December 28, 2017
by Elizabeth
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Alfred & Pirate: Honored with Holiday Donation Match!

Dear Palomacy Supporters,

Thank you for being essential members of our small but powerful Palomacy team! Together we are saving the lives of pigeons and doves who would otherwise be killed. Your support for our groundbreaking work turns donations into rescue missions, bird healing, aviary building, humane education and adoptions! Together we are closing a deadly gap in the animal welfare community.

So far this year, we have directly saved the lives of 248 birds and we are helping even more, from all over the country and beyond, through our Facebook Help Group, online educational resources and 365-days-a-year coaching and referral network. Palomacy is the go-to resource for people who find the injured, lost, weak survivors of pigeon “sports” and “dove releases.”

Alfred
At the tender age of only four weeks, baby King pigeon Alfred was “harvested” from her parents’ nest and trucked to a live poultry market in San Francisco where she was sold as meat (squab). Instead of being butchered when she was purchased, she was inhumanely “released” in a park in a misguided effort to save her. She sat there, still and scared. Domestic pigeons, though unable to survive in the wild, are highly intelligent. She knew she was in trouble, instinctively fearing the ravens, hawks, gulls and cats that prey on vulnerable birds. Alfred’s life was saved when she was taken to a shelter that serves birds through its partnership with Palomacy.

Alfred, her first night home

Pirate
Around this same time, fifty miles south in San Jose, a fledgling feral pigeon, also about four weeks old, was found injured and helpless. He had survived a predator attack but lost an eye and was grounded by head trauma. A Good Samaritan took him to a pigeon-friendly wildlife rescue hoping he could be saved. He had a big personality and they named him Pirate. His injuries made him unreleasable though and he needed a forever home or he’d be euthanized. He needed Palomacy’s help and so the staff reached out to us to save him.

The young bachelor Pirate in foster care

Alfred and Pirate, after several months in Palomacy’s foster care, have both found their way home. Alfred was adopted first, instantly becoming the beloved bird child of Aria and Julie. They were head over heels for her before I even left their apartment that first night. She’s a pampered pigeon with all the best birdy accoutrements and her own Instagram account. And, when she was ready for a mate, we arranged a pHarmony date with the dashing bachelor Pirate. They had instant chemistry and soon their flirtation became courtship, then marriage, and then Aria and Julie adopted Pirate too. Home.

Pirate & Alfred, married & adopted

Palomacy relies on one employee (me) and nearly 100 volunteers to respond to the thousands of calls, emails and messages we receive seeking help for birds in trouble. We do outreach events, provide humane education, maintain a much-referenced website and publish inspiring blog posts and newsletters that are read by thousands. Our home-based fosters and compassionate supporters enable us to provide exceptional care, every day of the year, to the hundreds of injured, sick, and/or displaced pigeons and doves that no one else will help. (We don’t have a sanctuary yet, though we hope to someday.)

Please, if you can, make a year-end tax-deductible donation and help us raise the $13,000 we need to start 2018 in the black. In honor of Alfred & Pirate, their adopters Aria and Julie, will double your gift up to $5000!

Aria & Julie are matching donations in honor of Pirate & Alfred!

Together, we are making a life-saving difference.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Elizabeth, Director Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions
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December 27, 2017
by Elizabeth
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From Pet Fair to Adoption: Our Palomacy Story

Guest Post by Stephanie DeMartile

Savannah, Summer & Stephanie meeting Calvin 9/16/17

It all started with a pet fair. One day I took my kids to a pet fair with no intentions of getting another pet. We looked around at the dogs and cats…and then we saw….THE BIRDS!!! We walked up and started talking to the volunteers, petting  the pigeons and doves, and simultaneously, falling in love. Elizabeth was so full of knowledge. I went home determined to have those birds!

Within a month or so my husband had built an aviary. Palomacy was there to help every step of the way, ensuring we knew how to properly and safely construct it and supplying us with resources.

Safe & beautiful

In the mean time I joined the Facebook group and started educating myself through other people’s experiences and questions/answers. Then there was the monumental task of picking out our perfect pigeons. I looked at the adoptable birds online, and instantly knew I had to have Captain Cardamom. After probably bugging Elizabeth to death, we set up a time that I could meet him when our aviary was complete. I knew he was “the one” before I even got there. He was, and shortly after Elizabeth brought him to my house, along with a couple of possible mates.

Captain Cardamom

Beatrice

Stephanie welcoming Wallace 10/7

I could not believe how much time she spent with my family, teaching us everything from pigeon anatomy and what is normal vs what is not, to how to administer medications to general info about pigeon behavior. For someone who had never had experience with birds, it was priceless time that I highly valued and made me feel like I could do this! You can tell how much she genuinely cares for and wants the best for each and every bird. We ended up adding a married pigeon couple, Marty & Cricket, to our aviary the following day per my impatient request!

Marty & Cricket (photo by Stephanie DeMartile)

We started having issues between the males and I had nothing but support from Elizabeth during the process of figuring out what we should do. After much debate Elizabeth mentioned trading the birds out for Fleetwood and Hootie. I had expressed interest in Fleetwood before, but he was a special needs pigeon Elizabeth had carefully looked after for the past 2.5 years, and I was a newbie. But after working with me and seeing my love and passion for these animals, she thought Fleetwood may be a good fit for our family. He is a gentle bird that was stressed in her busy foster aviary environment and could use a nice, small, quiet flock environment to call home. He was a good compliment to gentle Captain Cardamom who was getting beaten up my other current male resident. I jumped at the opportunity! I felt that Fleetwood was meant to be with us and couldn’t wait to have him (and his mate Hootie)! Again Elizabeth brought them to me. She wanted to make sure things went smoothly for him and that it was the right decision for all birds involved. She taught me how to handfeed Fleetwood, who had the upper portion of his beak ripped off by a predator prior to rescue and was unable to self feed.

Fleetwood & Hootie on their way to Stephanie’s 11/8

Captain Cardamom eyeballing the new birds, Fleetwood & Hootie

Stephanie & Fleetwood

It was daunting, but with Elizabeth’s faith in Fleetwood and I, and her constant availableness to me in the coming weeks, I felt assured and excited for the learning process. Over the following weeks a lot went on. Potential mates were taken back and a new forever mate was found for Captain Cardamom! The bully birds went back to foster care. Lol And then my resident boys started fighting. Again I looked to Elizabeth Young as well as Patti Delaney, a Palomacy adopter and volunteer who reached out to me when she saw I was struggling for a peaceful aviary. Those women gave me step by step advice about daily for several weeks until we established peace!!! I could not have done it without Palomacy’s support and endless knowledge in pigeon social behavior. I was determined to keep my birds and I had faith in their experience…and it paid off! Every day I go out and visit my birds and am absolutely filled with joy. They are a beautiful and magical addition to our yard aesthetically, and they are so much fun to watch and interact with!

