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WOW! Huge white bird, HELP!

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Old Monday 29th May 2006, 00:30   #1
AmpelisChinito
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WOW! Huge white bird, HELP!

I saw this today in Greater Boston, MA at 2:30. There were two and they were huge. They both had the same markings on the tail. At first glance, they appear to be Snowy Owls, because of their size. I'd say their wingspan was about 45". They would fly around, as if in some mating display. I've never heard of this bird, or anything like it.

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Old Monday 29th May 2006, 00:55   #2
Rasmus Boegh
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Judging size can be difficult. It's a white pigeon.
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Old Monday 29th May 2006, 01:04   #3
AmpelisChinito
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Then, why were there two of the same pattern? Also, their flight pattern was nothing like I've seen from a pigeon. They rarely flapped and went vertically up and down at times. Maybe another type of dove? It was like they were chasing after one another.
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Old Monday 29th May 2006, 01:18   #4
Rasmus Boegh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmpelisChinito
Then, why were there two of the same pattern? Also, their flight pattern was nothing like I've seen from a pigeon. They rarely flapped and went vertically up and down at times. Maybe another type of dove? It was like they were chasing after one another.
Admittedly, I can't see any distinctive patterns on the tail - just a few shadows. Regardless, even if it did have this tail pattern the bird on the two photos is still a white Pigeon, i.e. a white version of the Rock/Domesticated Dove/Pigeon (Columba livia domestica). They are immensely variable, ranging from the "typical" mainly grey variant that quite resemble its ancestors, to white, cinnamon or blackish (and just about any combination of these and/or colour in between). There are even variants with fan-like tails or grotesque greatly elongated feathers around the legs or on neck or head - usually the results of extensive breeding by pigeon fanciers. Furthermore, what you describe is quite similar to the flight pairs sometimes engage in pre-mating (and this display seem to be rather widespread in the family as I've seen several species doing it - just like the bowing display which also seem to be pretty standard in the family). Anyway, as said, misjudging size is easy and anyone who's spend a bit of time birding has done it at some point.

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Old Monday 29th May 2006, 01:51   #5
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Yep, white pigeons.
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Old Monday 29th May 2006, 09:05   #6
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Probably tumbler pigeons ..what you will have seen was them displaying to each other by tumbling ..but definately pigeons non the less
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Old Monday 29th May 2006, 17:10   #7
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Pigeon post ? the first one looks like it has a note attached.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2006, 06:25   #8
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The nature center a friend of mine works at found a white Rock Pigeon (like the one in the photos) injured, and now he's in captivity. He was bred for food ("Squab"), must have escaped, and is now really nervous around humans. He's so big that they nicknamed him "Kong."
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2006, 16:54   #9
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Definitely a feral pigeon. Your size estimate was more than slightly off. Just goes to show you how hard judging size really is.
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Old Tuesday 30th May 2006, 17:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overworkedirish
found a white Rock Pigeon (like the one in the photos) injured, and now he's in captivity. He was bred for food ("Squab"), must have escaped, and is now really nervous around humans. He's so big that they nicknamed him "Kong."
Appropriate name. The most common large pigeon raised for Squabs is a "King" and white is the typical color.
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