Congratulations to Super* Sochi the self-rescuing King pigeon and his rescuer and photographer Patti Delaney! This beautiful photo, taken while Sochi was making a very special new friend at an outreach event earlier this year, has made it into Global Giving’s 2017 Photo Contest as a semi-finalist! Please support us with your vote and help us compete for the $1000 prize and lots of extra publicity! Contest voting starts now and goes through Friday, May 26th at 9 AM PT. Only one vote per person and email verification is required. (*Self-rescuing pigeons who, like Sochi, inspire the rescue and adoption of other pigeons are promoted to the status of Super!)
Guest Post by Patti Delaney
On February 18, 2014, I arrived home from work to find my husband sitting on the planter box in the front yard talking to a pigeon. He said it wouldn’t leave. I suspected something was wrong with it, injured or sick. I threw my sweater over it and put it in a cat carrier. I sent a picture to Elizabeth Young at Palomacy, asking “What do I have?” “Domestic, unreleasable King pigeon bred for meat, squab”, she said.
I brought him to see her at the next outreach and confirmed he bird was a big, male King pigeon in great shape considering he had been out alone and unprotected.
The Winter Olympics were on and the landscape of the Olympics in Sochi resembled the coloring of this pigeon—he was named Sochi.
Sochi stayed indoors in a cat condo until a used aviary could be assembled and refurbished. We paired him up with a pigeon we thought was female, Pearl, but who turned out to be male too. This paring was not a good match. Eventually two rescued female domestic pigeons were introduced to Sochi and Pearl. The aviary was too small for all four pigeons. Sochi and his chosen girl, Amica, stayed; Pearl and Xena left to be fostered.
Last July, another self-rescuing domstic pigeon, dyed, starving and near death, landed on a relative’s window sill. After nursing her back to life and when she was strong enough, she was placed in a cage within the aviary. We named her Jo Jo. Jo Jo loved Sochi, but Amica refused to share Sochi. This was not a good situation.
Our solution was to build a big, beautiful 8’ x 10’ aviary. With the help of Palomacy, we found a mate for Jo Jo and brought back Pearl and Xena to be adopted. They are all home. There is no bullying from Sochi. In fact, he is a healthy, happy pigeon with Amica and all his flock mates. (Turns out it is easier to care for a flock of pigeons than just a couple!) Periodically he goes to outreach events. He does a great job and thoroughly enjoys the attention.
Don’t forget to vote for Super Sochi and please share with your friends!
Patti Delaney is a long-time bird lover. In 1992, she met and purchased a 5-year old Umbrella Cockatoo, Lacy. Wanting to learn more about bird care, she became a member of the Capitol City Bird Society. In the Sacramento community, she was a paid guest speaker with Lacy. When Lacy died unexpectedly in 2009, she found and adopted an Umbrella Cockatoo, Georgi, from the bird rescue, Mickaboo. This is when she met Elizabeth Young with Palomacy (previously MickaCoo) and became knowledgeable and passionate about stopping the exploitation of domestic pigeons and doves.