Well, those close to me have heard me talk about my pigeons in my barn for a while now. Two years ago I had one. That spring the little birdy took a mate and I had two. By the end of last year I had three. This spring I had four. A normal person might start getting concerned at this time, but they are rather calming birds. I love their little songs and coos, and I've sworn that I'm somehow going to make friends with the pigeons in the barn. Visions of "Feed the Birds" have passed through my head, and I've taken the requisite amount of teasing on the same theme.

I've always wanted a pigeon or a dove. The earliest I remember this desire was around 12-13 when I went to the neighborhood pool and we had six pigeons there that summer and two were quite friendly. Then in my early 20s, I fell in love with a dove at the pet store I worked in. It sold before I could buy it. My parents' house has always had at least one pair of doves living near it. And now I have my own.

Amidst this pigeon-friend-making endeavor a few good friends suggested I watch the nest and they volunteered to snatch a youngling for me. I politely declined. Nest-robbing isn't my thing, and if I'm meant to have a pigeon of my own it will happen as things always do -- they land in my path, literally. Wounded, sick, homeless -- yeah critters know where to find the sucker.

Forever, it seems, I've walked to the barns twice a day, talked to the pigeons, watched them fly, and wistfully thought to myself "Maybe someday."

Someday happened today.

Little fledging pigeon walked right in front of me when I went to turn on the spicket.

Now. I know where the nest is. There's no way in this world I can reach it. I have feral cats that prowl the barns, possums and coons. All of which snack on flightless birds. Then there's my dogs. My dogs that will snack on any of the above, plus flightless birds.

Needless to say, we have a new addition to the family. And our little birdie who is yet nameless, is really cozing up to me. She (I assume its a she) nests in my lap, has a healthy appetite, isn't trying to run away and when I do let her down on the floor she's exploring.

Far better than being snacks for resident wildlife. When she gets the rest of her feathers in, we'll take her into the vet and get her some Ivermectin for parasites and look into getting her banded. I'm already having visions of a spring-fall outdoors cage that has some significant flight room for her. (Never been too terribly fond of clipping wings).

But in the meantime, I think we need to start with something other than, "Birdie". I'm entertaining names if anyone is interested.

~Claire -- who's Feeding the Birds



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