Last Sunday I noticed a Pigeon, errrrr, I mean "Rock Dove", in the backyard with a broken wing. It's wing just hangs a little to the one side and has made him unable to fly. I have wondered how he got here, how his wing got broken? Along with those thoughts I have wondered what to do with him? I mean, he's a Pigeon. Pigeons aren't high on any rescue list as they are thought of as pests and vermin in the city. I honestly don't care for them myself. They have terrible backyard etiquette especially when I am working on ways to keep them from getting at the bird feeders. Any bird who is still able to feed gets a flying ambush from one of these unhappy Pigeons. They will also cling onto the side of the feeders and swing them about, trying to spill the seed to the ground for the rest of the flock below. But, nonetheless, it is an injured creature that has somehow found it's way here... or may have gotten injured here. So I will do what I can for him; which is try to feed HIM and offer a water source.
I've named him "Bob" because he does just that... bobs along throughout the backyard, back and forth. I've picked him up when he's gotten himself stuck somewhere and that is an experience. A creature that most often care not to be held, and the feeling is quite mutual, is just sitting in my arms. He's not such an ugly bird at this moment nor dirty and mite covered. He's clean quiet and seems a lot smaller in my hands. Bob just sits there, puts up no fight, and I gently pat his head.
Bob and I... ignore my bad hair on a humid day or the "Leatherface" t-shirt I have on with him swinging that chainsaw right at Bob.
When I put him down he runs to the compost maker and hides behind it. It's not the best hiding spot and he can actually corner himself in there. I do know he's got quite the hiding spot somewhere in the yard for the night hours as I have looked for him with no luck on finding him. Unfortunately last night (August 1st) a neighbourhood cat found that hiding spot. Angie and I were sitting on the deck about 8:30pm when we saw Bob running as fast as he could across the lawn with this cat on his tail. Angie was up in a split second and rescued Bob from what could have been certain death.
Bob behind the compost maker...
I made Bob a bed in the shed with a Xerox box and some old t-shirts and there he stayed until I took him out this morning. I don't think this can be a nightly ritual for us since I don't know where his hiding spot is exactly. It was luck for him last night that we were still outside. On a work night, we are preparing for bed by this time.
So, what will become of Bob? I guess I will let him try to live out his days here but he faces much danger with the inability to fly. Perhaps I might find someplace soon that would want to care for him and repair that wing of his?
I watch Bob and I wonder if Pigeons think and feel about things besides food and survival. Like, as the evening comes, Bob's friends all disappear, flying off to wherever it is they sleep. Bob sits and can do nothing but watch them go. Bob then goes off to wherever he has made himself a sleeping spot on the ground, being quite vulnerable to whatever comes lurking around. He spends his night here and waits for the morning sun when his friends return and they feed, drink, bathe and nap throughout the day. It makes me kinda sad and also realize once again that us humans aren't the only ones on this Earth with stories to be told.