Fighting Wood Pigeons

Hello.  We feed all kinds of birds in our garden and usually they wait for feeding times and get on with the business of eating. We do occasionally get Starlings squabbling a bit, but this year we have two Wood Pigeons fighting. This has been happening for a few weeks now and it's almost certainly the same two birds. They land on a small feeding platform, eat seeds and grain for a short while, then they square up to each other, puffing their chests out and stretching to their full height. They rarely attempt to peck each other but advance and retreat backwards and forwards, slapping each other with their wings, mostly taking turns, but it sometimes develops into a free-for-all. Yesterday, they both ended up on the lawn and continued the fight until they both suddenly stopped and started feeding - fight over. This bout of aggravation lasted over 15 mins. I got it on video as I was videoing the whole bird feeding scene.  Has anybody got any idea why this has almost developed into a ritual, happening daily (as far as I know), and why they fight when there's loads of food?. Maybe they fight in other places too, I don't know.

  • Territory dispute, where neither bird is willing to give in. Happens in my garden too, there are at least six woodpigeons and four of them think the garden is theirs, leading to regular fighting. Since none will back down, they often give up and put up with the presence of the others.

    I love Columbidae.

  • In reply to Fieldfare:

    Thanks for the reply, very interesting. Since lockdown I've had lots of time to observe all the goings-om in our garden. The crows are fascinating, they gather up larger pieces of food in their beaks, then drop them into the bird bath. They watch them for a minute or so then when they have softened, they pick them out and fly off with them.
  • We had 1 Woodie sit on our feeder pecking at the older starling's strange behaviour