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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am absolutely gutted as my lovely Charlie Farley rescue feral, jumped ship today.

She came to me last May with a major wound in her chest. She had a large emorphous plug removed but despite all my efforts, it never did heal up properly. The vet thought it was due to a damaged bone inside. Earlier this year the infection erupted again and she went through a long spell inside having daily treatment to clean it out. The infection subsided but the hole still ended up with a hard mass inside. She gradually picked up and was looking very well, but I would always keep a daily eye on the hole in case it went bad again.

Charlie, so named as I used to think she was a he, was besotted with Poly, another rescue, but he mated with Bandy and is currently sitting on his seond batch of dummy eggs. Despite this, Charlie used to sit next to his nest when he was on sitting duties. Bandy wasn't too impressed by this and would chase her off.

I've been re-fitting the hospital shed they live in this week and I don't know if this has unsettled her, as she has never shown any desire to get out before.
I had a wake up call two days ago when Danni, my PMV rescue almost got out by clinging to the netting I put over the door so I can give them some fresh air during the days when it's warm. So today I made sure I secured it well and only had the door open a couple of inches as I didn't want to lose Danni.
I was sanding down some wood shelves a few feet away from the shed when I turned to see the white flash of a pigeon flying past the door.
I checked at the door and as there wasn't a gap showing anywhere, I decided it must have been a Woodie. When I checked inside though, I saw Charlie was missing. She could only have pushed her way under the net somehow, there was no other way. Later I saw her sitting on my neighbour's roof and she was stretching her wings. My heart was in my mouth as I wasn't sure how well she could fly after all this time, but then all of a sudden, she took off towards the fields next door, and that was the last I saw of her.

I know she'll not come back as she was very wary of me. I was the horrible woman that used to pick her up every day to look at her wound and syringe her meds down her, and then to make matters worse I'd give her a kiss. I love her to bits. She has never been outside to get her bearings, so there is no chance of her returning. Even if she did, she wouldn't come down if I was about.
Unfortunately, I only get Woodies and Stock Doves in my garden, and there are no ferals for her to join with, so I don't know what will happen to her out there. On top of it all there are three Hawks that hunt those fields and I can hear shooting most days.

I have to believe she was so determined to be free again, that she'll be happy that way, and make a go of it somehow.

Please send her your positive thoughts, I'm broken hearted to think of her out there tonight.

Take care Charlie,

Janet
 

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Sorry that Charlie took off on you, BUT, I assume she was feral before? An adult feral? So, the life she's about to take up isn't completely new to her. I bet she'll be just fine.
If she wasn't a baby when you found her, I think her chances are pretty darn good.
 

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So sorry to hear this news - those silly pidgies don't know when they're on to a good thing, do they! I guess the only comfort is in knowing that Charlie is her own bird again, and freedom is that great right that we should all be able to claim when we feel the need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Renee,

Yes she was adult and feral, so I've been telling myself the same thing all afternoon. It worked until it got dark !
I can't help but feel bad that as the hole never healed, I'd not have let her go in case it became infected again. That was the only reason I never released her.

Just me being a sentimental worrier. ;) but yes I'm sure you're right.
 

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Hi Janet,

It happens to all of us, we generally have to accept that if a bird is well enough to escape it is well enough to survive in the wild.

Do you know where she came from? If she doesn't home back to Poly then she will probably go back to where she came from.

I had one of my nesting males escape some years ago, I had kept him because one of the bones in his wing had been broken and was poking out of his flesh. This was filed back and the skin stitched over it, miraculously he could fly but we didn't think he would be strong enough to risk releasing him. As luck would have it he escaped on the day before a gale. I didn't expect him to come back, but on day three I found him trying to get back into the aviary. He was so intent on getting through the wire that I had no trouble picking him up.

Another squeaker that we released in the garden returned a day later and clung to the aviary wire as it got dark...it was easy to pluck her off and put her back in the aviary.

I hope that Charlie comes back for your peace of mind, but she stands a much better chance of surviving now than she did when she was found.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Hi Cynthia,

Unfortunately I don't know where she came from as he was one of my kidnap jobs from 'you know where'.

You'd always like to think they've got back to where they came from, I just hope she doesn't find herself in Walsall 'the string injury capitol of the West Midlands'.

I love the stories of yours actually trying to get back in, I do hope she comes back but yes, I hope she's strong enough now to find a new flock. She deserves to have her own love interest, that's what I'd wish for her now. :)

Janet
 

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Janet,

I understand your worry, but it's clear from what you described that Charlie released herself, so *she* must have felt she could survive out there! And if she could see outside her shed, she'll probably home to it if she feels the need to return, as Cynthia said. I think her natural instincts will help keep her safe (I worry about predators too, but I've observed over time that the pigeons almost always know a hawk is around early enough to take off--even before I can see he's there myself!)

