The Photo of the Month (see gallery) is a year round calendar of selected nature images and stories with contributions from visitors, fellow photographers and friends.
When it comes to nature photography, it's not only those fascinating tales of high adventure that often accompany talent and skill for a fabulous result. If a picture is truly worth more than a thousand words then a well-timed shot, or a well framed one, can say just as much about you as a photographer too! So if you'd like to showcase one of your pictures here, free, for one calendar month with a short story on how you managed to come by it, then this page is for you.
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February - a time for crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils. It's also a time when a feral pigeon’s fancy quickly turns to thoughts of love. Or so you might think, from this wedding-style portrait of these two love-birds taken on a local housing estate. So what better time, than the month for St Valentine to muse on Cupid’s arrow piercing the hearts of some of our feathered friends too.
Many species mate for life; doves, parrots, and swans are the easiest to cite amongst birds, but kissing, as in that ultimate, intimate act of lip-to-lip service we pay another as an expression of love, is rare in the animal kingdom. Primarily, it’s a human thing, and yet with over half a million pairs in Britain breeding at least six times a year, it’s a pigeon thing too!
But before we fly-off with any lovey-dovey St Valentine's Day notions of what a pigeon's love life has come to represent, the truth is that for this courting couple, true love’s kiss is no clean, quick thrill. When pigeons consent to mate, the male passes food from his crop to the female, who accepts by eating it. It’s a bit like a someone spewing into your mouth during a French kiss! Only in our case, as well as swapping eighty-million germs worth of saliva, there's an appetiser with it too! True love indeed, if you can stomach it enough to keep the romance going.