Archives for posts with tag: help

As scientists, it is often said that we shouldn’t interfere with the natural order of things. However, when endeavouring to discover more about a species or habitat, it is inevitable some human interference will occur. Just your presence or the presence of equipment may impact any data received.

Then there is the dreaded word, compassion. I don’t believe it is ‘soft’ for even a hardened professor to see an animal in distress and feel the need to help. Now, I’m not suggesting we all intervene with lion kills or nest predation, but there are times when compassion rules science.

Such a situation occurred when I was counting pigeon phenotypes in a local town. Dodging the traffic in a busy car park was a young pigeon that had clearly fledged too soon. Lost and in danger of being run over, compassion told me I had to help, so I offered the hand of compassion to another being.

I’m pleased to say the youngster is doing well, gaining wait and is full of beans. He will of course be added to the data set for his area before release!

Time for a quick update…

So far we have details of 242 individual pigeons from 4 locations. Early results are certainly interesting!

Of these pigeons, 62 show the blue bar (wild type) plumage, but 112 show individuals show the chequered (or check) plumage. This is interesting as the blue bar phenotype is dominant over the chequered phenotype. It would be more likely that a blue bar plumage would be inherited and expressed in an individual than the chequered plumage, so these results are not consistent with this. It may be that having a chequered plumage may be more beneficial to an individual than a blue bar plumage.

Clearly, these results could be due to lack of data – hopefully more results will bring greater clarity.

So, if you’re out and about, please count your pigeons!

For more info, please see my last post: Let’s get pigeon spotting!

Thanks again to those that have sent in their results.