Have you ever been going about your day and you find an injured bird? Being human, I think it’s safe to say when you see any injured animal you just have to stop and help.
Walking on my way back home from the post office I noticed a Pigeon standing in the middle of a busy sidewalk acting strange. It was very still and not flying away as people rushed past it while it sort of looked back and forth, blinking its eyes. I set down the heavy package I had collected from the post office to lean in and see if it was alright. I couldn’t see any visible signs of injury but my instincts told me it wasn’t ok. Just as I was about to go inside a local business to grab a box to pick it up a lady carrying a box with no lid comes rushing out of the doorway and walks towards the pigeon.
So I wasn’t the only one thinking this pigeon was in need of help. How could we BOTH be wrong, right? The older lady appeared concerned as we quickly chatted about the bird at our feet and exchanged names. I live in a predominantly Latino neighborhood and Maria was difficult for me to understand but I could tell she had a heart of gold.
We made our plan to grab the bird and place it in a box to take it to a wildlife rehabilitation center. I suggested we get a box with a lid that closes instead of the one Maria held. It just so happened my package from the post office I was carrying home was a bundle of priority mailing boxes for my Taxidermy Shop, Blinking Eyes. Yay, that was easy.
I rushed to assemble a priority box as Maria crept up to the bird and grabbed its tail. The pigeon reacted flapping to get away in shock and Maria was left only holding 90% of its tail feathers! I was MORTIFIED, but I didn’t want her to feel bad so I acted like it was no big deal and convinced her we should try again.
By this point the pigeon had hopped onto the curb next to the busy street with buses and cars rushing by. OK, I can do this. I’ve never held a live bird before believe it or not and definitely never have tried to capture a wild pigeon.
Maria held the box this time and I just went for it. I moved quickly and firmly wrapped my hands around its wings and body. I could feel the pigeon wiggling as I placed it inside our box. Looking at Maria in excitement that we’d been successful she closed the lid to the box fast.
We agreed I would take the bird and find it help. Maria was super sweet and offered to walk to her home and come pick me up with her car to take my heavy box and bird home.
THEN, what happens? A man approaches us telling us that the pigeon we thought we just rescued was really only pregnant. He convinces us he’s right and he tells us the best thing to do for the female pigeon is to set the box down and let her fly away.
Maria and I carefully placed the box with the pigeon inside back where we found her and opened the box.
What did the pigeon do? She hopped out with her 2 tail feathers left, blinked a couple of times and took off flying. I was amazed she could fly without fault with only 2 tail feathers for a rudder. There we were, the three of us watching the pigeons every move through the sky for what the bird would do. The pigeon circled the area a few time to make sure it was safe before landing above us on the roof of the building of where we found her. We were shocked, the man was right! Maria and I turned to him in surprise and smiled.
Both happy the bird was alright, we walked back home through our neighborhood together as once two strangers but now two friends.