20 DECEMBER 1930, Page 16


This is the true story of a family of homer pigeons. A single bird (with a ring on its leg) appeared on the roof of a Dorset home. It presently found a mate and built a nest. Soon after the eggs were hatched the hen bird was blown by a violent gale against a projecting edge of the eaves and wounded to the death. The male bird carried on the parental duties with self-sacrificing vigour, and the two youngsters grew and flourished. Presently they were caught up and presented to a friend some three miles away. In spite of the distance and their youth the youngsters returned to the home after several days ; and the moping parent gave almost human expression to his joy. He fondled the returned babes, fussed round them, and in effect kissed them again and again, rubbing his beak against the others' in the way of mating penguins or grebes. Later the cock bird found another mate, and now the colony of squatters is increased to six.