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R.I.P my love.
Bradley was an amazing bird and she has changed my life forever and she changed countless peoples views on pigeons, people who used to hate pigeons, or kill them all said they couldn't imagine shooting one now that they had known her.
Take a minute to read her story, she was a sweetheart, and I wouldn't be where I am today without her.

When I was 17 I had a pair of birmingham rollers stitting on a set of eggs, I was so excited when the time came, but only one baby hatched. I waited a day, since sometimes it takes 24 hours for the other to hatch, but still no baby. I waited a third day, still nothing. The one little squeaker already had his eyes open and was peeping for food. I figured the other egg must be 'bad' because it was turning to a shade of grey, but the mom, Verbena, was still careing for it, turning it over and keeping it warm. But by late afternoon, since I was cleaning my coop anyway, I decided to take her egg and put it in the compost with the old hay. As I was half way to the compost I felt something move. I thought my mind was just playing tricks, so I stopped and held it firmer, there it was again, there was definetly someone in that shell..
There had been a dent on the outside of the egg for two days, but it was from a dried field pea that for some reason I found at the bottom of her nest, so I began to slowly break the shell away bit by bit, and there I saw her, a little tiny pigeon inside. The strechy clear membrane inner part of the shell stuck to her face like a plastic bag she couldn't breathe thru. I picked it away from her cere and beak and watched her take her first breath of air.
I held her in my hand, the most adorable little baby ever! I wondered why she wasn't able to get herself out of the shell so I looked her over and found that she had not developed an egg tooth! Poor thing was trapped inside her own shell! So I brought her back into the coop and put her under her mom. She was a great mom and instantly started cooing to the new little one. I became very attached to her, I named her Bradley, not knowing then ofcorse that she was a girl. I spent so much time with her that she started acting more like me then a pigeon and eventually moved indoors with me. We were inseparable. We spent 24 hours a day together, she slept on my pillow at night and she would wake me up every morning with her soft little coo and by preening my eyelashes! lol
I grew up in a small town so I was soon known as 'pigeon girl'
Bradley became a celebrity there and was allowed inside any store or cafe and she sure acted like a little star :)

One evening, when she was a year old, I had put her to bed and I was watching a movie with my sister, in came my little bradley, she looked sleepy, but she hopped up onto my foot and stared up at me, paused for a second then hopped off and looked up again. She walked a few feet back towards the bedroom then stopped and looked again, like she was trying to get me to follow her, so I got up and she hurried her little self down the hall, she flew up onto the bed and began to coo. I looked beside her and saw the most perfect little white egg, right there next to the pillow. She was so proud of herself, it was adorable.
The next day I set up a carrier next to my bed and made her a nest and placed her egg in it. 18 days passed, she was such a sweetheart, taking care of her little empty eggs. I knew she would be heartbroken when they didn't hatch, but that morning when I went to feed my whole flock, there was a badly injured 2 day old baby laying in the hay. I had a fantail that was on top of the pecking order, but I never thought he would actually try to kill a baby.. he got taken to the feed store for a new home, and the little baby got brought inside for a new home. I switched out one of her eggs for the baby after I cleaned him up a bit, while bradley was eating her seed. When she got back to the carrier she looked so excited! Her motherly instincts were really strong and she instantly becan to care for the little one, which she raised very well, I named him Joaquin and he just turned eight this year. (To anyone who has seen my pictures of cooper, joaquin is his grandpa!)
She went on to foster four sets of orphaned babies thoughout that year and cared for each one as if they were her own.

Bradley was an amazing bird, She ment more to me then this world.
..but sadly while I was at a friends cabin in the woods near christmas, she pecked up and swallowed a pellet of rat poison :( she ran over to me shaking her head and started to throw up by the time I got home :( it was late at night and I could not find any vet that was open or could care for her.. I would have flown her to new york and spent a million dollars to save her, but all I could do was hold her. She died that night in my hands, I held her for her last breath, just like I did for her first.
She is burried on a beautiful grassy hill in Northern California surrounded by tall oak trees and near a creek that's full of wildlife.
I miss my bradley more then I could ever put in words. I have a framed picture of her by my bed and I have a tattoo of her.
I want to someday start my own pigeon rehabilitation center in her memory.
I love you bradley and I will miss you forever <3
 

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I am so sorry you lost your precious Bradley. She was such a sweetheart.
Thank you for posting her story.

Reti
 

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That is the most beautiful story and written right from the heart.

You couldn't have wished for a more loving friend and not many people are blessed with such a special bond. The way she came into your life was truely a gift.

I am so sorry that she was taken from you in such a cruel and tragic way.
Your consolation must be that she touched so many people's hearts in her time here, and through her, as you said, there will be those that will now see pigeons as the special beings we all know them as, so her legacy will live on.

Take care,

Janet
 
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