I brought Willow home from SF ACC to foster on 3/12. Somehow I've misplaced his (I think he's a he) paperwork and don't know where he was found. He arrived at the shelter sick with some sort of respiratory infection and his left eye swollen shut (same as Louie) and very underweight at only 420 grams. He was treated by my vet as an outpatient and spent at least a week in a hospital cage here. Soon after he arrived (and was let out from his hospital crate), Willow took a bath and then gorged on red clay grit, giving himself that stain on his breast which is almost but not quite gone two months later. He then had some sort of relapse and got very ill. He was so sick that I was taking him to work with me (to be fed, medicated and monitored) and I thought he was dying until he took a turn for the better on 4/2 and he has gradually improved ever since. Willow trembled all the time (a sign of an insecure and/or under the weather pigeon, I'm told) until just recently. It took a long time but he's made a great recovery and weighs almost 670 grams now. He's got a big frame and I wouldn't be surprised if he topped 700 one of these days. Birds hide so much with those feathers- he looks as big in the March pictures as he does in the latest ones but weighs over half again as much.
Having spent so much time with me and being handled (medicated, syringe fed, etc.), Willow is my tamest pigeon and puts up with my picking him up and hugging on him. He comes running any time I feed them and always comes to check for food even if I don't have any. He eats A LOT and, since his recovery, is always the first to start and the last to quit. Willow is starting to strut and court these days and I'd love to see him win a mate. He's a real character. He makes a lot of very expressive grunts and groans that I find very charming and he was the star (of the pigeons) at the Mickaboo Bird Adoption Fair on 4/19, very relaxed and social. He's possibly available for adoption if I could be persuaded to part with him. I think he'd prefer to be a pet (even indoor) pigeon to a loft bird but we'll see what he says.
7/12/08 Willow's dating! I've had Willow since March 12th and he's been single the whole time. He came in ill and had a slow recovery and then a relapse but in the past two months he's been doing great. He's a real character- I think of him as the Mayor and my Pet Sitter Jen calls him her right hand man. He's been strutting around and talking his game for awhile now but today's the first time I've seen him getting any play. He was snoogling with Blue, a bird I've had since April 5th. Why now all of a sudden? I have no idea. We'll see if this turns into the real thing.
A lot has happened to Willow in the past couple of months. He and Blue are definitely mated and are a very sweet couple. She's still people-shy and he's still very outgoing and friendly. They spent a couple months together at Andy's Pet Shop in San Jose and Willow made a lot of friends while he was there. I brought them (and Sparks & Alejandra) back to live in my loft so that 6 other SF ACC kings could move into Andy's.
The couple is happy to be back in their big, deluxe loft and Willow has resumed his role as the Mayor. They continue to lay eggs and then sit on the fakes that I substitute. I wish they could have babies- I think they'd make especially good parents.
Willow & Blue are available for adoption as a couple. Blue prefers not to interact with people but doesn't seem to mind her charismatic mate Willow doing so.
Willow & Blue are famous! Well, they're the July birds in Mickaboo's 2009 Calendar. All proceeds benefit Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue. If YOU by one, tell them MickaCoo sent you (please!)
Willow and his mate Blue have been adopted by a wonderful family and now live (happily ever after) with their friends Billie & George, Rome & Opal and three chickens in a big, gorgeous aviary.
And here's a picture of Willow on the ride to his new home. Willow's a great road-trip bird.