Captain Cardamom

Snow

Fleetwood

Hootie

They make my heart happy is the best way I can say it. My children love them and are making such wonderful memories. Today, two months after starting this journey, we have adopted four little pigeons who are visibly happy to be there, and that makes ME happy. I am grateful to Palomacy for coming into our lives and filling a void where I didn’t know one existed. I could never be without pigeons after having them. I had no idea there was such a need for fosters and adopters or how many of these sweet birds get euthanized every year. That made me even more happy to be able to be a part of the Palomacy family and help get a few into forever homes (making room for more in foster care). I cannot say enough about this rescue and the people involved. I continue to ask questions and be involved and Palomacy continues to educate us and cheer us on every step of the way! We hope to add another couple to our family in the future. Thank you Palomacy for doing what you do!

Savannah helps with Fleetwood’s nightly feeding

Summer admiring her flock

Savannah making friends

The dogs & pigeons say goodnight

Pigeon rescuing is fun for the whole family

 

The DeMartile Family & their aviary

I live in the SF Bay Area with my aviary-building husband, Jerry, and my two beautiful daughters, Savannah (9) and Summer (3). We have two crazy little dogs and four pigeons, Captain Cardamom (aka “Charming”), Snow (formerly known as Gail), Fleetwood and Hootie (having just lost a beloved rat named Bullseye). I work as a caregiver for a close friend who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when we were young. I also dabble in family portraiture on the side, and am part of the 18th District PTA Executive board. In high school I worked as a vet tech and used the majority of my earnings to rescue animals from the local animal control shelter before they were euthanized. I fostered them in my mom’s condo. until I found proper forever homes. What an amazing mom I have! She recognized how important being able to do this was to me and allowed her home to be a bit of a zoo to support me, and for a very good cause! Helping those that cannot help themselves has been the constant in my life and the only way I feel complete. It’s hard to balance family life with what I want to accomplish with rescue. Marriage means compromise and limits on how many animals I can bring into our lives, and having bills to pay means my money cannot be devoted to enough animal causes to make me satisfied. It’s an internal struggle I’ll have forever. I want to do MORE! I feel we are all here with the ability to “help.” That means different things to different people. But if we all help where we can, what a world it would be! The addition of pigeons to my life has brought me a joy and a peace I can’t even explain. I don’t fully understand it myself to be honest! Lol I just love them. I feel like they feed my soul in a way that is so special. The closest examples I can think of would be the feeling you get when you look at your child and are filled with love and pride, or the deep happiness playing an instrument brings. It’s magical. I’m so grateful that they came into my life and there’s no way I could ever be without them again. I feel pigeons have huge potential as companion and therapy animals for the disabled, as well as for those suffering from illness or depression. There are so many possibilities for these amazing creatures. I think the key is creating awareness of all of the purposes they could positively serve, which is what Palomacy does. They aren’t just there for us to eat or to crap on our cars. They are amazing, intelligent, entertaining little birds that are highly underestimated and deserving of our love, care and respect! 

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November 18, 2017
by Elizabeth
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Fighting for the Pigeons of Las Vegas 

Guest Post by Erin Mavromatis

Speaking up for the pigeons

It started with a simple Facebook notification. A friend posted a video from the local news channel here in Las Vegas on my Facebook page about a resident that was feeding pigeons in her backyard, and the neighbors were upset. She captioned the video saying, “Erin, is this you?”, laughing because she knows I love pigeons. It was an innocent joke, but to me it went way further than that.

I watched the video a number of times, and each time it equally broke my heart and incensed me more and more. The story focused on incorrect facts such as pigeons have diseases and are “dirty”. All I could think about was, “how many people just developed an incorrect connotation about pigeons, just from watching this news story?”  I knew I had to do something.

I wrote a letter to the news station telling them how disappointed I was about their story, and telling them the real facts about how wonderful pigeons are. In the video they had interviewed one of the Clark County Commissioners who said pigeons were “rats with wings”, and that they were dirty because “they don’t even eat out of bird feeders, they eat on the ground”. So I wrote a letter to her as well. When looking up her contact information, I also found that they were 6 other Clark County commissioners, so they each got a letter too.

The next morning, the assistant to one of the commissioners sent me a reply email inviting me to speak the following week at a public hearing regarding the pigeons. After of course agreeing, I did some research and found that the issue being brought up at the public hearing was an ordinance to make the feeding of feral pigeons in Las Vegas illegal. In other words, feeding a pigeon could soon be considered a misdemeanor, in the same class as vandalism, trespassing, and reckless driving. It was then that I knew just how big this really was.

A week later I got dressed up in my best Palomacy clothes and headed to the courthouse. I had a speech planned and was rather confident that I was going to be able to make all 7 commissioners realize what wonderful and amazing creatures pigeons are. Once I got there however, I realized that I had a much bigger fight ahead of me.

All smiles before entering the courthouse

The courthouse was rather intimidating, and they told me I had less than 3 minutes to speak. My speech was 5 minutes so I had to scramble to make sure I got the most important points across. There were also five other Las Vegas residents ready to speak as well, which also threw me off. A piece of me hoped with all my heart that they were there to stand up for the pigeons as well, but deep down I knew what was about to happen.

I wish I had great news to share, but the truth is that it was brutal. Four people got up to speak before me and told the commissioners how horrible they thought pigeons were and how they didn’t want to see their neighbors feeding them. Almost everything that came out of their mouths was false, telling the commissioners how dirty and diseased pigeons are.  How they feared for their health. How they couldn’t have company over because the pigeons “swarmed” the walkway to the front door. It was horrible to listen to.

Finally, it was my turn to speak. I smiled and calmly told the commissioners how I have worked with pigeons my whole life. How I have 3 amazing pigeons as pets and how I rehab and release the feral pigeons. How they are not “diseased” at all, and how you are much more likely to catch something from a dog, cat, or your dinner than from a pigeon. How they were war heroes years ago and won metals of honor. How it was the pest control companies that used pigeons as a scapegoat to instill fear in the general public and make millions. How they are the most amazing, clean, loyal, intelligent animals you will find. I wanted so badly to see a spark in even one of the commissioners eyes that said I was getting through to them, but sadly I could tell that their minds were made up long before I even started to speak.

Speaking to the Clark County Commissioners

After I got back to my seat, they voted on the ordinance right then and there. I held my breath as I watched the TV screen on the wall, anxiously waiting for the vote. A few seconds later it popped up on the screen. A “yes” from all 7 commissioners. And just like that, it was now illegal to feed a pigeon in Las Vegas, punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or up to 6 months in jail.  I’m not going to lie, I had to hold back tears when I saw the vote, and I did walk out of the courthouse feeling like I had my tail between my legs.

