Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

March 12, 2015

Pierre is Dead... wait... WHAT?!?!

Nice blog title, eh? Now that I've got your attention... yes, that is what I was starting to think in recent days.

Weird things have been happening with my flock, numbers drastically reduced and my hand feeding half dozen went missing for the most part. What the hell?

Anyways, this was the longest spell ever for Pierre to not have a visit with me. I've grown used to his lengthier absences this winter, and at first I didn't like it (I still don't) but he's accustomed me to the fact, making me realize that one day he will not be coming around.

I started marking our "encounters" in 2015. One reason solely out of curiosity on how many times I see him. Second, with his "more days away" since late last fall with the arrival of the Hawks, it's easier to go look at the calendar than sit and wonder when was the last time I actually saw him. So this last spell really got me starting to worry and eventually think that maybe he was really gone this time. Add that most of his flock aren't coming around either. So weird.

I believe in signs being around us, if we choose to see them. Last week, two random conversations with individuals both complaining to me about Pigeons (everyone knows about Pierre and I), and both brought up poisoning the birds in their fight against them. First person admitted putting poison (tainted food) on their balcony to rid them of the pests, the mess and be able to sleep in. Second person was pondering the thought because of the same complaints. It stuns me at times how some people will come at another, blast their disliking to something they clearly know the other person is pro to. I'm talking simple stuff like this, not things like "maybe you ought to lay off the cocaine for a while, drugs are bad m'kay!" I listened to this a lot last summer, upcoming bit, and not the drugs comment... "Ya know they carry 32 different kinds of viruses and some can effect a human. They are disgusting useless creatures." Blah blah blah. Nobody ever hear of washing their hands?

The world would be a lot quieter if people stopped complaining, didn't speak of negative things. How wonderful of a world it would be! I wouldn't have to visualize a crazy Hollywood movie type scenario like a throat punch, maybe whispering in their ear "I don't give a shit" or something completely off topic and inappropriate like complimenting the sexual talents of a female member in their family.

So, with the unrelated two poisoning bits being brought up mere days apart like that. My mind got thinking. Yes, I went all negative and to a dark place. How could I not? So bizarre to have so many birds disappear like they have. And it's not like it's not happened before in these parts. It never makes the news. Local people just talk about it. "Dead Pigeons about a high-rise property, lots of them." People don't think too much into it. Very few say "oh those poor birds". And even less think about the consequences of poisoning, like how the slowly dying birds become easy prey, and the predators then also ingest the poison and fall victim to it. Everything has a chain reaction. It's disheartening to see time and time again that so many people feel they are it, all that and a bag of chips, and any other living creature on this planet is far beneath them.

But, I will leave the rants at that. I'm sure the last couple paragraphs are giving some something to think about.

Back to Pierre and his crew. I look out for them everyday. And not seeing them, my hopes dwindled a little more with each passing day. One morning last week, Jesse and Mickey fly in. I'm quite happy to see them.

Not from this day, but giving you a visual.

Jesse is acting like a total spaz for some reason. Jesse is your average looking Pigeon, the dark blues mixed with lighter blues and I have a hard time spotting him a crowd. It's only when he comes to me, lands on the tips of my fingers, clenches really hard, nails pinching right into my skin that I know it's him. He wants to be on my hand but as far away as possible still.

Only today, he's hanging on and not letting go of me. Not for anything. I walked about the back deck, even opened the back door to get more sunflower chips and still clung to me. He was vocalizing a lot, and some strange sounds too. It was the tail end of the brutal cold snap we had, and perhaps he was just really hungry? My frame of mine, with that imagination of mine, got me thinking he was trying to tell me something else. Kinda like Lassie and Jimmy fell in the well. Not really thinking he was saying something happened to his friends, but more acting out, showing his upset to something tragic. Spending so much time with these birds, I know they feel. When Pierre lost Maggie, he was a mess for weeks (I've shared that tale before). His whole demeanor for weeks after Maggie's sudden disappearance was very different from the normally cool and casual guy he is. All animals feel. Anyone with pets know this for a fact. It's a little more difficult to see with wild animals, but consider all the time I've spent with these Pigeons, I see it.

Walter showed up another day last week.

One morning last summer he came in the back door while I was getting food.

But where the hell is Pierre?

Tuesday past, March 10th, I see a few birds fly in and land down at the back of the yard. I put my bins on them but with the snow piles, I can only see the tops of their heads. I'm doubtful it's Pierre but decide to step outside and have a better look. No sooner do I open the screen door when two birds take air and come racing to the back deck. I was in shock it was Pierre and his lady. I know I said "holy #@!$" Pierre was all cool about things, like no time had passed, which was odd but whatever. He's usually good for showing excitement when not seeing me for days on end, vocalizing, poofing out his chest, etc. Now his lady though, there was one real excited bird! She rarely comes to me like she did, normally just following Pierre, not landing on my hand but will feed from it if I put it next to her. This day, right in there, pushing him out of the way. I was so happy to see him (and her), I tried for a couple photos, but decided to stop and just enjoy our moment. They had a great feed, hung out back with me for a bit, and then left again.

Some say their absence is because it's nesting time, but Pigeons nest throughout the year. I've never had them go away for as long as they have this time. I can't help but worry about harm coming to them from another person. Two reminders about that last week alone. I sometimes worry that someone will try and trap them since they are such tame birds. How many times it's been suggested by others that I do that. But even with that, I have seen Pierre's hesitance to come to others in the last while... meaning neighbours and friends. They are wild and free, despite the dangers they face daily, I'm sure they are happier than if I or someone else were to ever lock them up. Obviously they have other food sources and maybe are getting a better feed elsewhere? The local Red-tails are courting these days, I saw the male do some spectacular displays earlier in the week and did a dive at our Squirrels a few times. The female has been good for flying in, flushing the Pigeons and giving chase. I know the Pigeons have to cross the Red-tail nest site to come here. This may be the reason. The not knowing, the mystery to it all, the worrying when I shouldn't because really I am powerless in this... it's giving me grey hair (not that I'm 45... LOL).

Well, this was an update to fans of Pierre. My story telling moment with a little vent about a few things.

Those who are "Team Pierre", let us celebrate his return. Those who are not, may your morning toast be as black and charred as your heart and soul. Where's that demon emoticon? 3:)

See you all again real soon.



Margie and Brad said...

I envy your relationship with your regulars and can only hope that one day we will be trusted enough by our backyard friends to allow us similar experiences.
So happy to hear that Pierre et al are well! Thanks for the update

Jennifer said...

Thank goodness! Phew! Poison birds?! Are those assholes serious!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to your blog I started thinking of pigeons as more than flying rats etc etc! I am so excited Pierre came back and that was one well told story. Meanwhile, also love this line: "It's disheartening to see time and time again that so many people feel they are it, all that and a bag of chips, and any other living creature on this planet is far beneath them." All that and a bag of chips. You said it!