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Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Passing of a Pigeon (Blog 258)

I recently received a call from a neighbor that said she had a strange bird, which appeared to be sick, in her back field.  Always curious about wildlife and ready for a photo op, I came over after school.

What I found was a common pigeon that was unable to fly and looked to have suffered some sort of internal injury.  The neigbor, a very kind individual, wanted to know if she should contact the local animal control and have the folks there rescue the bird.

I explained that the pigeon is an invasive species, that farmers despise this bird, and that pigeons compete negatively with native birds.  I also said that animal control would be unlikely to respond to her request, although obviously I could not speak for that agency.

I followed up with what her options were.
She could easily capture the bird and attempt to nurse it back to health.
She could put the bird out of its misery, as it was likely to die before morning.
She could bring the pigeon to a vet, but that option was likely to be futile and expensive.
She could do nothing, and nature would decide the issue before morning.

The lady decided on the last option, and the next day she told me that the bird was gone.  I replied that what had happened to the pigeon was what eventually happens to all wild animals, it had become part of the food chain as no doubt some predator's proverbial ship had come in overnight.

I write this blog not out of cruelty toward pigeons or any animal, but such is the way of the wild world.  It is truly a jungle out there.

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