I am not one to give up, however. Working with pigeons has transformed my life in so many positive ways. They have given me more good than I could ever imagine and ask for in life, and I will never stop fighting for them. Pigeons are amazing animals that don’t deserve the bad reputation and treatment they get from a great deal of people. It is up to us, the ones that know and love these animals, to be their voice and tell people the truth: compassion is beautiful, and so are the pigeons.

 

Want to help? You can Email Erin directly at gymveggie@hotmail.com

 

Erin & Stewart

Erin Mavromatis lives in Las Vegas, NV and is owned by 3 pigeons, a dove, two parakeets and two zebra finches. Her passion is birds, specifically pigeons. She has taken college courses in avian science from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and has been rescuing pigeons for most of her adult life. Although she has two jobs- bartending and teaching group exercise classes, her passion is her birds. She thinks of them as her kids, and spoils them as such! (Pictured: Stewart, my 4 year old pigeon rescued as a just 10 day old baby after being abandoned by her parents.) And please sign my petition to stop the poisoning of innocent birds! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/803/874/169/help-put-a-stop-to-the-poisoning-of-innocent-birds/

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November 17, 2017
by Elizabeth
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Palomacy Volunteer Spotlight: Jill McMurchy

An Interview by Cynthia Zhou

Jill with Georgie (Photo by Elisabeth Millay)

Since 2011, Jill McMurchy is one of Palomacy’s most active volunteers: from running her own foster aviary (Jillville) to transporting, rescuing and educating the public with hundreds of pigeons & doves, she’s done just about everything Palomacy needs help with. Jill is an animated, warm person who first struck me as a doting bird parent, then revealed a sense of humor that can be surprisingly cheeky. If you’re a pigeon, watch out – Jill is the biggest believer in snuggling (snorgling) birds, and even the grumpiest pigeons have felt her love!

Jill has just brought Bingo, a little pigeon from SJACC missing half his upper beak and several patches of feathers, to his new foster apartment. Bingo is wearing pants for the first time and curious about this new room – he’s walking around, occasionally stumbling, and exploring the new place. Miu (my bird)  and Bingo are mostly ignoring each other but occasionally have small stare-downs. Jill and I are sitting right in the middle of all of this as we speak.

Jill snuggles with Bingo at his new foster home

 

Hi Jill! Let’s start by learning a bit about you. Who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

Who am I? I’m Jill, I’m the wife of a farmer, I am the mother of three kids, and I’m a nanny when I’m not pidge-ing.

 

Tell me a bit about your animal background. Are you involved with other rescues, and what other animals are dear to you?

I’ve been involved with greyhound rescue since the early 90s and coincidentally, I think the reason that I’m so involved with pigeons now is because the first pigeon I found was a racing pigeon, Elinor. I can equate how people use pigeons to race to the same way that people use greyhounds. There’s a definite overlap and a similarity to the two that really got to me. I don’t like the thought of animals being exploited by people for monetary gain in any way, and so that just led to more and more pigeons.

 

I never thought about that similarity between the two.

Did you ever read my SF Gate article? [Greyhound racing] is slowly becoming less prevalent and they’re closing down tracks around the United States because it’s not as popular anymore – but that’s basically why greyhounds exist now in the United States, because people race them.

The whole similarity is what drew me in.

 

Can you tell me the story about your first pigeon? What was the bird’s name and story?

I was taking my son home and I saw something on the white line on the side of the road. It wasn’t a freeway but it was a pretty fast road – on the 84 going from Sunol to Livermore. Out of the side of my eye I saw something and I saw a lot of blood – I looked over and said to my son “What was that?” He said “I think it was a pigeon”, so I did a U-turn and went and picked him up.

When I saw him, he was very badly injured. His wing was hanging off, his eyeball was inflamed, and there was blood all down the right side of him, so I took off my sweatshirt and I thought I was going to have to throw it over him to catch him. He walked towards me.

So I grabbed him and wrapped him up, and I think I made a post on Craigslist asking if they knew of anybody who could help. It was on a Sunday, so of course all the vets are closed, and somehow – an hour later I get a phone call from Elizabeth. Somebody in Palomacy noticed – this was in 2011, and I think she had been doing this since 2007, so she was 4 years into this. She said, take the bird to Montclair Vet Hospital. You know there’s not a whole lot of places that take pigeons. Most will euthanize, but they don’t. I dropped him off and I cried the whole way home because it’s just, we had a connection, I felt like we had a connection. And I didn’t think he’d be alive the next morning.

Elizabeth was in touch with them. I remember her calling me back and saying “If you’ll get the pigeon and take him to Oakley to Medical Center For Birds, we’ll take him into our foster care if you can foster him.”

I said okay in a heartbeat.

I took him, Dr. Fitzgerald had a consultation and we decided to have half his wing amputated because he would’ve been dragging it for the rest of his life, and I “fostered”, but I adopted him almost straightaway. Elizabeth somehow found an aviary for me, we picked it up, and I got my first foster bird. His name was Shorty! And then it grew from there. She would say, “Do you have any room for this and this and this and this?” She said I had a bulls-eye [for pigeon rescue] on my head.

 

How many pigeons have you worked with since then?

Oh my goodness, I have no idea… maybe a hundred? I don’t know, maybe more. Right now I just have 30 and I’ve had so many come through and then get adopted, so I would love to look into this. Probably over a hundred.

 

Tell me a little about the kind of work you do with your rescued birds, and the kind of interactions you share.

I do a lot of outreach with my birds, I go to summer camps and teach kids about pigeons and I go to compassion camp – these compassion outreach events – to teach kids that animals should have rights and they have feelings too. I’m always doing outreach and educating the public about what great pets these guys make.

Sometimes I think that a good 70-80% of what we do at Palomacy is just educating the public because pigeons have such a stigma attached to them, and a very undeserved one. They’ve been around us and we’ve had pigeons in our lives for thousands and thousands of years. We have a long history with these guys and they’ve helped us out a lot. Unfortunately they don’t have a great reputation among the general public, and I think that’s part of the beauty of what I see in Palomacy and all the volunteers. We see beauty in the ordinary. To me, it takes extraordinary people to see that.

It’s always time for pigeon cuddles!

 

You’ve helped rehabilitate a lot of special-case birds that arrived with extreme trauma, whether it’s emotional or physical or both. What’s your secret? What helps Jill the healer encourage these birds to recover?

