Elderberry is in Season for Band-Tailed Pigeons

Yes, this is a pigeon.  But, it is not a Rock Dove which is the pigeon we all see everywhere in the city.  This is a Band-tailed Pigeon sitting in our walnut tree and, unlike its urban relative, it lives in the woods.  It has two definitive markings that make its identification easy- the white mark on its neck and its yellow beak and feet (unlike any other pigeon).

This pigeon had just been eating my elderberry shrub.  The red elderberries are starting to ripen.  The berries are very tasty to a lot of other animals too but unless they are cooked they are POISONOUS to humans.  According to Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojat and MacKinnon the rest of the shrub is also TOXIC.

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