Last Sunday I noticed an injured pigeon in our courtyard. It was practically crawling towards the bird bath. One of its legs was badly injured and I noticed that it had tags, an orange one on the left leg and a green one on the right. I threw some wild bird mix out to it and it was eating happily until a crested pigeon came along and started attacking it. It flew up on to the roof. Then a dozen or so cockatoos flew in and started shooing it.
The next morning it was still here, so we enticed it down off the roof with a little bowl of seed and a bowl of water, well out of sight of our 'residents'. Hubby managed to pick it up, we got the numbers on the tags and, after several phone calls, later that evening the owner contacted us and said to let it rest for a few days and then it will fly home, or we could keep it. It is a racing pigeon and was released last Saturday hundreds of kilometres away in New South Wales.
'Stooly' has so enjoyed his recuperation in our barn and now we have the big clean up.
I just managed to get him in flight as he flew out the door of the barn, heading for the shed roof.
An hour later he's still here, flying from one roof to the other, so we've left the barn door open. Happily his right leg is now healed and he's standing on it without pain. The owner said that they get attacked in flight by hawks and eagles.
Update: He flew around in short bursts for a couple of hours and went back into the barn. I think he loves this place!
It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there, night came in.
When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.
Pablo Neruda 1904-1973