I listen to them and I watch them and I see, based on observation, what they need. Like Poppy doesn’t like a lot of handling. I know it probably seemed like it with some of my posts and pictures and things, that she wanted to be handled, but she didn’t. I did it because I knew she needed it because she wasn’t going to get that from another pigeon. She was blind and she couldn’t see and she couldn’t communicate that way. So you just have to understand what their innate needs are, and then every one is different, every pigeon is different, all their needs are different.

When I first got Elinor and he came home with half a wing, he couldn’t fly, so I would watch to see how he could navigate. For some reason, he wanted to have the highest nest so I built him steps along the side of the aviary – shelves that resembled a ladder. I would just observe. Seeing him go from one to another, I started making more. I could see that he wanted to keep going. So just a lot of observation. Them telling me what they need.

 

Why pigeons? What makes them so lovable?

God, I mean, they’re just, they’re so smart and charming and social and loyal. They’re gentle for the most part and even when they’re not, they can’t take a chunk of skin off like a parrot. They’re just so full of personality. I’ve been able to see them raise babies and it’s amazing to see the dedication they give. And it’s not just a reproductive relationship they have with their mate, it’s very loving, and that can translate from pidge to person too. They’re as loyal as can be. And ohmygod their FEET! Look at Miu and her loaf. She’s a pigeon puddle!

Miu the pigeon loaf

 

I know you have many favorites, but is there one particular bird (or a few) who has especially touched you? What’s their story?

There’s a few. There was Chanel, he was an English trumpeter. He was so inbred and overbred, he had feathers coming out of his feet. The day I got him, I cut them all off so he could walk. And he had multiple feathers coming out of follicles – each follicle should have one feather and he would have five, and it would turn into a big cyst. It was just so painful for him and he just dealt with it – he was the most gentle bird in the world. So he was special.

Poppy was one. Just to see how she never gave up, she never sat in the back of her cage and gave up, she was always front and center and wanting to go forward.

Aurora – she was a little racing pigeon. I got a call from Elizabeth on July 4 one year and she said there’s this person that rescued these two pigeons. One was Indy and one was Aurora. She was a racer with two broken legs. When I went to get her, the people that had her had her on wire, and they had had her for a few weeks, so they didn’t take her to a vet. She had no care. I took her in, and we got her walking. Dr. Olsen and Dr. Speer did the surgery – she had fixeters on the outside and pins, and it was a long process. And she walked. Somewhere on my Facebook there’s a video of her walking for the first time.

 

What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen your pigeons do?

There was that time with Opal and Fergie [800g king pigeon] – I saw their eyes lock. Fergie was not my bird, she was being fostered by Frederike who lived in Sunnyvale. She couldn’t take her to MCFB so I said, okay, you can bring her to me and I’ll take her. She was in this tiny cage and I thought I’d put her in the aviary to stretch her wings. She [Fergie] just walked right over there. And she chose him [my pet pigeon Opal], she just said I’m coming in, and he said damn right! They started kissing right away, I’d never seen anything like it. She wasn’t even in there two minutes. I think I have a picture of the first time they looked.

Frederike volunteered for Palomacy as well as founded her own rescue [B2L House] and she usually adopted her foster birds… she’s more of a sanctuary. So I told Elizabeth and she goes, “She’s expecting Fergie back so you need to call her and tell her and see what she says”. She [Frederike] said “will you give Fergie a good home?” and I said “Yes, Opal’s mine and I’ll adopt her” and she said okay. 

 

Even though your life is basically full of pigeons now, what’s your favorite thing to do that doesn’t involve them?

HUH?

Uh, I… uh, let me think! Because so much of it is pigeons.

I love nesting at home. I love just making my home comfy and cozy. I love decorating, I love painting, I love that whole making a home a home. I’m a bird, I think I am! And I’m a homebody. My home is my sanctuary and it’s my haven – a lot of people want to go do something, always go go go. On vacation I want to stay home (not that I can go anywhere with my pigeons).

And my kids, they’re all adults now, and when I do get to spend time with them, it’s special.

 

You rescue and foster animals that are often consumed as meat. Has that changed your opinion on eating meat, or have you always been vegetarian?

Yes. I was not always vegetarian and it was a process. Throughout my whole life I’ve had spurts of feeling like I don’t want to be contributing to all the pain and suffering out there, and eventually I slipped and tried to justify it by saying “this was a happy cow or this was a happy pig because it was raised differently” but I can’t justify that anymore. I can’t. I don’t care how good bacon tastes – and it doesn’t even taste good to me anymore – after seeing and knowing how that came to the plate.

 

What did you want to do when you were younger? Is pigeon rescue something you imagined doing?

No, but I wanted to do something with animals. I’ve always rescued them – I used to bring animals home all the time, twitchy squirrels on their last legs, and birds, and whatnot. I’ve always wanted to help animals my whole life. And the fact that I’m always finding – I just seem to find things to rescue, or they find me, I don’t know. I guess they know.

 

Describe having pigeons as pets in one sentence for me.

THE MOST BESTEST THING IN THE WHOLE WORLD – DUH!

 

What makes Palomacy so special?

I’d like to talk about Elizabeth and how she is so inclusive with her flock, with her people. I’ve been involved with different rescues, greyhound, shelters, whatever, and Elizabeth is different. She makes you feel like a colleague, and equal, she doesn’t make you feel any less than she is.

 

I do feel that too. When I first got Miu, I didn’t expect that she would reach out to me so much – and I’ve tried working at other rehab/rescue centers, and there’s very much this hierarchy – people at the top, people in the middle, and you’re at the bottom and you have to work your way up. Elizabeth is just like “Hey! We’re friends now! Let’s talk pigeons!”

Yes, from the get-go, you’re partners. Oh god, I’ve had bad experiences and I can name one big one-it was a greyhound rescue group in the Bay Area. There’s just this caliber, this quality of people that I’ve met that I feel are my family – you guys get it, you know? And I fit in. More than anything else, than any other group of people I’ve belonged to, how we feel about these guys, and it almost feels like we know a secret that so many people don’t. We’re privy to it. And that’s what’s special. The birds, of course, it’s a no-brainer – but I’m not sure I would’ve fallen in love so hard with them if it wasn’t for Elizabeth and how she is with them, and how she is with us. She’s a big part of it. Her inclusive, sort of…ness (inclusiveness) with having us all help together and we’re a part of it.

And these guys just need advocates, they need people. It’s just kind of amazing that every other animal has something and, you know… Ohmygod! (at Bingo)

Miu and Bingo observe the crazy people taking pictures of them

 

*******************************************************************************

In true Jill fashion, that’s how our interview ended. Bingo and Miu were preening near each other and Jill leaned over to take pictures of the two fluffy birds. She tried to get Bingo to look at her by baby-talking to him: “Hey Bingy! Dinky Bingo! BINGO! Hey!”

