Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The tale of a pigeon

Looking out on to our garden though the rivulets of rain running down the window on Saturday, I spotted a pigeon in the garden. Nothing very unusual about that you may think, and at first neither did I. But yet, it looked different to the wild ones we sometimes get, it`s plumage had a different colouring and appearance. Then I noticed, as it plodded (yes, it`s quite fat, so seems to waddle and plod around), that it had rings on both it`s legs. So we assumed it must be a homing or racing pigeon and that it would soon fly off again.

Next morning, on looking out again through the wind and rain, it was still there - but, now there were two of them and they had almost identical plumage. No, we weren`t seeing double! One had a yellow ring on one leg and a pink ring on the other while the other one had a yellow ring on one leg, but a blue ring on the other. Wonder if it`s a blue one for a boy and pink for a girl?!

It`s now four days since they appeared, and they`re still staying around our garden. Maybe because it`s rained constantly for four days they don`t want to fly in the rain?, are they homing pigeons that have lost their way home with the wind and weather this weekend? are they "on holiday"?

They both seem to keep together and keep pecking about in the gravel by the window and looking at the window. So this afternoon, when it had at last stopped raining, I went out with some sunflower seeds, thinking they`d probably fly off when I approached, but no, one of them, now up on the shed roof, put it`s head on one side and look curiously and enquiringing at me. So pouring some of the seeds into the palm of my hand I held it up towards the pigeon. Taking a tentative step or two towards my hand he (or she) then stretched its neck and started pecking the seeds from my hand. Having eaten one handful, I offer it another one which it immediately came to eat and this time came so near that I could feel the silkyness of its breast feathers brushing against my hand as it ate. A lovely moment. To think that I could get so close to it, and that it trusted me to not harm it. It also confirmed my thoughts that it wasn`t a wild bird, but must be used to being close to people.

Managing to get close to them, I managed to see that on the rings on their legs were numbers, but now the problem is, what to do about them. Someone, somewhere is no doubt missing them and waiting for them to come home. Maybe, hopefully, now that they`ve rested, been fed and the weather has improved they`ll find their way home again.

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