I’ve inherited a pigeon. It just showed up one day around Christmas and has been a frequent visitor ever since. I’m a bit surprised that it’s alone as I always suspected they hung out in big social flocks. But James and I both think it cannot fly. At least we’ve never seen it fly. We’ve approached it and everything and it just runs away….
Originally I took to calling it The Major because it struts. But that changed to The Dowager because it cocks its head comically like Maggie Smith’s character in ‘Downton Abbey.’ And today I’m thinking it looks a bit like Downton’s butler ‘Carson’ because its beak is large and I think I heard it ‘harrumph’. But Maj. Dowager Carson sounds excessive. So for now it’s still ‘It’….
Of course I’ve left food out for it (you’re surprised, aren’t you?) but my resident juvenile squirrels are experiencing their first Tumbledown winter. If something looks, smells, resembles, or even whispers the word ‘food’ they’ll eat it. Not only have they bullied the pigeon away from its meal, I’m afraid it’ll be dessert if it’s not careful….
There’ve been times when the Squirrel Gang has swooped down on my feeder and wreaked violent havoc, and then I’ve not seen the pigeon for over a day. I’m afraid to hunt around too carefully then (don’t want to look behind the garbage bin and see something traumatizing), and am always elated when it shows up at the doorstep, patiently awaiting its handout. Like today. I looked out the back door and there it was on the step, its feathers all fat and fluffy in the cold and its red eye trained on the door like it expected Room Service to arrive at any moment. (It did. Who could resist? Not me.)
The only ever time I’ve had a similar situation was years ago when the little neighbor boy brought me a mourning dove because his mom wouldn’t let him keep it. That dove couldn’t fly either. I promised him I’d take care of it and he could visit whenever he wanted, but he forgot about it after that. I fed the dove what I thought was a quality meal and made sure it had gravel, greens, and water. And rest. Weeks later it surprised me by flying up to a curtain rod (yes, I had it in my house; you have no idea how much I’ve been resisting bringing the pigeon indoors….). And a week or so later when another single mourning dove appeared outside, calling, I released it and they flew away together. Success. Recalling that, I routinely add grains, greens, and gravel to the pigeon’s mix and hope it gets a taste, at least, before the squirrels come leaping the fence.
So we’ll see....
James keeps reminding me that its existence would be warmer and safer if I had only let him get me that chicken coop for Christmas. I might just have to finally take him up on that. :)