An easy animal rescue story with a happy ending!
I got home last Sunday to find a soaking wet, collapsed pigeon on the doorstep of the flats. I don’t have a photo because it was more important to get him somewhere safe. Unfortunately now I live in a flat there is no shed or utility room for injured creatures so it had to be a box in the spare bedroom.
A quick look at the pigeon showed that the tops of his wings were damaged, perhaps by a hawk or cat attack? We left him to dry off and warm up with some food. (He ate well from the start which we took as a good sign, but he never touched mealworms or sunflower seeds, which my pets always eat first.)
We moved him to a bigger box with a hiding place, seeds and water. He was fairly tame (or just exhausted) and I read up a little on pigeons as pets. Understandably, a pigeon who can’t fly feels trapped on the ground. To remedy this we papered over the windowsill and put him up there, where he seemed much happier and started preening and napping.
We originally reported him with the Royal Pigeon Racing Association “stray finder”, but after about 24 hours of rest and food he started to flap his wings and attempt to get to the windowsill himself. We needed to move to proper pigeon accommodations soon! His wings were quite obviously damaged but I thought they would heal if he had time away from predators. A few phone calls to the local pigeon secretary and we had identified his owner from the number on his leg.
This is Puff the day before his owner could collect him. As you can see he is much fatter, shiner and didn’t mind posing for a photo. Apparently he is one of this year’s chicks and having survived his race from Bath to Coventry (only just falling short of his home in Nuneaton), his owner expects him to make a full recovery and race for another 8-10 years. That’s the sort of happy ending I like for my found animals!