On February 22nd, I was doing a home visit in Fairfield and on my way to transfer pigeons in Vacaville when I got a voicemail from a caller with a Florida area code. I’m not always able to check messages and return calls so quickly but, when I did this time, I spoke to Dustin, stationed at nearby Travis Air Force Base, who told me he needed help for a pigeon he had rescued.
Dustin and his wife had been headed off base when he noticed that a pigeon was just standing in the road, being narrowly missed by the passing cars. Dustin pulled over and approached the pigeon. He knelt down and the bird took a step towards him and stopped. Dustin grabbed the pigeon up and took him home. He looked like a feral pigeon to the untrained eye and, with severely clipped wings, he was grounded. The bird was feather and bone, starved and dehydrated. Dustin had rescued lost and injured racing pigeons back home in Florida but they had bands that could be traced. Dustin contacted area shelters and rescues and publicized the found pigeon in an effort to return him to his person. Along the way, he was referred to MickaCoo and called me.
We were full up with 100 pigeons and doves in foster care and I spoke with Dustin about fostering the bird he had saved (if not adopting him outright) but, with a rescued dog (one of the many that are abandoned on Travis AFB) and a baby on the way, his wife had vetoed that idea. We arranged to meet in half an hour at The Nut Tree in Vacaville.
Dustin had saved Bubba’s life. He’s a tame Homer with the worst wing clip I have ever seen. It’s a miracle that he lived long enough on his own to get skinny. I took him home to foster.
Safe from predators and with plenty of food and water, Bubba put on weight and began regaining his strength. His temperament was so sweet and demure (traits commonly found in Homer hens) that I initially thought Bubba was female but, when I took him outside to visit the aviary flock, they corrected me. Bubba enjoyed afternoons outside but spent most of his time recuperating indoors.
I loved Bubba and hoped he’d enjoy working as a demo pij at meetings and events. When he had gained weight and was feeling good, I introduced him to pigeon pants and we did work a couple of events together.
Bubba did great work as a demo pij but he didn’t love it. He was shy and tense and, when a rescued feral pigeon hen named Homie’s people were ready to adopt a mate for her, I introduced her to Bubba & young bachelor Ni-Ban.
Homie took a shine to Bubba right away but it took him a day and a half to realize that he was in love.
And now, not only does Bubba have his beautiful and very clever wife Homie, but he has a wonderful forever home too. He has been adopted!
Domestic and unreleasable feral pigeons (like Homie) make great pets. Learn more about pigeons as pets.
Coming Soon: Homie’s Story!