And that’s Jill: healer, mother, sometimes goofy animal advocate, and more – but at the core of all of that is someone full of love for each and every being in her care. She adores her animals and her people with warmth and enthusiasm. We love you Jill!!! We’re so incredibly lucky to have you in the Palomacy community.

Palomacy loves Jill & all our volunteers!

 

Cynthia recently graduated from UC Berkeley, having studied Molecular Biology with a concentration in Animal Health. Her claim to fame is living with (and cleaning up after) several Tumblr-famous birds. Despite poor attendance, she managed to get good grades last semester and is still on track to graduate on time. She credits Miu with providing good company and encouragement during finals week, and hopes to dedicate her post-grad life to wildlife rehabilitation and rescue work.

 

BONUS JILL PHOTOS

Jill & Dr. Fitzgerald & River

We meme Jill

Jill is always helpful!

Poppy & Jill: Twin spirits

Jill- outreaching!

You too can be a super hero- volunteer with Palomacy!

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November 14, 2017
by Elizabeth
3 Comments

Six Pigeons & a MinnieWinnie

Guest Post by Stefaney Mathews

Dee finds Andrew & help

It was November 22nd 2016 and a pigeon had flown into the shop where my husband, Andrew, works.  He called to tell me and I thought, If you can pick up a pigeon and put him back outside, he must not be feeling well.  My husband called me a little while later to tell me that the pigeon had now hopped onto a moving forklift and ridden back into the shop.  He continued to hang out with all the men, despite loud machinery and a lot of commotion.  I asked Andrew to please not put him back outside.  It was cold!  He was put in an office with water and crackers.  We didn’t know anything about pigeons!  I got online, lickety split, and started to do my research. Luckily for us and that little pigeon, I found the Palomacy website.  I emailed the adoptkings gmail account, not thinking I would hear much back, rescuers are busy and can’t help every individual. Boy, was I wrong!!  Not only did Elizabeth get right back to me, she called me, on my phone,  and talked to me for over an hour and walked me through all my fears and worries!!  I’ve never experienced anyone like her.  She was so kind.  So patient.  So encouraging and positive. I’m a pain in the butt and Elizabeth has only ever treated me sweetly, telling me we were on the right track, to follow our instincts and what a good job we were doing.  So, Andrew built him a house, to go in our living room, we brought him home that weekend and our lives have never been the same.  Who knew one could love a little grey bird so much you have to be careful not to snap his neck squeezing him too tightly and kissing the top of his hot head??

 

Feeling better!

Dee & Stefaney

Dee’s place

Sexy Taffy rescued from the shelter settles in to her new life

Married couple Taffy & Dee

I could go on and on about Deandra (Sweet Dee, named after a character on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  We guessed the gender, wrongly.) but I’m supposed to be recounting my Flocktober Fest road trip.  First of all, whatever possessed me?  I was just gonna drive down and party.  I wanted to meet Elizabeth and bad!  What the heck, we’ll adopt two birds and I’ll drive back, easy.  See, Andrew started building Dee and Taffy, Dee’s wife, an aviary and the kids needed some same species interactions.  We thought a flock would be good for them.  A chance to make new friends, socialize and get pigeon enrichment.  I’m anthropomorphizing and I’m not ashamed of it.  Honestly, I have been hell bent on doing the right thing for Dee, wanting his life to be everything it could be, limited to the fact that he is trapped with us.  As the plan progressed it got a little bit bigger.  Elizabeth pretty much told me to bring Dee and Taffy along.  My head kinda exploded.  Andrew had built a good size aviary and Elizabeth and I discussed maybe two pairs.  Although Palomacy prefers local adoptions, as do Andrew and I, they were willing to part with some much loved birds to make room for others in need.

Andrew aviary building

The home self-rescuing pigeon Dee inspired

Taffy & Dee

So now, I was driving down to San Francisco, a two day trip, with my two birds, staying two nights, adopting four more birds, another two days to get home, by myself!!  Where do I stay?  How do I get the birds from my car to the room, safely?  It seemed like a lot and then Andrew had the brilliant idea of renting an RV.  I wouldn’t have to rent a hotel room, the birds would be safe, problems solved.  I could kill him.

Dee helped with trip-planning

Stefaney drove “the beast” MinnieWinnie

Everything was cool till I realized I had to drive that thing, the beast, a 22 foot RV, the smallest one available, into San Francisco.  I drive a 1998 VW GTI.  It’s the size of a clown car.  I was nervous.  I asked (begged) my good friend, Allison, to go on this adventure with me, mostly for moral support, but I knew she wouldn’t hassle me about driving across a few states to adopt pigeons.  Unfortunately, she could only do the last leg.  That’s okay.  I reserved my KOA campsites, spent a lot of time online and kept psyching myself up.  I also had my husband and Elizabeth and some super special friends cheering me on.  Andrew took apart the RV and made sure the birds, in their cages, would be safe when I slammed on the brakes.  Of course I was worried about disrupting my birds, they were sitting on some eggs.  They were troopers!  They barely batted a nictitating eyelid.  Pigeons are amazing animals.

Special RV pigeon cabin

I took off Thursday morning, after a quick cry (baby) and made it to Medford with no problems.  It rained the entire time, but it was surprisingly easy in the beast.  Getting into Alameda was a little more challenging.  I was so excited to get to Ploughshares.  Poor Elizabeth, who had an awful lot going on in her life, both good and bad, met me at the aviary.  It was a lovely day, Ploughshares was a beautiful nursery and the people there were immediately friendly.  Andrew and I had been on Petfinder looking at who was available, so I had an idea who was who.  We wanted birds who were aviary ready.  We wanted them all!  Batman and Max!  Tux and Whimsy!  Blaze and Mocha!  I fell in love with a little, grey fiesty, March, I think, and mate Grace?  Elizabeth and I brought in my two little rapscallions, and they are little compared to those Kings, and let ‘em loose.  So cute!  I was terribly proud of both of them.  It was really neat to see them with other birds.  After some buzzing around, Elizabeth decided to torture Dee and crammed his adorable bum into pigeon pants.  It went well until he had a freak out and tried to fly.   Oh, my heart hurt.  He’s sturdy though.  Taffy escaped, unscathed, almost, Dee beat the snot out of her in the carrier on the way back to the beast.

Taffy & Dee hang out with the flock

The flock

Home away from home

Dee in pigeon pants

Pants & kisses both at the same time

Meeting new friends

Back on the road…

I now had to get from Alameda to Pacifica.  Friday night, 5:30.  What in the world??  I will never complain about traffic in my neck of the woods, AGAIN!!  It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  I’ve driven through Boston and navigated Logan airport.  I’ve driven through Manhattan, New Jersey and I’ve even driven through Chicago, numerous times, but holy smokes, that Bay Bridge was astounding.  I did make friends waiting for the toll booth…  It was dark when I finally got to Pacifica around 7:30 and I couldn’t find the RV park.  I had a quick panic, Andrew helped me and the kids and I had a fine night.

