Saturday, September 18, 2010

Time to go home, little one...

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


maggie's garden said...

Oh my...poor little guy. I think it wants to stay in the comforts of your home. The owner didn't sound to anxious to get him back...I guess he's tired of racing.

alaine@éclectique said...

MG...Karen, two hours later hubby said he'd gone home. "How do you know?" I said. "He flew in the barn door, landed on the table, put his head under his wing and went to sleep!".

Nancy said...

There is a very special place in heaven for you and your husband, Alaine.

alaine@éclectique said...

Nancy...thank you. Most people in the bush would do the same. We're hoping its not more than just his leg. To get tired after just a couple of hours...but you know, it's so nice to know that he appreciates the care!!

Gwen Buchanan said...

You were there when he needed help and he must feel protected.. that feels good...

Derrick said...

You will no doubt be the talk of the pigeon post, Alaine, and will have bird friends arriving by the flock to sample your hospitality!

steven said...

alaine the neruda poem is superb and rich - like a good cake! the story of the pigeon - can you imagine being that small and yet flying that distance?! incredible. i wonder if the quality of care you are providing is better than that which it was used to and perhaps that explains the reluctance to leave the "hotel alaine". steven

Sam Liu said...

This really is a very touching tale, Alaine. Your kindness is admirable. I'm sure he loves his new home :)

FireLight said...

I am sending you the St. Francis blessing! You are too wonderful, Alaine! Thanks for posting the poem. It is a fine companion to your story.

Betsy said...

Aww...I think he love you, Alaine! :)

Teri said...

What an incredible story you tell here. You seem to attract birds that know that you will care for them. I seem to recall an injured bird last year? I love the call of the pigeon! The coo is so sweet...and that It went with the ethereal feeling I got from the bird staying at your place. I can see why he wants to stay...that barn is wonderful...the hide, the stove, the beds. I'll be there in a few hours!

alaine@éclectique said...

Teri...the barn needs a jolly good scrub but it is a comfy place.

Yes, it's amazing how the sick birds choose us all the time; there must be a sign on the roof - Hospital! :)

alaine@éclectique said...

Thank you Gwen, Derrick, Steven, Sam, Firelight and Betsy!