This little one has just been fed, as you can clearly see the birdfeed through its thin skin. A little creepy! Though it is also amazing and magical that in just a few weeks, it turns into a beautiful pure white Fantail pigeon like below.
Or into a little odd but remarkable looking Frillback pigeon, which has bizarre curly feathers and ‘funky boots’, which are actually feathers on the feet! (photo below)
Or an Indian Pigeon which is full of character and pride.
It is a labour of love and it is not difficult to understand why Nichlas enjoys keeping them so much. The birds all have their individual personalities. Their eyes are different from the normal pigeons you see hanging out in Trafalgar Square. When they look at you, it feels like they are really looking at you, if you know what I mean.
He knows each of them by name and talks about each of them like a proud parent. He knows exactly which one is interested in/ going out with which, and which one has just had a baby. As a breeder, Nichlas reveals that he does have a preference as to which pigeon to breed with in order to get the best bird. For example, at the moment, he is keen to get a pure black (apparently pure white is relatively easy) Fantail . However, he is also a liberal keeper and encourages free love. Thus, when his handsome grey Indian fell in love with a black one instead of the one he had hoped for, he just let them be. Looking at how sweet and loved up those two are, I can understand why.
The birds are all provided with good quality feed. They also have herbs and lavender, which acts as natural antiseptic. He keeps his birds inside for 6 weeks before letting them go free range. That allows them enough time to get familiarised with the surrounding.
This aviary has brought fun and life to a dull Central London business park car park. It also brings the community together as everyone is curious to check out what the birds are up to each day. It is entertaining to watch them fly as some of them are little clumsy with their ‘super boots’ and elaborate feathers.