Saturday, 15 September 2012

Pearl leaves home

Tuesday 11.9.12

On Sunday when I can home at noon from carbooting, my husband said wearily 'A pigeon flew into the back kitchen'.....'Oh' I said 'Why didnt you chase it out?'....Then I found that the pigeon was injured and hubbie had thought it best to let it be and wait for me to come home. The pigeon was, I thought, a young one, and had a wound on its body and wing. It was hiding behind something on the floor and didn't want to be caught. I examined it, and then bathed the wound with a weak TCP and water solution. Sunday was extremely hot, and I was worried that the open wound and smell of blood would attract flies to lay their eggs on the poor pigeon.

Once treated, I left the pigeon in a secure box with food and water, in a cool part of the garden - I named him Jem2, after poor Jem with the wounded leg - that didn't survive.

Jem2 is a scruffy, feisty little bird, but seemed reasonably content to sit in a box and recuperate.
The wound looks nasty, but I didn't think it was too bad. Jem came into the conservatory for the night, in a box next to Faith in the crate, and next morning went into the hospital run. Most of the day he stayed in the upstairs part, with me checking him a couple of times, and giving him a drink. In the late afternoon, he came down into the run, and was pecking round the wire trying to get out. Luckily for me, he realised he couldnt and went upstairs again, so it was easy for me to get him out to go into the box in the conservatory for the second night. The wound was drying up, and I used my special bird cream on it - the same I used on Cloud and other pigeons/doves with fairly superficial grazes.
Today, 11.9.12, it was a fine day and I was going to be out for most of it, so I made the decision to set Jem free. As soon as I opened his box in the conservatory, he struggled past me and flew to the windows, bashing into them. I could see he wanted to be free, and could fly, so once I had checked him over again, re-annointed the drying out graze, and ringed him with pink and yellow rings, I took him into the garden where he flew straight to the roof.

The wound, 2 days later - and below Jem on the roof
I may have released him a bit too early, but today and tomorrow, I will be out a lot, so I didn't want him to be cooped in, if unnecessary, and he certainly felt well enough to be out and about. When I got home, he was still on the roof, but flew away with the flock at bedtime, so I hope I will see him tomorrow. Rings for the doves/pigeons means extra food, so if he comes back he will be treated to peanuts, thrown directly to his feet! Like Cloud, Fennie, Joseph and so many others!
Tonight was the first night that Autumn - approx 45 days old - didn't spend the night in the dovecote. She did come to the cote - and fly to where Summer is in the nestbox, and was rejected, but she 's done that before and then gone in one of the other holes - but tonight she didnt settle, and didnt stay - though Spring did, as usual. I wish the babies would stay, but they never seem to. I haven't seen Lizzie2 for a few days now, and that's a bad sign. If she has perished, it means that none of the first two lots of Sky and Summer's babies have survived. Autumn and Spring, born to experienced parents, and in the best of the weather, are so incredibly beautiful and healthy looking - so white and smooth, as Val, one of my blog readers, pointed out in the comments. The adult doves are white too, but the babies are Persil white and ironed! 

Pearl, a few days younger than Autumn and Spring, is just as beautiful. He spends much of his time out and about with Happy and the rest of the flock, but is still coming back to the hutch at bedtime. Jose, I think, is not being particularly nice to him. I have noticed that she seems to peck at him (or her! sorry I know I keep changing Pearl's sex, but I don't know what she is! I will try to remember to call Pearl 'her' til we know!). Anyway, Jose pecks at Pearl, and she goes behind the little step of bricks in the hutch to 'hide' for the night. I have been thinking that maybe Jose was going to start another nest, but she hasn't so far - thank goodness, and so I have made the decision that from tomorrow night on, I will remove Jose to the conservatory for the nights, which will leave Pearl to roost in the hutch - hopefully keeping her safe. This won't worry or affect Happy as he always leaves the garden, and as soon as he's done so, I'll bring Jose in. I'll clean the crate out and Jose can have it back, and Faith can go in one of the boxes.
Below, the 'triplets' - Autumn, Spring and Pearl - enjoying the September sunshine

Happy has rearranged the sticks in the hutch, and made a sketchy second 'nest' in the corner - see bottom right of the photo - but I don't think Jose is particularly interested.

