Part 1 here] So far PeeBee continues to choose the Empire as his home base. He’s very tame and seems to seek out human contact.
Each morning I come out with water and seed and call out for him. He’s usually resting in an eaves trough up high and when he hears me, he flies down to the fence top where I have poured the seed.
All of the regulars in the garden are friendly with him, with the exception of the squirrels who are too aggressive in their pursuit of the seed and scare him off. To ensure PeeBee gets his fair share, I now stand beside him while he eats. Did you know a pigeon takes about half an hour to eat breakfast? I do! If he sees a squirrel or a cat coming toward us, he stops eating and bobs his head to signal me. That’s my cue to scare off the unwanted guest so he can continue eating.
When the mourning doves first saw PeeBee, they came right over to him and touched beaks with him. So cute!
Our alpha male cardinal, who flies away at the slightest noise, has spent time beside PeeBee on the fence top. It’s pretty clear that PeeBee knows nothing about aggression or pecking orders. He’s just a sweetie and even the most skeptical of critters immediately falls under his Spell of Love.
If his popularity continues to soar, I think we’ll nominate PeeBee as Mayor of the Empire. Or Ambassador. Or something equally distinguished.
The other day I was in the swimming pool, looking up on the housetop for PeeBee as I floated around. I called out to him a few times and suddenly he flew across the sky from one housetop quite a distance away to another. Within a minute he was back on our rooftop, doing his sideways head bob that says, Hello! I see you! How are you! It’s impossible not to love him.
I’ve been reading up on pigeon care and what is the best possible life for a domesticated pigeon. I’m choosing to believe the advice that says they really love to fly, as opposed to living in a cage. And they need special pigeon food with the right grit to aid their digestion (much like chickens, but different food), and they need water and love to bathe. I don’t want to tamper with the new life PeeBee has found for himself so I’m just providing the food, water, and conversation, and letting him be free. I’m also figuring out a bird bath for him.
He could disappear any day. The main predator for pigeons is hawks. We’ve had a surplus of hawks for the past few months after a huge peregrine falcon started showing up above the neighbor’s free-range chicken area, salivating over the poultry menu. After that, all sorts of hawks got the same memo and started coming around. The chicken’s are now kept in a protected area, but the flying hunters still check to confirm this many times a day. PeeBee doesn’t like to perch in trees and instead goes on the edge of the roof, right in the open for all hungry hawks to see….
I’m not thinking ahead about winter housing yet because it’s hard to believe we’ll be lucky enough to have PeeBee choose to stay on with us for that long. It’s a big world out there and he may have other things to explore. So for now, it’s one day at a time with PeeBee, Mayor of the Empire. Elected! I called it! [Continued…]