I have a pigeon here with a hole in her upper palate. I was worried about her prospects outside because of this deficit (and also the weather turned cold during the course of her convalescence), so she's been here several months. (She has no trouble eating, and the area in her mouth has never shown any signs of infection.) She still acts very typically feral and told my animal communicator that she wants to be free again and that she would be fine outside, so I'm going to release her once the weather is consistently warm. It would be better for my peace of mind to keep her or find a home for her, but I don't want to keep her against her will, you know? It's so difficult to trust that everything will be OK, but sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith. :)

Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Janet,

I understand your worry, but it's clear from what you described that Charlie released herself, so *she* must have felt she could survive out there! And if she could see outside her shed, she'll probably home to it if she feels the need to return, as Cynthia said. I think her natural instincts will help keep her safe (I worry about predators too, but I've observed over time that the pigeons almost always know a hawk is around early enough to take off--even before I can see he's there myself!)

I have a pigeon here with a hole in her upper palate. I was worried about her prospects outside because of this deficit (and also the weather turned cold during the course of her convalescence), so she's been here several months. (She has no trouble eating, and the area in her mouth has never shown any signs of infection.) She still acts very typically feral and told my animal communicator that she wants to be free again and that she would be fine outside, so I'm going to release her once the weather is consistently warm. It would be better for my peace of mind to keep her or find a home for her, but I don't want to keep her against her will, you know? It's so difficult to trust that everything will be OK, but sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith. :)

Jennifer
Hi Jennifer,

You hit the nail on the head when you said it was for our own peace of mind that we keep them 'safe'. It's just good to 'KNOW' rather than have to wonder if they can manage when released with an unresolved injury. I do have to admit to being pleased at how well she flew though, the vet had thought the angle of the wound might have damaged her muscle and affect her ability, so that was good to see. I wish yours all the best when she goes aswell.
Given the choice I expect they'd all be free again. My PMV is really making a case for leaving even though she is sitting on dummy eggs at present. She's the one who showed Charlie how to get out.
I think she had ulterior motives in doing so, as she's being giving Charlie quite a hard time lately.

The other day I was watching a pair of Stock Doves in the field next door. I saw three hawks circling and these two were lying down in the corn, grazing and 'rain bathing'. (You know when they lift their wings up to catch the rain and preen). I just stood horrified as they 'seemed' blissfully unaware of the threat. I got absolutely soaked standing there with my dog, as I couldn't leave until I saw them fly up to the trees. Talk about being a born worrier !! :eek:

Well I have to hope Charlie finds her way to join a feral flock somewhere as she obviously wasn't a 'country piggie' judging by the look on hers, and all their faces when they saw the pair of ducks that come to the garden to feed now. They were as frightened as when they see the hawk. They literally froze in one position for at least fifteen minutes and didn't move again until they left!!

Thank you for making me feel a bit better about Charlie going. I expect I'll eventually stop sitting looking up at the trees trying to spot her !!:)

Janet
 

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Given the choice I expect they'd all be free again.
I think it really depends on the individual. I have another pigeon (feral adult) with no tongue, and she shows no interest in leaving. Her demeanor tells me she is completely comfortable here, although she isn't tame. I think she knows she'd have a difficult time swallowing the bits of food she'd find outside and finds the alternative (plenty of seed with steady access to water to wash it down) more desireable.

I saw three hawks circling and these two were lying down in the corn, grazing and 'rain bathing'. (You know when they lift their wings up to catch the rain and preen). I just stood horrified as they 'seemed' blissfully unaware of the threat.
I've noticed that pigeons (and all animals) live so much in the moment, that if a threat isn't imminent, they don't react. I've seen the same kind of thing you have--a hawk perched nearby while the pigeons just go about their business as if there's no looming danger. However, I've also seen pigeons take off with great urgency when a hawk is in active hunting mode, however far away he might be (sometimes so far away that I can't even see him at first, even though I'm usually scanning the skies). So I think they have senses that we humans lack for the most part, and if there is imminent danger (like a predator swooping in), they (mostly) get the heck out of dodge!

Jennifer
 

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I'm with you, I know the feeling when my pigeon Jorgito left, he didn't know the area and he didn't come back the worse part is that he was very domesticated, we are still waiting for him, but I'll send you all my best wishes and really I really hope that she comes back, be positive and hopefully she remember how to get back to you.
Please let us know any update. many hugs

Ivette
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm with you, I know the feeling when my pigeon Jorgito left, he didn't know the area and he didn't come back the worse part is that he was very domesticated, we are still waiting for him, but I'll send you all my best wishes and really I really hope that she comes back, be positive and hopefully she remember how to get back to you.
Please let us know any update. many hugs

Ivette
Hi, and thanks for your wishes.
I have been watching for any news of Jorgito, I was so upset for you when I read your story. As Charlie made off I then knew exactly what you must have felt, and Charlie wasn't even a pet. I just hope she's not alone now as she was very timid and would never defend herself when the others picked on her. She would have to travel a bit to locate any ferals but hopefully she took the right turn and fate will be kind to her.

I still hope for Jorgito's return too.

Janet
 
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