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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of months ago, I found a pigeon that was lagging behind the rest of the flock that I normally visit. It was stumbling along pecking at dirt, just barely crossing the parking lot. I drove over and to my surprise, I was able to pick it up without it hardly trying to get away from me. It was so malnourished that its bones were sticking out. I thought, I doubt it it’s going to make it but I’ll take it home anyways.

I put water in a box with him in it. The bird just stood there and I had to literally dip its beak into the water (with vitamins) before it would drink. I thought again, it’s probably not going to make it but I have it here now, so I’ll try to give it what I can and if it dies, at least I tried. At nighttime I gave it Baytril. I could see the bird’s breathing slowing down and then relaxing and it getting sleepy. I thought, I don’t think this bird is going to make it, but at least I tried.

The next morning – BAM! – that bird had energy! I gave it fresh water and food and it just tore it all down. For the next several weeks, I continued giving this pigeon medication (based on what was told me here to give pigeons) and the bird just picked up in health. It got BIG almost overnight. It regained its appetite, the poops became normal, and best of all, I found out it could fly. So I thought there’s a good chance I could release this pigeon back into the wild.

For two months, unbeknownst to anyone on this forum, I gave Benji a home and time to recuperate until he was well enough to be on his own. Then came the hard part. Benji was itching to go back to his friends and Spring was coming. Each day he would practice trying to fly (and getting better each time – I had a hard time catching him after a while in the bathroom). I finally decided, I have to let him go. He wants to be back there with his friends and he can fly so he can probably make it.

I told Maggie that it was getting near time for Benji to leave. She just looked at me – she had no clue what I was talking about – I had kept those two separate so they hadn’t seen each other although they were in the same room. I knew she knew there was another pigeon with her in the room but I made sure they never saw each other because I did not want them to become attached to each other in the event that Benji was going to be released. But she looked up at me, wondering, and I think in a while she knew what I was talking about because she kinda gave me a knowing look.

Anyways, today I released Benji with a flock at another mall because the mall I had originally found him at, is now being covered by a hawk and I didn’t want Benji to have to adjust that soon and have to deal with THAT. There was a small group of pigeons at the mall that I released Benji at. Would they accept him? Would he fit in? I nervously opened the cage to let Benji out. Benji took a few steps and then shot out flying over to a pigeon far away from me. From a distance I could see them ‘talking’ to each other by the way they kinda sniffed each other. I could almost hear them talking:

“Hi I’m Benji. What’s your name?”

“Hi, I’m Bob. You’re new here. Where do you come from?”

“Oh I’ll tell you about it all later. It’s really quite a long story. I was kept prisoner by this person over there for two whole months!”

“WOW! That must’ve been horrible!”

“Well, not all of the time. I did get food, clean water and a nice warm place to stay. He kept giving me all of this funny stuff though, that he put down my throat. It was awful but it did make me feel better. Hey! I think he’s leaving! Let’s go join the others. He can’t catch us now while he’s over there, so we’ll be safe.”

“You think he’ll try to get you again?”

“I don’t know but I want to make sure that he doesn’t. I don’t want to be a prisoner again. It’s no fun. I like it better out here. It was so boring being a prisoner.”

“Yeah, I don’t think I’d like to be a prisoner either – even if you do get fed and have a nice warm place to stay. I like being able to be out on my own with friends and all.”

I had moved my car a short distance away to watch Benji with his new friend. The two flew over to the flock now eating the seed I had given them. Benji and his friend joined in and then when they were all full, I watched Benji and the flock fly up to the roof of a store. Benji stared down at me. I waved and wished him well. It about tore my heart to have to leave him there but I knew he belonged with his own kind.

I have no pictures of Benji and I put no band on his leg. If something should happen to him, I don’t want to know it was him. I’ll just keep swinging by to see if the flock is ok. The only thing I have of Benji is a feather he left behind while he was in my care. I hope he’s happy now.

Goodbye Benji. I hope all goes well with you.

-Garye
 

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Hi Garye,

What a lovely story with a good ending.
I've only had one rescue that was well enough to release, and that was the hardest part, to let him go.
Probably a good idea not to band him for the reason you said. I banded the one I released and although I go and feed them twice a week, so far I haven't spotted him amongst the others. I'm sure he's ok but I would like to spot him just once to know ! ;)

Well done for all you did,

Janet
 

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What a wonderful story, Garye!! Thanks so very much for posting!!

I understand about Benji, however. I found a squeaker with a broken leg and a pox nodule on the side of his beak. After a visit to the Vet, I kept Sag until his leg healed and the pox lesion fell off. One day I had him on my balcony and we was really gettin antsy, wanting OUT!

I opened the door and out he flew. I, too, did not band, but I think I see him feeding with some others that come to have breakfast!

Wishing ALL the BEST to Benji and his new friends!!

Squeaks also sends GREETINGS to Maggie!! Please tell Maggie that Squeaks may be sitting on a real egg soon...maybe...Gimie laid only one egg 18 days ago that broke. She has now laid another. If there is a second egg tomorrow, I will see if Squeaks will be in "daddy" mode to accept ONE egg to raise. The other will be replaced by a wooden one.

Love, Hugs and Scritches

Shi/Squeaks/Dom/Gimie/Woe :)
 

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Well done Garye - lovely story!

It is hard to see 'em go. Most we find turn out to be unreleasable anyway, but now and then.... I had one inside till a couple of weeks back, healing from a bad scrape (cat, dog or car probably), and he was ready to go. But, he roosts outside on the balcony anyway, so he didn't have far to go 'home' :)

Here's hoping Benji has a peaceful, contented pigeon lfe now he's all fit and well fed - you gave him a great second chance.

