I made an interesting discovery this afternoon while shooting crows on some of the in-bye. A pigeon happened to glint past in the sunshine, and I brought him down to earth with a bump. I’m a huge fan of pigeon on the table, and it has been some time since I last connected with one, so I keenly dashed down into the rushes to pick the fallen bird. Its crop was bulging in my hand, and I pulled it open to reveal thousands of tiny seeds, several of which had the remains of papery propellers still attached to them. They were almost certainly tree seeds, but what kind?
I ruminated over the question for another hour, accounting for a second crow as the sun started to sink, then came home to look into the subject in more detail. The closest approximation I can make is that these are spruce seeds, and it is mind boggling to think just how much work had gone into collecting so many. Like all seeds, I daresay there is considerable nutritional value in them, and it must be worth a pigeon’s while gathering them all one by one.
If I am right (I welcome correction) and the pigeon had been dining on spruce seeds, eating the bird myself might just be the first opportunity I’ve ever had to take something positive from my commercial softwood owning neighbours.