Fergie: Lucky & Happy to Be Alive

This is the story of one pigeon, the three MickaCoo foster volunteers who nursed her back to health and the many generous supporters whose donations paid for her vet care.

On the evening of 9/5, I was contacted by staff at Animal Care & Services that they had “another injured pigeon… wounds on wing and legs” that would be euthanized if we didn’t rescue her. This king pigeon, domestic and completely helpless in the wild, had been mauled by some kind of predator but lucky enough to get taken to a shelter. A MickaCoo volunteer, Foster 1, picked up the pigeon and rushed her to an avian vet for wound care and antibiotics. She seemed to respond to treatment at first but then the infection flared up and on 9/9 she was transferred to a more experienced Foster 2 (who is also a vet tech) and rushed to another avian vet.

Injured king pigeon facing euthanasia at animal shelter in San Jose

Wounded birds need avian vet care that most shelters don’t provide

Named Fergie by Foster Mom 2, she had blood tests, was sedated for x-ray and to have her wounds cleaned and closed, treated for pain and sent home with injectable antibiotics. With lots of tender care, Fergie’s condition steadily improved and all of her wounds healed except for one, at the hock joint of her right leg. Despite all the treatment, it remained angry and unresolved. We worried that if we weren’t able to turn it around, the infection could cost her the leg.

Injured king pigeon with wounded hock

Fergie’s hock injury put her leg at risk

After much deliberation and several phone consultations, Fergie was driven many miles by two different volunteers to get help from Dr. Speer at Medical Center for Birds on 9/20.

Dr. Brian Speer of Medical Center for Birds assesses injured pigeon Fergie

Dr. Speer and Fergie in consultation

The wound was again examined and cleaned and then rewrapped so as to immobilize the joint and prevent the leg’s bending and flexing. It was a nerve wracking week waiting for her return visit because we couldn’t tell which direction the wound was going under the bandage and her poor pink foot stayed puffy and swollen the whole time.

Injured pigeon's leg joint immobilized to heal

Fergie

The following week, Fergie was once again driven the many miles to be rechecked, and when the bandage was removed, we were all thrilled with the improvement she had made. Her wound had totally turned the corner and was healing beautifully. She went home annoyed to have the bandage on for another week but all her people were giddy with the progress.

Injured pigeon's wound healing well

Much better!

There was more excitement still ahead for Fergie though. On 10/3, the day her injured leg was finally healed and the bandages removed for good, Fergie was treated to a celebration and let outside in an aviary to hang out with other pigeons and enjoy the afternoon while she waited for her long ride back to Foster Home 2. But Fergie had other ideas. She fell in love at first sight with handsome (and famous) bachelor Opal and got married to him right then and there! With all the pigeon hook ups I’ve seen these past five years (hundreds), I could count on one hand the number of times that has happened. Pigeons are very emotional and deliberate in their relationships and will remain single despite the availability of potential mates for long periods of time. But not Fergie. She and Opal had instant chemistry. So Fergie got to stay with Foster Mom 3 and now she and Opal are happily sharing nest building and (fake) egg sitting duties. They are available for adoption as a mated pair (we don’t split couples).

Happy married pigeon man Opal brings straw to his mate Fergie in the nest

Fergie happy on the nest while Opal brings in the twigs

MickaCoo couldn’t help birds like Fergie and Opal if not for your support. We thank you with all our heart for helping us to help these pigeons and doves.

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3 Comments

  1. What a beautifully told story, Elizabeth. You give these pigeons a voice and what an amazing and passionate voice you have.

  2. Super cute. Im glad it ended happily

  3. Thank you so much for sharing Fergie’s story. It is SO beautiful , and I am happy that her health issues were treated successfully by those wonderful life saving people. I reinforces my love of all birds and animals, and for the ” angels” who rescue them, treat them medically, and find “forever homes ” for them. I am grateful to have met Fergie and Opal and their human helpers who are letting them live out their lives together as a “loving couple” …BIG smiles…. <3 <( ' )

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