Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Palombière en famille - Terroirs de gueuletons


Not so long ago there were Palombières everywhere; it was an important part of local hunting tradition. Often they were built up in the tops of the trees; unlike the one in the video which is on the ground.

These Pigeon Hunters 'hides' use both live and decoy birds to encourage the passing flocks to land on the branches above, and often hundreds would be shot in a single day. This practice has mostly stopped these days, but the huge flocks of migratory Pigeons still pass by; stopping en route for a night's rest. Last year I saw huge flocks passing overhead. The ones in the video are in the Gers; South of here and to the West of Toulouse. 

In case you're wondering what the hunters do with hundreds of birds, well they freeze them whole; later just peeling them, and eating the breast meat only. The rest is usually, rather wastefully, discarded.

Here are Vincent and Arthur with hunter Bertrand Stiers, and his three sons. 

16 comments:

  1. The pigeons in our garden have turned suicidal. We have had 3 in the last few days hurling themselves at our large patio windows. The first one died immediately, spreadeagled on the patio. The second lived for a while, first standing, then sitting then lying down...poor thing...and the third yesterday is nowhere to be found ( so far). The do leave a nice " angel wings" pattern on the glass in white dust though! I didn't fancy eating any of them.

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    1. If they're nice wild birds, I don't see anything wrong with eating them. The breast meat is delicious.

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  2. I think you mentioned the passing over last year. I don't like pigeons but I wish them no harm aside from a quick and painless death.

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    1. Last year there were huge migrations. When I mentioned it to a friend, he offered to lend me his shotgun!

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  3. The pigeons and some original rock doves seem to inhabit my garden and, occasionally, as with Frances, they fly directly into my kitchen window leaving their angle wings trade mark.

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    1. We have taped 'bird-shaped' cut outs onto our biggest windows. It seems to have worked so far.

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  4. A few years ago, we found a pigeon walking around our driveway. Since we never see pigeons around here, we were curious. He made no attempt to fly away and we assumed that he was hurt. We then noticed a small ring on his foot and it had a number on it. We looked it up on the Internet and we were able to find the owner who was very happy to come and claim him. He was not really hurt and the owner said that he was a homing pigeon and would have found his way home.

    Pigeon would never be on my dinner plate.

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    1. Racing pigeons rest a while if they're on a long haul. Shooting them is not recommended.

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  5. I just wish they wouldn't roost in the trees above my garden seat. I might buy myself a catapult and put pigeon pie on the menu.

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    1. Yes, they're very messy when en masse. And don't park your car under one of their roosting trees.

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  6. Many people here do the same with pheasants - just take off the breast. I don;t like pheasant but if I was going out for the day I would put the whole oven ready pheasant in a casserole before I went, season it well, add herbs and pour in a bottle of good red wine. Stick it in the Aga and it would be just right when the farmer came in for his dinner.

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    1. If I have a Pigeon or two, I always cook the whole bird. I would find it wasteful not to.

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  7. When we kept ducks, we used to just take off the breast.

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    1. In 'Duck fattening' season here, they sell Duck carcasses in the supermarkets. After having been roasted they are carefully picked over, then used for soup.

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  8. I have no idea what pigeon tastes like. Do you eat pigeon and what does it taste like?

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    1. The meat is both dark in colour and dark in flavour. Very 'gamey'.

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