Pigeon mating rituals.

This weekend in one word: Glorious. Let’s face it, Spring is the BEST. Yes, I know I love Fall, and summer rocks, and winter has its perks, but whose spirit doesn’t soar when the weather turns warm, the sky is blue, and trees are casting snowy petals to the wind like confetti. Thankfully we spent almost all of the weekend outside. Yesterday we took a long walk with the ladies into town and back. They both really impressed me with their stamina and stoicism. Only on the return trip did they begin to complain about being tired, and even then, not much. Given that we walked at least 8 miles, I’d say that’s pretty darn good.

My favorite part of yesterday – apart from the “Cream Delight” donuts we had for breakfast and the general pleasantness of the day and company, was witnessing Springtime at its finest in the middle of the city. Rittenhouse Square was quite the scene. And not just the humans. All of creation seemed hepped up and ready for action. We spent a good bit of time watching the pigeons. This was my first foray into the live-action show that is Pigeon Mating, and let me tell you, it was fascinating.

It began with a dance. I noticed one particularly striking brown male strutting eagerly around a female gray. He wound his way round her, following her every move like a defensive basketball player, vigorously bobbing his head and strutting to get her attention. The female seemed less than impressed. Brown Guy was not thwarted. Within seconds he’d puffed out his neck to stellar proportions and began cooing to beat the band. This guy meant BUSINESS. His neck seemed to say, “Baby, Look at ME. JUST LOOK AT THIS NECK. I am THE MAN.” She still seemed disinterested, and in fact, began moving across the grass as though trying to escape. Within seconds, a second male had flown in. A large gray. He mimicked the brown guy’s initial bobbing dance, then BAM! there went the neck. Feathers puffed, flesh engorged and rippling. The two males circled and puffed, locked in hot pursuit of this most-attractive female, and she dodged and wove, completely immune to their charms. Here, there, everywhere across the park there were small groupings of pigeons reenacting this age-old ritual. Every now and then I would see the fruits of their labor come to fruition, as one of the males would leap up onto the back of a female, and seconds later it was over. and Another dance had begun. The whole thing gave me a new-found appreciation for pigeons. Yes, I know everyone in the city (or at least most folks) despise them, but they are truly interesting and beautiful birds.