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was so surprised that Benji healed so well so fast. I really didn't think he'd last long when I first found him, but he plumped up so fast once I gave him the medications. They really work. I'm also glad he was able to find a new pigeon friend so fast when I released him. They really were "talking" once Benji came over.

I told Maggie about Mr. Squeaks:

"WHAT?!!!! Oh don't tell me it was from the one with the "feathers" that gave him that egg! I'm so devastated I could cry." (Wing covering the eyes).

"Noooo, I think it's by another bird."

"Oh I hope so. I really don't want her to be his mate. She's just so pretty and all I have is these old gray feathers. I can't compete. Tell him I can lay eggs just as well as anyone!"

"I will but I don't think he's really going to care. He already has someone."

"Well at least it isn't her."

Some things never change. :eek:
 

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that is a wonderful story!!!!go Benji! gives me hope :)

I have three ferals rescued at the moment....I am debating the whole banding thing, myself.....do I band, and then someone brings me her later, deceased??

or not band so I can let them do their thing and if anything happened I'd rather not know :(
 

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Garye:

Thanks for the encouragement. I chose to give my rehabs to a rehabber
and they got loose. I have been worried to death that they didn't make it
and reading your story gave me hope that maybe they are okay.
 

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I was so surprised that Benji healed so well so fast. I really didn't think he'd last long when I first found him, but he plumped up so fast once I gave him the medications. They really work. I'm also glad he was able to find a new pigeon friend so fast when I released him. They really were "talking" once Benji came over.

I told Maggie about Mr. Squeaks:

"WHAT?!!!! Oh don't tell me it was from the one with the "feathers" that gave him that egg! I'm so devastated I could cry." (Wing covering the eyes).

"Noooo, I think it's by another bird."

"Oh I hope so. I really don't want her to be his mate. She's just so pretty and all I have is these old gray feathers. I can't compete. Tell him I can lay eggs just as well as anyone!"

"I will but I don't think he's really going to care. He already has someone."

"Well at least it isn't her."

Some things never change. :eek:
NO NO! Squeaks asked to me reassure Maggie...Woe (the fancy one is a MALE). Gimie, a checkered feral with a bad leg is the HEN and Woe's mate. Because of Gimie's bad leg, and the egg might get broken like the first one, I was going to give Squeaks an egg to raise WHEN he is in daddy mode. I'm waiting to see if Gimie lays a second egg. The first one is still in the "nest" and OK...so far.

Squeaks is still in mate mode. I tried to encourage him to go into "daddy" mode and put his nesting paper strips by his basket. He just scattered them around and brought some out to ME at the computer!! I looked down and there were all these paper strips around! *SIGH* IN your NEST, Mr. Squeaks!

So, not to worry, Maggie, Squeaks has a human for a mate...

Sending love, hugs and scritches

Shi and Mr. Squeaks :)

While I am his mate, he STILL likes Maggie and sends her loving greetings and scritches!!
 

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Garye, welcome to the world of rehabbing! What a wonderful story and, even better, outcome. I shed tears every single time we release a group. I constantly worry days ahead if they'll find enough to eat or drink or if they will get sick again. Somehow, although I am so happy they recovered enough to be back in the wild, it doesn't make it any easier on me to see them soar away.

You did a wonderful job giving Benji a second chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think I may have seen Benji today with the other pigeons. He saw me, panicked, and ran away. Guess he thought I'd try to take him back. But he seems to have fit right in with his new pigeon friends.

I told Maggie about Mr. Squeaks and about the other pigeon being male. She let out a sigh of relief, "Well I guess I don't have to worry about her taking over him. She's a male!"

Told her about Mr. Squeaks mating with a human? Her response, "WHAT?!"

Don't worry, she'll get over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went out today to feed my feral flock and who should be there - Benji! I recognized him because he has unusual patterns on his wings and back and that's how he stands out for me. I wish I'd had brought my camera but I didn't expect him to be there. He has moved from the new flock I introduced him to to going back to his old flock.

I said, "Dagnabbit, you went and came back to your old flock instead of staying with your new flock. I give up. I hope you're careful with the hawks around here."

Benji looked at me and I looked at him. Then he flew up to my open car window.

"Yeah, yeah, it isn't that much fun being free now is it?" I said to him.

He got back down and rejoined the flock feeding on what I had given them.

He seems to have flourished now that he's back with the flock. I just hope he's careful but I have a feeling he's still happy to be free.
 

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We can relate...We are sure Benji feels that old friends are hard to come by and it's nice to be back among 'em!

We wish Benji and his flock all the VERY BEST and hope to continue to hear positive updates!

Love and Hugs with Scritches to Maggie

Shi and Squeaks :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Easter day

I should've known Benji was female. She didn't have that much irridescent feathers around the neck and everytime Maggie cooed when she was recuperating at my home, she didn't respond back like a male would. Oh well. But she seems to be doing fine...
 

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Great rescue and release! Benji is demonstrating the other meaning of Easter.

Whatever her future holds, she is far better off than when you found her and able to reach her pigeon potential.

Cynthia
 

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LOL! Looks like Benji is QUITE the popular hen!

We send our best with our wishes to the flock to be: Ever Vigilent to Protect and Keep Secure!

Squeaks sends love, hugs and scritches to Maggie! He's back in mate mode and feeling particularly generous these days!

Woe and Gimie's eggs continue to NOT be fertile...so far...Dom will get "his" time with Gimie when she comes out to exercise while Woe is doing his daddy nest sitting!

Still have to keep Dom and Woe apart because Dom attacks Woe every change he gets! Luckily, Woe still has a lot of feathers!

Love and Hugs

Shi/Squeaks/Dom/Gimie/Woe :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah the male pigeons wouldn't notice her before when she was thin and bony. She'd trail behind them. But now that she's plump and got her figure back... well now it's a different story!

It's just nice seeing her back with the flock. :)
 
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