Lost homing pigeon to be driven home

Here goes 2023.

During December, three people asked why I’d hardly blogged in 2022; a friend on the East Coast emailed to ask if she’d been removed from the blog mailing list; and someone else said she’d like to start reading it. All it took was an audience of five to lead to my return.

Once again, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to seek adventures that will provide me with new material. Fortunately, 2023 did just that without my leaving home.

We have bird feeders in our urban backyard. Since crowds of junkos and little brown birds converge on the feeders and must compete with jays, crows, and flickers, my husband also leaves a pile of seeds on the ground. About a week ago, a dove came pecking at the seeds. The bird returned to eat at different times each day .

We’ve never seen doves in the neighborhood before. Why was it here? Was it lost? One day it managed to escape a hawk. On another, it slept on the covered patio and a few days later moved to the front porch. Yesterday, it walked into the garage and hid under a metal storage shelf. We can’t tell if it’s injured. We just know it’s been taking daily walks around the exterior of the house. We named it Whitey, not an original moniker, but it’s hard not to be dazzled by its color. For a moment, just forget that white is not officially a color. Compared to Whitey, snow and vanilla ice cream are gray, brown or otherwise dirty.

I spent a couple of days calling around for advice. PAWS says Whitey is a domestic bird and does not qualify for their services, as does the local Audubon group. Was it his bright pink leg band? But Audubon gave me the number of a man in our area who might advise us on locating our new tenant’s old home. I call it a tenant because yesterday we put it into a cat carrier and it’s now living in our garage. I phoned the man, who said he’d moved to Montana and could only help if he had the information found in minus-one point type on Whitey’s band.

The same Montana man gave me a number for a local pigeon expert. I called him today. This man asked, “Why did so-and-so say he lived in Montana? I live in Montana. He lives near you.” So now, two men living in Montana — I want to call them bird-brains, but won’t because they were so pleasant on the phone—each saying the other lives elsewhere, moved my investigation no further.

Meanwhile, Whitey-care takes a chunk of time. He poops in his cage — no surprise — knocks over this water dish, and messes his seed dish. We’ve changed the paper in his cat carrier three times today. We’ve used up today’s newspaper and are praying for a much thicker edition tomorrow.

Also, my husband held a reluctant Whitey, a challenge because Whitey doesn’t want to be touched, long enough for me read and write down the information on his band with the help of a seeing eye dog. The Montana experts said that the band should have initials like MPA, or AU or SKI. Whitey’s label only said IRAQ Union with a chain of numbers.

My morning’s brainstorm was to search the internet for “doves for weddings.” I’ll say up front this practice is not generally recommended. I learned that wedding and funeral doves are homing pigeons that return home when the wedding/funeral is over. I called a local wedding pigeon business and found the owner was willing to research Whitey’s origins. I sent him a picture. He says Whitey is a youngster and believes it is a racing pigeon. We’re thrilled that the man is determined to help us find its home. He says he’ll drive to our house to get him.

This ending will be best for all of us.  The cat is bound to notice Whitey soon.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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12 Responses to Lost homing pigeon to be driven home

  1. Joe Gotchy says:

    Your audience has grown by at least one….me! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experience with Whitey-care…..and the results of your research and outreach. Whitey is darn lucky to have found you rather that the talons of a local predator.

  2. Marilyn Pedersen says:

    Great story and photo, Ann! I am a fan of your blog and have missed your stories. May 2023 bring more posts from you!

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

  3. Teddy says:

    You tell the BEST stories!

  4. Alexandra says:

    Loved reading about Whitey.

  5. Darlene Bishop says:

    Fun read to be sure—you’ll have to let us know the conclusion to this story, albeit a happy ending. Good to read you online again—missed your blog.

  6. travelnwrite says:

    Welcome back to the blogosphere! Loved the story!

  7. Carolyn Schwab says:

    Hi Ann. Enjoyed your piece. Glad your blog is reactivated!
    Joe and I are switching back to the Betsuin. Hope to see you soon!
    ~Carolyn Schwab

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