Typical Bay Bridge traffic

I enjoyed Pacifica.  I could walk to get coffee and snacks and it was close to the event.  I took my very first Uber to get to Flocktober Fest, decided to make it a share even.  Those people didn’t know what they were in for!  My girlfriend had missed her flight, so she was meeting me at the event.  The event… Flocktoberfest!

Andrew made this for us!

Welcome to our Pigeon Party

(First-time pigeon partiers)

I was super nervous.  Overwhelmed and overstimulated.  Dee is a brat who is allowed to do whatever he wants and I baby him like he’s the bubble boy.  Taffy is wild and wants nothing to do with us, so we leave her alone.  We don’t press her or try to make her love us.  We give her all the space she wants.  Now I had them at a party!!  Also, Dee is a jerk, domestic abuser, who takes his frustrations out on his poor, little wife.  When Dee is unable to process his emotions he takes it out on Taff.  They were in their new carrier and Taffy was getting the beat down from her husband.  Well, Liese gave Dee a schooling.  It was terrific to watch.  He was in pigeon pants and on his side getting manhandled.  I loved it.  Liese had other birds to love on, so she gave me back my PoopyBear and he proceeded to put the smack down on me!  I lack the bird handling skills of my fellow pigeon rescuers and I’ve got scars to prove it!  I shoved him back in their carrier and tried to keep calm.  I needed to get out there and meet my heroes.

Liese & Dee

Kai, Cynthia & Kumi

Jill with Fern & Stefaney & super BFF Allison who flew in from Tennessee!

Pigeon whisperer Cheryl is in!

While back at home…

You can see all the Flocktoberfest fun here.)

Elizabeth had put me in touch with friends and fellow Palomacy wonderworkers when Dee first came home and I needed extra encouragement with his care.  Jill was there for me and I recognized her immediately, it was terrific to finally meet her in person.  I had my eye on Spike and Apina and I recognized their mother, Cheryl, who was working her magic and had both kids with her.  I didn’t know it when I got there, but I would be bringing them home with me that night.  I’m an Instagram stalker, I don’t post much, but I love to follow people and their pigeons.  I got to meet Miu and her mother, Cynthia and her friends, Kumi and Kai.  Ashley Dietrich is a wonderful artist and has an amazing rescue aviary and Andrew and I are the proud owners of two of her pieces of artwork, Hester and Jacob.  I loved Sophia and her dad, Nathan.  I spotted Captain Cardamom, that cutie, now Charming, and got a pic!  I love Stephanie’s aviary and hope all is going well with Fleetwood and Hootie.  I set up shop next to Faye, who could not be sweeter, and her two fosters, Cookie and Delilah.  I did not know I would be bringing them home by the end of the night too, along with Spike and Apina.  And, to top it off, Maryam!  What a kid!  So great to talk with her and meet Pearl!  So many wonderful people, I wish I’d had more time.

The spread was amazing!  The prizes were fantastic.  The music was bumpin!  The MC was rockin’ it.  The people who make up Palomacy are an amazing bunch of people who give rescue a good name.  I’m always so impressed with their constant devotion and dedication.  The outreach, the fundraising and the endless education they offer is astounding.  Their compassion and the sincerity they treat all they encounter is an inspiration.  I was scared to embark on my adventure, but I’m so glad I did.  Not only did I get to meet people I truly admire I brought home four beautiful birds to complete our family.

Cookie & Delilah – home!

Apina & Spike- home!

Apina wants apeanuts!

Brewing bromance- Andrew, Dee & Apina

Home sweet home

 

Stefaney writes, I live outside of Seattle, Washington with my husband, Andrew, two cats, two dogs and two pigeons.  Hold on, six pigeons!  And, I blame Elizabeth.  In truth, if anyone is to blame, it’s Deandra.  A sweet little bird found us and changed our lives.  I thought I knew a lot about rescue and a lot about those animals in rescue, but a whole new world has opened up to me.  Of course, when one gets involved in rescue efforts it can be so rewarding and fulfilling and also, so heartbreaking.  I feel very lucky to have found a group of people who are optimistic, positive and working their tail feathers off to make a difference in the lives of not just pigeons and doves, but all animals and everyone they meet.  Now, all I need to be complete is a pony…

Editor’s Note: Based on Dee’s self-rescuing, human-seeking behavior & his weak, emaciated condition, he was most likely found as a nestling, raised up in a human home (becoming totally imprinted on people) & then was either “released” with the (misguided) expectation he could survive on his own (or because he was no longer wanted) or he might have been a cherished pet who was allowed to be outdoors unsecured (or free- fly) & got lost that way. Palomacy knows of a great many self-rescuing, tame Rock pigeons like Dee who, when they were unable to survive on their own, were lucky to find a kind person to help them. Unfortunately, not all do. (Learn about how to care for a rescued pigeon here.)
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November 3, 2017
by Elizabeth
2 Comments

Flocktoberfest! Celebrating 10 Years of Palomacy

On Saturday, October 21st, thanks to the amazing generosity of a whole lot of Palomacy friends and supporters, we came together at Flocktoberfest to celebrate ten years of life-saving, culture-changing, pigeon and dove rescuing! It was a wonderful party and I’m going to try my best to recreate it here for everybody to enjoy!

Thank you to the Peninsual Humane Society for so generously donating the use of their gorgeous Community Room!

We had special guests show up from all over- Sonora, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Sunnyvale, Pacifica, Alameda… even Washington, Tennessee and Oklahoma!

Stefaney rented “the beast” & drove from WA with rescued pet pigeons Dee & Taffy!

Volunteers worked feverishly to get all the decorations, treats, treasures and accomodations set up before the party…

 

Ashley & Chris welcomed our guests with big smiles & winning tickets

Christiana- our party mistress extraordinaire!

Christiana played a huge role including preliminary scouting of the site, organizing the party lay out, creating all the lovely decorations, beautiful signs and fun features like our photo wall and the Pigeon Whisperer Is In booth as well as hostessing with the mostessing throughout the event (including her beautiful toasts). Christiana, as always, went above and beyond to help Palomacy have an amazing celebration!

Our rescue partners & party hosts, Daniela & Mariela of Peninsula Humane Society!

Barna treated us all to lots of his delicious, home-brewed beers!

All proceeds help the birds!

Ellie led the food team & did an AMAZING job of providing an incredibly delicious vegan feast (including quite a bit of yummy catered food that she donated as well). Best party food ever!

