When I first found Aubrey, she was shivering, hungry and scared, trapped by some neighbors beneath a laundry basket. It was a warm Wednesday evening in Downtown Los Angeles and my roommate and I were on our way to pick up a few groceries at the store below our apartment complex when we came across them all in the hallway. When I asked them what was going on they told me that the bird had been hopping around up and down the hallway all day and nobody knew where it came from. From the way it allowed them to approach it and the band around its ankle they assumed it was domestic and caught it in hopes of contacting its owner. With that, my neighbors lost their inclination to help and went on with their evenings. Seeing how helpless the bird looked, I knew I couldn’t leave her in the hallway to starve so I scooped her up and took her home to my apartment, naming her Aubrey. After speaking to several animal rescues and doing a little online research, I knew Aubrey’s options were limited and I decided to adopt my first ever pigeon.
My three roommates were less than thrilled at the idea of keeping a pigeon inside the apartment at first, even a little grossed out. All of them had previously come from large cities, like Chicago, and considered them dirty. However, After living with Aubrey for a few days, one by one they began to fall for her charm. We let Aubrey have free reign of the living room and kitchen area during the day as there was usually always someone home to keep an eye on her. She quickly adapted to the rules of the house and even found a favorite lamp to perch on next to the window where she could enjoy her 8th floor view. For the next several months, Aubrey enjoyed her days looking at her reflection in mirrors, preening her feathers, bathing, and snacking on seeds. I quickly grew very attached to Aubrey and slowly gained her trust and affection.
Unfortunately, that January we were all to start our first semester at USC and I knew i would now be able to dedicate as much time to Aubrey as she needed. Thankfully, my family agreed to take care of Aubrey while I’m busy with school and even suggested adopting a second pigeon as a mate to keep her from getting lonely. After emailing back and forth with Elizabeth from Palomacy, we arranged to bring Aubrey to SF Animal Care and Control to meet with two other bachelor pigeons. There, she took a liking to a Birmingham roller named Hedwig, who we took home that very day. At first Aubrey seemed a little unsure but after a few days of being together I discovered Aubrey and Hedwig preening each others feathers and knew that they had bonded.
Aubrey and Hedwig now live happy lives in my family’s home in the Bay Area where my mother and sisters take care of them. Although I miss Aubrey’s company here in LA, I know she’s living a much happier, spacious life and is waiting for me when I come home for break! Until meeting Aubrey, I never would have considered a bird for a pet or discovered how intelligent, and lovable a pigeon could be! They are beautiful, peaceful animals that have been unfairly stigmatized and deserve a shot at loving homes.