18 May 2014

City Intelligence - Mountain Pigeons Near Sacramento

A few years ago the unusually heavy storms, as it was generally believed, caused great numbers of mountain pigeons, similar in appearance to the tame blue pigeons, to come down into the valleys, and sportsmen had fine shooting for several weeks, more especially on the Norris and San Juan Grants. This year the birds have appeared again, but evidently they were not driven down by unusual storms, as the season has been singularly free from them, and it is probable that they came because of their failure to find a sufficient supply of food in the hills. During the past two or three weeks their number has been gradually increasing, and now they can be found any day in great flocks, like blackbirds, haunting the grain fields along the line of the Sacramento and Placerville Railroad, from Brighton to the Branch Prison grounds above Folsom. In fact, they appear to be gradually working their way toward the city, as two flocks were yesterday seen not far from Homestead station. Hunters find them very wild, however, and, though they see many flocks containing several hundred birds each, they are unable to get many, as they are not disposed to allow a gunner to approach within 100 yards of them. When they alight in a tree it is sure to be one carefully selected, and out of gunshot of any other tree, so that the hunter cannot "creep up" within range. Now and again some lucky hunter succeeds in getting a chance to fire into a flock, and secures a good number, but as a general thing those who have gone after the birds have not been able to get many. Those who have shot them this year say they are fat, tender and free from the bitter taste noticeable when they were here before.

February 21, 1879. City intelligence. Mountain pigeons. Sacramento Daily Record-Union 7(364): 3.