Heartfelt thanks to our many very generous volunteers and donors who contributed so deliciously to our (cruelty-free) celebration! Thank you Ellie, Barna, Josette, Cheryl, Jill, Ranjini, Angela, Steve, Clare, Mariah, Cinnaholic, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Two Mammas’ Vegan Kitchen and Drake’s Brewing!

Mariah & her family donated & served delicious smoothies

Josette & Luis donated & served all of our wine & champagne

 

And we had amazing support from special contributors who donated their art in support of Palomacy. Laurie Stern of Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery brought her scrumptious, hand-crafted, award-winning, cruelty-free perfumes and treasures and Canvas Dove artist and rescuer Ashley Dietrich flew in from Oklahoma to share her must-have portraits.

  

  

Palomacy adopter, supporter and artist Leda Chung helped all the way from London by designing our beautiful graphic to show off our Flocktoberfest spirit! It is available on shirts and stuff in our online store!

And we kept bird whisperers Cheryl and Jill busy all night sharing their pigeon-charming secrets, weighing and worming birds, helping to size and suit up birds for Avian Fashions’ FlightSuits and teaching the fine arts of snorgeling!

Cheryl & Jill brought also delicious dishes & helped all through the party from set-up through breakdown too!

Maria & Peggy representing for Mickaboo & the parrots!

Theresa & Oscar (& Doug) came all the way from Sacramento (& brought more donated treasures)!

We had an abundance of treasures donated and won by many happy winners!

Just a few of the must-have treasures donated by Josette & Zoe

Palomacy supporter Margie Gear donated a weekend at her Mendocino beach house to help the birds! (Available for $800!)

Aria showing off Julie’s hand knit Christmas stockings for pigeons!

Lara ready to win!

Treasures to help the birds!

Thank you SO much to our generous supporters including Pet Food Express, Drake’s Brewing, The Oakland Zoo, Exploratorium, Ingrid Taylar Studio, Avian Fashions FlightSuits, Creative Bird Toys, Ashley Casteneda Art, Medical Center for Birds, Michelle Wozniak, Margie Gear, Kelly Hensley,  Zoe Martell, Cheryl Dickinson, Josette Maury, Cynthia Large, Theresa Tomka and more.

  

    

And we had many happy winners!

Steve- winner!

Barna- winning!

Soren- winner!

Michelle- winner!

Winner Mariela with artist Zoe Martell

Artist Ashley Dietrich & winner Nathan with Sophia

Ashley’s winners!

And we all had a whole bunch of fun being together, sharing our stories and loving our birds.

 

           

Special thanks to our photographers- Ryan C. Reed, Cynthia Zhou & Aria Jalali!

Ryan’s flock selfie!

Would you believe we FORGOT to use our custom made Lederhosen pigeon pants?!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for supporting us in so many ways. We raised $1830 to help the birds and we wowed ourselves with the beauty and strength of the community we are creating to help these most lovely and now better served birds. THANK YOU!!!

Watch the video (courtesy of Ryan C. Reed) & slide show below & don’t miss the inside scoop from Stefaney in Six Pigeons & a MinnieWinnie!

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October 18, 2017
by Elizabeth
2 Comments

Violet, To Go!

This is Violet’s adoption story. Her rescue story is here.

Violet, on the go, in her basket (Photo by Chrissy Liu)

Guest Post by Chrissy Liu

I met Violet and Elizabeth on August 6th at an adoption fair in Japan Town, SF.  I was there visiting my sisters for their birthday when we happened upon the Palomacy booth on our way to lunch.

Palomacy volunteers making new friends & for pigeons at the Nihonmachi Fair

My youngest sister, Camille, has always had a soft spot for pigeons in particular and we were hoping to stop by and see the birds after lunch and lucky for us, Palomacy was still there.  Elizabeth immediately drew me in and started telling me Violet’s story, and when she said “Here! You should be holding her!” I knew I was hooked.

Chrissy & Violet meet

From the very beginning, Violet was good natured with me. During that first meeting, while I held her, she started trying to preen her pigeon pants off and I was instantly intrigued by her.  I’ve had birds before but there was just something about Violet that I couldn’t stop thinking about even after I had gotten home.  After a few days and having gotten the ok from my family, I decided to send in an adoption application for Violet. Elizabeth suggested fostering to adopt since Violet is a special needs bird and soon enough she came to live with us.

Chrissy & her children welcoming Violet

Violet makes herself at home

My kids still remember sitting and listening to “the pigeon lady” talk about Violet and how to care for her.  I think having Violet in our home has actually taught them that every animal is special and deserves respect and compassion.

After about a month of fostering, Elizabeth asked if I’d consider adopting Violet and I said “of course!”  Violet has adjusted to the chaos of our busy home like a champ!  Her cage is in our main living room and she watches the kids and dog run laps through the house all day from the safety of her nest. At this point, with so many young children in the house, she just can’t have free roam for her own safety. But she does get plenty of supervised time outside of her cage!  If I’m home she is usually out in her little dog bed box or to-go basket.

Portable Pigeon Lounger

In the afternoon, after the kids get home from school, we put Violet in her basket where she will sit on the kitchen table and supervise homework time, or whatever activity the kids are doing.

Nanny Violet

She suffers their affections and often gives in to head scratches with big neck stretches and yawns. Sometimes she can be stubborn and territorial, especially about her nest, which makes perfect sense, but we love on her anyway. A quick scoop of her fluffy butt out of her nest and she’s back to being the easy-going cuddly pigeon that we know and love.

Kai & Vi

Her cooing and fluffing reassures me that she is happy here. We hope to build an aviary outside one day, in the hopes that she might regain her ability to walk and perhaps be willing to find a partner. But even if that never happens we love our Violet to-go, and we’d be perfectly happy to have her as our table centerpiece forever.

Important meeting

Monogrammed Pigeon Pants!

Violet in repose

I can help my bird

Thanks again for bringing Violet and I together!  It amazes me how many lives Palomacy has saved or improved even if they couldn’t be saved. Palomacy is a great reminder that there are good people and there is good to be found in this chaotic and often scary world.

Chrissy & Family
….and Violet too.

Chrissy & Violet

Chrissy Liu writes, I am from San Jose, and after graduating college moved to Alameda with my firefighter husband.  Now I’m a stay-at-home mom of three children, a small flock of budgies, finches, and now Violet, a pugfaced pup, and sweet cat.  I’ve always had an affinity for animals, birds in particular…probably a trait I inherited from my grandmother. 

