The bird feeding station on my roof terrace attracts a daily horde of sparrows, titmice and green finches, the occasional blackbird, and, leider, the city pigeons. I step outside and chase them away on a regular basis, before they poop all over the deck.
A few days ago, however, one of them didn’t fly away, and then I noticed that it had bands on its feet. A homing pigeon? A racing pigeon? A neighbor’s pet, or lost and exhausted far from home? As it made a short flight up to the drain spout I could see that it was missing some tail feathers. Possibly a hawk attacked it, and it got away.
For most of that day, it stood around in a sort of shock, and avoided me when I came too near. I never got a full reading of the band, although it seems to begin with FCPR (could this bird be from Romania?) or maybe FCPA.
Four days later, it’s taken to the roof where it has begun to socialize with other pigeons (sort of — they come and sit by it), and when it’s hungry it flaps down and eats some birdseed. The pigeon-keeping websites (who knew there were so many?) all say that tail feathers grow back quickly, which is a good thing because once I leave for the summer, this bird is on its own.