Maybe I will be proved wrong, but I don't want more babies in the hutch now at this season. Spring and Summer's new eggs, if they hatch, won't fledge until around the 25th October - not a very good start in life for the young birds if the weather in late Oct/Nov proves to be very wet, or cold.
Happy and Jose continue to canoodle though - and here's Pearl ignoring Mummy and Daddy's behaviour

I have been in contact with the lady who collected her racing pigeon, and she has kindly called her after my home town! The pigeon's eye was infected, but will get better with drops, but she will never race again. I believe she has a mate, and he will race, and hurry home to her, and any squabs they have. The lady kindly sent me a copy of British Homing World - I found some of the articles and snippets of interest. It was great to see that there is a club in Guernsey, as this little island is very close to my heart - as are pigeons!!
The beautiful stranger from my last blog - also a racer - is still around. I presume he will move on when he's ready, and although I'd be happy to have him join my flock.
Wed.12th Sept - It was a gloomy early evening, so I put Faith in the conservatory about 5.30pm, and Jose, in the newly cleaned crate, about 5.40pm. Happy was still around, but I didnt want to miss the opportunity to get them all sorted the way I felt best. Spring had already put herself to put in the cote. Shortly afterwards, Pearl came back to the hutch, and Happy started to make up to her (his own daughter, tut tut!) - so I guided her in, him out and shut up the hutch. Pearl fluttered at the wire front for a while, and Happy walked up and down the ledge of the table outside, but they soon settled, and I felt I'd down the right thing. Jose, in the conservatory, just sat down in the corner of the crate quite happily.

And soon appeared to be nodding off....

Thursday 13.9.12 -  I haven't seen Jem2 again. Maybe I released him too early, or maybe he was just passing through anyway. As soon as I opened up the hutch, Pearl flew off out to the roof, and soon Happy arrived to join Jose, who I'd brought out of the conservatory.
It was a sunny day, and Faith is always dirty around the nether regions, but today I gave her a full bath, then because she was shivering I left her in the very warm conservatory to dry off.

I am amazed that she carries on living - she is very thin, but doesnt have to expend much energy as she can't fly now. She has her little routine, as follows.... I don't put her into the garden first thing, I wait for the day to warm up a bit. Then she goes in an open box on the garden table, facing the sun. She usually stays in this all morning, or just sits in the entrance. Lunchtime, I offer her a drink by dipping her beak in water, then I put her up in the beans. Mid afternoon, she either jumps down to join the flock of the grass for feeding time, or I bring her down. She waddles about, but is quite quick to get in there for the peanuts! Then it's back up in the beans again, or in the box, and an early bedtime for her at about 5.30pm. A gentle quiet day for an old lady!
In the early evening, Pearl was around in the garden....shown here perching on the chair.

Some late pigeons came down to see if there were any grains left, and as Charlie was amongst them, I gave them a few extra. Charlie is a pigeon I rescued from the hawk right on the patio outside the kitchen door. He has been fine ever since, and is easily recognised by his white wings and purple ring.

Later Spring flew off with Autumn, abandoning the dovecote as a place to spend the night, and only Happy and Pearl were left on the roof.

I was trying to cook the supper, but keep an eye on Pearl, so that as soon as she came down to the hutch I could shut her in. Eventually Happy flew away, and she did come down, but seemingly reluctantly.
Friday 14.9.12 -  There are still far too many pigeons, despite me trying to cut down on the amount of grain I give them.


They jostle to get the food, and even spread their wings out to keep the others off - like the cliche of ladies with elbows out at the Sales!
Sometimes, I try and encourage them to eat from my hands and some of the bolder ones will give it a try. The one on the left is Freckles, but you can't see the brown splotches on this back very well in this photo.

Autumn, having grown up with me, as it were, is not scared to come quite close.
Then sometimes, suddenly, for no reason at all, they will all get spooked and fly off together....
The draught from their wings is so great sometimes, that my floaty summer skirt billow up and raise up! Lucky we are not overlooked!
In the evening, I was going to see a friend, but wanted to get Pearl shut up in the hutch before I went.
She sat up on the roof with Happy and some others, and eventually flew away with them. I doubt she'll ever come back to the hutch now - she doesn't visit it during the day. Big girl now - left home at 44 days old. Come back safe, my precious Pearl!


CAMILLA said...

Faith, I am trying to remember all the names, and lovely name they are too. You are such an amazing kind lady with all your love and care for Doves and Pigeons, I call them all your babies.!

I hope Pearl does fly back soon, and what a lovely thought of the lady that got in touch with you again of the Racing Pigeon you found, brilliant that she named bird after your home town.

Fennie said...

So fascinating the stories of the doves. Pity you can't issue the birds with ration cards so that the feral visitors can't get fed. Glad that Fennie is still doing well.

Now, do you have any turtle doves? And what exactly are turtle doves?

Faith said...

They are my babies Camilla, but very greedy ones!

Fennie, brilliant solution - which it was that easy! I'd enjoy making them little cards with their names on - lol! Turtle doves are like the collared doves, I think.