used to us and are not afraid to come to the feeding trays just outside our living room window, as can be seen on the pictures.

Hringdúfa – Wood pigeon – Columba palumbus

Rock Pigeons have breed in cliffs in a few places in East Iceland for some time but breeding pairs are believed to be about 300 – 500. The Wood Pigeon is mainly a vagrant but breeding has been recorded in a few places in recent years. Many years ago Domestic Pigeons used to come by the garden but they are not as common as they used to be.

Rock Dove

Bjargdúfa – Rock Dove – Columba livia

The newest addition to the birds in the garden are Rock Doves . They are becoming more common in gardens especially during the coldest days of winter when the ground is covered in snow.

Rock Doves are the wild version of the pigeons that we are familiar with from all around the world. In multitudes feral pigeons , descendants of the Rock Dove, have crowded cities much to the annoyance of many.

For a long time a small population of Rock Doves have bred in rock cliffs in East Iceland. With a warmer climate and more grain being grown in Iceland, the population  is getting bigger and spreading to South Iceland.