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Swimming pigeon !!

Swimming pigeon !!
Photo Information
Copyright: JeanMarie Mouveroux (Nephrotome2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 599 W: 60 N: 660] (2538)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-09-21
Categories: Birds
Camera: Olympus C770 UZ, no lens, (digital), No Filter
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/200 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Pigeons and Doves, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 4 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-09-24 15:59
Viewed: 5713
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Real pigeon swims.

Please forgive me for the bad quality of this pic.
I've never a pigeon on water and thought this was worth sharing.

He was quiet on the surface of the water and was drifting away. Water was 60cm (2ft) deep. After 10m (32ft)he tried to take off. Pigeons can't take off from water. He thought for a while and then swimmed toward the border of the river. About 30m (20ft)distance. In order to swim he used its wings. That was a lot of splashing. Very energy consuming. But he did it straight and without posing. Then he walked on the ground, wet but healthy.

No idea how he ended up on water. While escaping a prey bird? Hit by a car? Doing it on purpose?
Nature is mysterious.

Crop 90%. brightness -50%. Contrast +20%
Because I thought he needed help I didn't take the time to make proper shots. I should have used an exposure bias for such a pic.

Thanks for looking.


chrisemt74, Argus, cicindela, crs, avallaunius, boreocypriensis, ramthakur, billynewboy, BobH has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello JeanMarie,

What makes this image exceptional is the rareness of the situation. I have never seen a pigeon swimming! He must think he's a duck! The photo has a unique charm.




I think what you captured here is an 'accidental' behavior to say the least. Perhaps this guy tried to land in what he thought was shallow waters but quickly found out that it was a bit deeper than expected? Who knows. Good part is that he made it out alright. Great capture. Ohh and don't worry about the quality - in cases like these, it is the content that counts :)

Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2008-09-24 20:10]

Hola JeanMarie : Nunca había visto algo parecido...es algo totalmente inesperado, gracias por compartirlo...saludos.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-24 23:08]

Bonjour Jean-Marie,
A have watched birds for many years but never seen this!
Your descriptive note helps to explain the sequence of events and that he survived the plunge, but I think the bathing was not intentional.
An excellent and interesting contribution with two clear views of this bathing feral pigeon.
Thanks a lot for sharing this unusual image,

Bonjour Jean-Marie,
Yes, this capture is very unique! I have never head about swimming pigeon! And you must be right, probably it is a result of some accident with predator (or human?).
And even if DOF is not perfect, I like this presentation because of you showde us very unusual thing here :)
TFS and have a nice day!
Friendly yours,

Bonjour Jean-Marie,

Deux photos étonnantes. Comme quoi les animaux ont beaucoup de ressources pour échapper à la mort.
Bonne journée,

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-09-25 2:47]

Hello JeanMarie,

This is quite an unique photo showing an extraordinary event. The colage is well made sustaining the story.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-09-26 6:45]

Hello JeanMarie,
What a strange happening you document here. The images are well worth posting and I thank you for sharing them.

Hi JeanMarie,
It is very interesting that I see a pigeon in swimming. Wonderful capture.
Many thanks for sharing this fine image.
Have a nice weekend!



Interesting story behind this capture of a pegeon 'swimming', JMM.
Your picture of the bird illustrates that story very well.
The splashing of water is also conveyed through the inset image.
I enjoyed this image and thank you for it.
Also many thanks for your critique on my 750th picture.

Hello JM
I live near arable land (20 yards) which is infested with the largest numbers of Wood Pigeons I have ever seen...There is also a river that winds its way through and I have never seen anything like this behaviour from a pigeon!!.
You have captured the moment very well indeed..I would agree with Ivan (he knows his birds!!) and say that it is a Feral and misjudged his place to bath.
A unique capture and Thank You for Sharing it
Best Regards

  • Great 
  • BobH Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 8 N: 192] (650)
  • [2009-03-11 18:30]


As you wrote to me, nature is full of wonders! One is that such a stupid bird can survive.

This swimming incident is indeed quite strange- never heard of such a thing myself. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


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