Wood pigeon at badger sett

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 01.08.2016 - 22:47
kaelustuvi mägralinnaku liivavannis
Wood pigeon taking sand bath in front of the burrow.
Captured from trail camera by  Tiit Hunt

Information published by the Animal of the Year Team

At the burrows of badger setts, trail cameras have captured both enemies and prey of badgers, as well as other forest inhabitants who do not belong to either group. Roe deer, wild boar, elks, red deer, martens and even cats stray to the roof of the badgers’ homes, for varying purposes. Among birds cranes have been seen walking through a sett, magpies, jays, often blackbirds, and many others, on some errand or simply singing. For the wood pigeons however the badger sett is not just a place that they visit casually; they are often busy at the burrow. Of course the wood pigeon is also a common forest bird. Wood pigeons particularly like to build their nests high up in mighty spruces or aspens that often grow at and on top of old badger burrows. The neighbour from the top floor uses the services of badgers so that it needs not fly far from the nest to swallow the gravel and sand that help to grind hard grains in the bird’s gizzard. There is more than enough of fresh product here. Like other birds, the wood pigeons also love to wallow in the sand. The badger offers the wood pigeons a luxurious opportunity to do so in fresh and clean sand from its endless digging work. Fist-sized depressions in the sand bear witness to the fact that a wood pigeon could have taken a sand bath here. There is danger of course when the bird becomes oblivious of the surroundings on wallowing in the sand because the sand best for bathing is nearly always directly in front of an entrance. A badger is not as slow and drowsy as it may seem; even worse if a fox should jump out from the burrow.

Tiit Hunt

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The badger provides the wood pigeon’s luxurious sand bath with its constant digging work.
Trail camera image from  Tiit Hunt

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