Speckles the Wonder Pigeon
Yesterday started out crappy because first thing in the morning there was a fledgling pigeon hanging out in my backyard, obviously not well. I got close enough to see blood but not close enough to catch it. When I missed my one shot, he flew up to the roof of my coop and kept a close eye on me and, when I tried to approach with a long-handled net, flew to the roof of my home where I had no shot in hell of helping him.
When I got back home, I looked around the backyard hoping to find him hanging around but wasn't surprised when I didn't. I expected that young, injured and obviously struggling as he was, that he'd been hawk caught.
I looked for him again this morning when all the ferals assembled in my yard but he wasn't with them. Lightly colored as he is, he stands out and would be impossible to miss.
But then, a few hours later when I had completely given up on ever seeing him again, he showed up in my backyard- alive!
I just sat there enjoying watching him eat for a long time. I didn't dare move to go get my camera until after he'd finished for fear of interrupting a rare meal for him.
After he'd eaten some more and I'd gotten my pictures, I slowly walked over and partially opened my coop door (hoping my own pij didn't risk coming out and have to dodge the hawks themselves) and then casually walked behind him in the slim-to-nil chance of herding him into my coop where I could catch him and check out his injury.
Amazingly- it worked! He walked across the yard to keep his distance from me and, after just a brief hesitation, hopped over the threshold and navigated the diagonal obstacle of the door and entered the safety and luxury (food, water) of my coop! I do NOT need another pigeon but I'm really happy to get a chance to check over his injury, provide some care and let him feed and rest in safety.
Obviously he managed to survive his injury and then the ordeal of having to repeatedly flee the hawks yesterday and so I'm really encouraged about his chances. I've named him Speckles the Wonder Pigeon.
Despite the fact that Speckles had survived the harrowing day of his injury when the hawks kept attacking the flock, I was torn about booting him out of my coop right away. A feral pigeon rehabber was kind enough to keep him with her fledglings for a week, so that he would have time to heal but not get imprinted on my coop.
I brought him home yesterday to release back to his flock, among which his even brighter white sibling was doing well.
Speckles worried me some by hanging out on the coop for awhile but, by the late afternoon, he seemed to be solidly reattached to his flock and I was thrilled when they all left together, off to roost for the night.
I was also thrilled to see him back this morning, safe and sound and feeding with his flock. What I'm NOT thrilled to report is that just now, when I went outside at dusk, I spotted him stowed away in a very clever little hiding place- under the tent the tarp makes next to the penthouse perch-part of my coop.
Speckles is not supposed to be roosting there! Aaaaaggghhhhh! Oh well. Too bad for his little adorable self because he's on his own. He's got a flock and family, a place to sleep (with them), a place to get breakfast (here) and I'm not bringing him in nor sneaking him extra food no matter what.
It's funny because I had a plan for if he tried to hang out like Charlie or Honey did. I was fully prepared, if I found him roosting on the very exposed and unsafe side of the coop, to chase him off- for his own good of course.
But how can I chase him off when he's so clever? His roost isn't perfect but it's a lot better choice than past released ferals have made. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.
Oh this Speckels is a cheeky little pigeon! He's camped out in his little hidey-hole tent every night. He's there right now as I type this! He spends all day flying with his flock which includes not only his parents but his nest mate but then, when it's time to roost, he peels off and leaves them and comes back here to spend the night in the little spot he's found. He's the first pigeon to ever make use of this nook. Last night, when I was taking these pictures of him, something spooked him (not me) and he withdrew back into the depths of the "tent", out of sight. Oh this little Speckles is such a clever little monkey of a pigeon! He spent less than 24 hours in my coop and was at the rehabber's for over a week but for some reason he'd rather stay in his little tent near my (rich but caged) guys than roost with his own (poor but free) family.
I'm happy to report that Speckles has stopped roosting in his hidey-hole but shows up every morning for breakfast. I'm assuming he's reintergrated with his flock. Yay!!! Fly free and live it up, Speckles.