Saturday, 31 December 2022

A pigeon and a good deed

 A few days ago, just after Christmas, I was putting some rubbish in the recycling bin I saw a pigeon sitting on the ground close to the bin.

Clearly in shock, the bird had a wound in its back between its wings. My guess is that a dog got it.

It might have been a fox, but as it was afternoon I suspect a dog.

Now it was a common or garden pigeon. Not native, just a feral introduced standard pigeon.

The wildlife rescue people would most probably be disinterested, and any vet (assuming any were open) would simply euthanise it. 

It's a pigeon after all.

Well, I decided it deserved a chance. They may not be native, but they've probably been here for two hundred and more years, making them part of the ecosystem.

So I set some water in an old plastic food container down beside it, and left it to it.

I reckoned it probably wouldn't last the night, but no, next morning it was sitting there, looking brighter. It had clearly hopped about a bit in the night seeking shelter behind some pot plants.

I reckoned it might be hungry. 

I had some native wild bird food left over from an abortive attempt to help the native birds during a cold spell a couple of winters ago (abortive, because the possums found the bird feeder after a couple of days and ripped it to bits to get at the seed), so I gave it a handful of seed and left it to it once more.

A few hours later I looked back and it had gone, and most of the seed. I looked behind the plant pots to see if it had snuck in there and died.

No, not there.

All I can hope is it managed to gather enough strength and fly off. 

No idea as to its long term prospects, but I felt I'd done a good thing.

While I'll admit I do eat meat occasionally, I'm not in favour of killing animals for no purpose. And while I love the native bush, there's no way we can remove all alien species and go back to a pre-1788 ecology. We've made so many changes and introduced so many animals I don't believe we can go back, so we basically now live in a managed landscape.

As for pigeons? Generally they're a pain, but that's not a reason not to give one a second chance ...

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