Debra went to the vet yesterday for a progress check on her injured wing. She was seen by a bird specialist who was absolutely smitten with her. He said that it was a bad wound, but that it didn’t appear any bone was missing from her wing which is very good news. The not-so-great news is that she probably won’t ever fully recover and will always be marked as an easy meal by predators. There is still a long way to go towards helping her heal – at least two more weeks of antibiotics and pain medication, so I’m staying on as a nurse for the foreseeable future.
I’d been worried by her separation from her mate. I understand that pigeons mate for life, and I was concerned she and her mate would be missing each other, so I asked the vet if it would be worth trying to get them back together. He thought it was the best thing to do, so after we got home from our appointment, I managed to catch her partner Rhett.
Reader, you have never seen a sweeter scene than reuniting of these two little birds. They immediately locked beaks and began cooing, and they spent the entire afternoon cuddling and grooming each other. Rhett isn’t as tame as Debra, and I was worried he’d be a bit freaked out being caught, but he’s fine. He’s just happy to be with her. I’ve put the two of them in Magnus’s old training crate which is big enough for them to stretch their wings and relax. I suspect they’re also able to get up to other things I won’t mention in polite company, but I will say that my office floor looked like a pillow fight scene out of an 80’s teen film this morning.
Because Debra can’t safely go back to her old life (I can’t abide the thought of a violent death for her), I’m giving serious thought to building an outdoor aviary for her and Rhett. I’m pretty sure Debra’s lived in some sort of structure before, and I suspect he has, too. I just need to figure out the most cost-effective option to keep them both safe and happy.
2 replies on “And Then There Were Two”
Dear pigeon fancier,
Your bird series becomes more interesting by the day. I am sure you remember that DoD, as a teenager, was quite successful as a pigeon breeder. I begun my erstwhile career by climbing around in Cotton gins and peanut storage barns armed only with a flashlight and a tow sack. After a year or so I moved on into the real domestic pigeon arena. I bought a pair of white King Carnoe and was soon in the sqwab production business. I didn’t make much money, however my 9th grade English teacher loved squab and my report card reflected that love.
My business venture and my pigeon fancying days ended after about 4 years when my father accepted a job in another town. During my pigeon raising days I had not one pigeon to die. Some of my captured birds were older when captured. I think your birds will do quite well in captivity. They will not have to forage for food and can be kept mite free with an occasional dusting with a special insecticide made especially for the occasion. I have long since forgotten the recommended diet for my feathered Friends but do remember that one of their favorite grains was millet. Good luck and I look forward to the next installment of Bird Tales. We love and miss you.
I suppose I come by this latent love of pigeons honestly. I’d never really paid much attention to them until they turned up at our house and made themselves at home. Now I can’t imagine life without them.
My birds love sunflower hearts. It’s the only thing I’ve seen them hoover up like a treat. They’re not interested in dried or fresh fruit, and they don’t seem keen on greens. I’ll try them on millet.
I’ll keep you posted on the aviary progress. I think I’ve found a workable solution which includes a large outdoor parrot enclosure, a repurposed rabbit hutch, and a tarp.