Patchin’ Up a Pigeon
I've been patching up a pigeon whose tail feathers were yanked out and whose wing was injured by a cat.
It (I won't say "he" or "she" because I don't know its gender) is just about ready to get airborne and fly free again. It is flapping both wings, going from branch to branch in its cage, and eating like a horse.
It came to me half in shock but within a day or two (with electrolytes in its water and a warm, dry, darkened place to recover) it was "attacking" me with its beak for being so "fresh" as to reach in and replenish its water, take out its poop and refresh its pigeon food.
I reckon it's illegal to hold a wild one in captivity for as long as I have with this creature--about two weeks now--but I figure I can give it more peace and quiet than a rehab place where it would be competing with other wild critters for attention, and I'm not sure rehab places even bother with pigeons, so I didn't want to risk it...
I often worked with Fish and Game as a teenager. They brought me critters they didn't think anyone else could keep alive, and I kept 'em all alive. And following the Mt St. Helens eruption in 1980, a F&G vet gave me two fawns that were orphaned. I raised them successfully until they were weaned, at which time I took them to Northwest Trek, where they lived out their lives in safety.
As a teenager, I rehabbed deer and red-tailed hawks, and I even raised a skunk.
I'm doing my best to let this pigeon stay a wild pigeon so it will fly away when it's able and not think of me or this place as home. (A homing pigeon it isn't!) It's small, so it was probably a fledgling when it was caught by a cat and de-feathered in back.
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