Leroy Jenkins came into my life in November of 2014. I found him huddled in a corner at my office complex, unable to fly, miles away from food or water and alarmingly vulnerable to some of the busiest traffic in the Dallas area. Thinking perhaps he was hurt and just needed some rest and attention, I scooped him up and placed him in a cardboard box until I could get him home. Looking at him, it was evident that he was missing a huge amount of tail feathers and some wing feathers. I thought I’d keep him safe, let his feathers grow back and release him back into the wild. Apparently though Leroy had other ideas.
Even on the first day in my office, I noticed how remarkably tolerant he was. Far from being indignant at being placed in a large cardboard box (all I had handy at the office), he struck me as terribly calm, politely pecking at the bread and water I gave him. I took him home and offered him a mixture of finch and wild bird seed and housed him in a wire dog crate while he recovered. I built him a little wooden hut and he would dash in there when he felt the need to retreat from the world. The days passed and he did very well. But he grew more and more interested in us-he would coo and trill at my husband and me and scamper to the edge of his makeshift cage and make noises at the dogs. (Which I found very worrisome-he seemingly had very little idea of self preservation.)
Finally his feathers grew back in and I let him loose in a spare room to see how the flying was coming along thinking he would go back into the wild if his flying had improved. He promptly landed on my head and started preening himself.
Finally the hints all came together and I realized that this bird was very tame. Completely at a loss, I googled “pigeon rescue”, discovered Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions and sent off an email explaining his behavior and situation. Very quickly, Elizabeth replied and confirmed my suspicions. While she and I both believe that wild birds should not be pets, Leroy had indicated in many ways that he was no longer wild and completely unsuited for survival outside. I have no idea who had him before and what brought him to my office building that day but he was obviously around humans a great deal in the past. Elizabeth was instrumental in steering me in the right direction with cage suggestions and diet suggestions and he continues to thrive. And while I never thought about having a pigeon as a pet, he’s become a charming member of our family and just graduated to a “two story condo” consisting of his original dog crate and a taller cage made of Rubbermaid linen shelving material and zip ties of all things. But it’s sturdy and secure and we can always expand it or change the configuration. (Luckily my husband is not only good hearted but he’s also very handy.) This delightful bird has found his forever home and he and I both thank Elizabeth for her guidance and knowledge!
Cathy- thank YOU for opening your heart and home to Leroy Jenkins. Elizabeth