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October 5, 2017
by Elizabeth
Comments Off on Olive’s Place sanctuary / Canvas Dove art studio

Olive’s Place sanctuary / Canvas Dove art studio

Guest Post by Ashley Dietrich

Cecily

A typical day at the Olive’s Place sanctuary / Canvas Dove art studio begins with checking on all birds, some light cleaning, and of course breakfast and treats.  Rescued pigeons live in the outside aviaries year-round (visiting the house regularly), and doves rule my art studio.  My paintings provide the means to work from home and care for the birds.

We just completed the construction of a third aviary for Olive’s Place residents, which allowed me to separate my flock by temperament.  This also provides more space for future birds, emergency intakes, and rehabbing injured and orphaned wild pigeons and doves.

Indoors, I am busy creating more bird portraits for fall art shows – but I am most excited about Flocktoberfest!  I am thrilled to be planning a trip to San Francisco to meet my Palomacy friends (the human ones too) who I have known online for years!  I will be bringing original artwork to sell – and I will also be painting live.

Helpful George

So what is it like to share space with doves while working from home?  Never boring.  The doves are exploring, cooing, bathing, preening, flicking seeds, and sometimes napping on my desk.  More than once, I have made color choices based on the simple fact that a bird was perched on a paint tube and I didn’t want to disturb him.  They occasionally help “teach” an orphan baby bird how to eat. (I place the baby’s cage near the dove feeding area, and the young ones watch and learn.)  Eating at my desk is impossible for me though – they will all hover hungrily, and George *will* hop into my cereal bowl for his coveted Rice Crispies.  Doves indoors (until a recent adoption, I had 6) do require more cleaning that the average art studio.  I vacuum each day, and do a thorough cleaning weekly.

Evangeline

Having studio doves has changed the way I organize my space.  The studio was remodeled from the master suite of the original house.  We added windows, and I use the walk-in closet as a packaging area and storage.  I also had to change my light fixture when it became a popular nesting spot.  I cannot leave artwork sitting out to dry, so I transfer pieces to another room to varnish.  This has the added benefit of keeping my work station clear.  I do not use any solvents around the birds, and my studio is only for acrylic painting (water based).

Sometimes the doves take interest in what I’m doing, and sit with me while I work.  But mostly, they are busy with their usual activities – as are the pigeons, who I can see in the aviary from my windows.  They are all good company, and keep life interesting.  Follow me on Instagram: @canvasdove for sneak peeks new bird paintings and behind the scenes in my studio & @olives_place to see more pigeon and dove antics.

Four Kings

 

About the Artist Ashley Dietrich
I hold BFAs in Studio Art and Art History, and painting is my passion as well as my livelihood. Birds are each unique individuals with their own personalities, and I am honored to be part of so many little lives. Capturing their gestures and the complexity of feathers is a fulfilling technical challenge, but I especially enjoy creating portraits and getting to know who I’m painting. I also work as a volunteer wild bird rehabilitator, specializing in doves and pigeons. Painting allows me to work with wild birds as well as spend time with my own little flock.  www.CanvasDove.com

 

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October 4, 2017
by Elizabeth
Comments Off on Curpigeon (Behind the Scenes)

Curpigeon (Behind the Scenes)

In 2013, I received this E-mail:

Hi, I am a graduate student at the Academy of Art University and the director of a large 3 D animated short collaborative called Curpigeon (play on Curmudgeon).

The story is about a community of old widowed men and their faithful park pigeons that come together to help one of their own to get through a great loss.

The project is about to start test animation in one of the academy’s classes, helmed by ILM animator JD Haas.

In the class, the animators will be studying the movements of pigeons in order to animate our 6 pigeon characters. I would love to set up an opportunity for a volunteer from your organization to bring some of your magnificent birds and perhaps give a demonstration to our crew.

I invite you to please look at our film’s website and, if you connect with the material, please contact me to chat more about your organization being involved with our wonderful story.

www.Curpigeon.com

All the best,
Dmitry Milkin

So over the years, Palomacy people and pigeons would periodically visit Dmitry and his crew. We answered lots of questions and made sure that everybody got lots of close up pigeon experience!

 

Dmitry Milkin, writer & director Curpigeon

The audio team even came out to visit and record in my aviary.

Recording & learning about pigeon sounds

And now the award-winning short film is finished and can be seen by all on Amazon (free if you have Prime)!

Dmitry writes, Elizabeth and Palomacy played such essential roles in the animation phase of Curpigeon’s production. Along with volunteers, she was able to bring several feathered pals along for our animators to study, engage with, and get to know.

Curpigeon is a heartwarming story about the power of community support during a time of grief, this action-oriented CG-animated short film centers around a group of park pigeons and their old men pals who come together to help one of their own get through a great loss.

Curpigeon has become an award winning film, featured in 30 film festivals across the globe, including the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Now, for the first time ever, it is available to the public on Amazon. Watch now!

Curpigeon animators helped by Palomacy experts

Congratulations, Dmitry and crew! Thank you for creating this beautiful film!

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October 4, 2017
by Elizabeth
2 Comments

Saving Beatrice

Beatrice

In early June, a domestic pigeon, bred for the “sport” of pigeon racing, was taken far from home and released (along with thousands of others) to try and fly back. Instead she was injured and grounded. She was incredibly lucky to be found by a kind person before being killed by a hungry predator. She was taken to a shelter that doesn’t really serve birds (few do) and while they waited to hear back from her owner (they didn’t), she also waited… They didn’t understand how compromised she was and she didn’t get a lot of care.

When I picked her up on June 30th to bring her into Palomacy’s foster care, I was shocked to find her so emaciated and weak. She was completely unable to use her legs and down on her keel (breastbone). Usually shelters alert us to the 911 cases and we prioritize those birds, bumping them up ahead of the less-urgently-in-need birds on our waiting list, but that hadn’t happened for Beatrice. I was very worried that help might have come too late for her.

Beatrice on intake

Though very quiet and gentle, Beatrice has a strong will and she was not ready to give up. She had suffered spinal trauma and while she couldn’t move her legs, they still had feeling. With enough time and support, we’ve seen a lot of pigeons make amazing recoveries and Beatrice is one of them. It took a few weeks of supportive care, pain and anti-inflammation meds, cage rest and hydrotherapy (floating in my kitchen sink an hour a day to relieve pain and pressure and improve circulation) and very gradually, Beatrice regained weight, strength and the use of her legs!

Hydrotherapy

Floating with snack service

She can now stand, walk and fly. On October 1st, she attended her first outreach and adoption event and though I still treat her like she’s glass, she’s strong and did great. Beatrice has made her remarkable recovery because Palomacy was able to give her the opportunity to heal. Beatrice is one of more than 800 pigeons and doves whose lives we have directly saved since we began this work in 2007. And, thanks to the power of the Internet, we are helping countless others through coaching, education and referrals. You are helping Palomacy save a lot of lives. Thank you!

Beatrice standing tall

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