Pigeon Tales

July 14, 2014

Fifi and Oliver and their new Love Life and Johnny is quite ill

From the

Diary as of 2/26 – 3/16/2014

2/26  Amanda laid her second egg #2 in her new little house.

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Sandy in front of his new house…

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Sandy needs a bit of fresh air apparently – maybe he left a little fart…

Pina did not lay – as usual in the meanwhile – so I gave her a plaster egg immediately this morning.

2/27   I am so glad that we have all these other feathered angels. I don’t know what I would do without them. Jimi has left me with such a big hole in my heart.

2/28   Today is the last day of this terrible month and I hope that it is getting better during the next one.

3/1   Betty should be off her plaster eggs by this time now but she does not show any sign of leaving. I wonder whether she will stay on the same eggs for another incredibly long period.

3/5   Fifi has laid a new egg #19 which really surprises me. But I am very very happy that she sees Oliver as her new mate now. Oliver has also adopted the house very quickly and he is very much in love with Fifi. Oliver is a very large pigeon. He is still very young (you can see this in his face) and just like Jimi a very gentle pigeon. Possibly this is Fifi’s preferred personality type and his appearance of course. Some pigeon ladies seem to be fascinated by machos though and accept being chased all the time. Oliver is tall with incredibly long legs, surmounting any other pigeon here. Both are making a very lovely couple together.

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3/6   Pina is back on her nest.

3/7   Fifi laid her second egg #20 and she and Oliver are taking their turns on the eggs as if they had done this for a long time already. I am quite sure Fifi is Oliver’s first mate. He is still very shy and has the lowest place in the balcony’s hierarchy although he is such a large pigeon but this will change some time in the future. I am sure that he will not always be the underdog.

3/9   Pina did not lay – so I gave her the usual plaster egg. I really wonder whether this is now some kind of “organic birth control” without any pharma products simply because I take off the stress of egg laying from her immediately after she has gone to her nest again. Maybe the impulse of egg laying is suppressed in a natural way because “there is already an egg”. I have no clue. One thing I know – Pina is much more relaxed and less stargazing since she has stopped to produce eggs. Nothing else has changed. She still has that 28-day-cycle-going-to-the-nest. Before that she has that cuddling and loving period with Rudi. So absolutely no changes here either. She also produces that smelly package of poop short before and after she has gone egg sitting that hens normally produce. Isn’t this funny? I wonder whether other people can make the same observations…?

3/10   Amanda should be coming off her plaster eggs by now but apparently she likes to sit on them a bit longer.

3/12   Betty should be laying the first egg but not yet….

3/15   Same with Maggie – she is also late with egg laying – better so!

3/16   I am still mourning my darling boy Jimi badly but slowly I can wake up without a wet face and without thinking all the time about him and which role he played in my life. It’s 4 weeks now that he died a much too early death. More and more I think that he was not just a very dear bird but something very special, really special. So many things in my memories are making sense now. Btw – the very Sunday (I still hate Sundays) short before Jimi died a white pigeon appeared on the balustrade of our balcony. I did not see her but my partner did and told me. Isn’t that strange? As if an angel was sent to accompany him….

Today was dreaded Sunday again and I was so sad again and felt very depressed. I went outside to clean up the balcony as I do each morning and found Johnny (Jimi’s son)  sitting on one of the fern pots like a little bundle of misery. He had not appeared for breakfast for the last 3 days and I was very worried. Today I just could grab him and he did not even try to escape. I brought him inside and put him immediately into a box. Remember he was the one who had bad symptoms of PMV 2 days before Jimi’s death but he managed all the past weeks to survive, came each day to feed here. He flew like a kamikaze but somehow he succeeded in landing here. Sometimes I could only close my eyes watching him how he jumped on the little stool outside on the balcony and then down and landed on his belly with legs sidewards stretched. At one of these opportunities where he was inside feeding I could grab him and give him some extra vitamin B-complex pill and told him that he should come here when he felt too miserable. So he did today. He had not appeared for several days and I already thought that something might have happened to him and was very worried.

Now he was here, safe and in good mood. So instead of sending me a message in my dreams Jimi sent me his son to take care for, telling me that I should stop crying and instead doing something more reasonable. Now I WAS sure that Johnny was Jimi’s son because his face looked exactly like Jimi’s and also his character was the same. A very friendly and gentle pigeon and I hope so very much that he can get rid of this virus completely. I am only sad that he was left by his wife Chica who was probably too worried about her own well being and survival. Unfortunately this is only natural in the animal world where everything is about survival. I can only hope that she is doing well. She was one of the most beautiful pigeons we ever had on the balcony and Woodie’s last daughter before he decided to retire and live here with us together with his wife Maggie and sit on plaster eggs.

Here are a few photos of Chica:

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The first time when Chica appeared on our balcony…

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Chica with her sister Micky…

 

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Chica settled in…

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Chica was our little water princess – whenever she had the opportunity she took a bath – here with her mother Maggie

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Chica with Pina and Emily

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The ladie’s club: Chica with Pina, Maggie, Emily, Lotti and another one…

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splish splash….

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Chica with her sister Micky and Fifi…

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When Johnny had settled down in his box he ate like a piggy. Unbelievable how much he ate – yes he can eat by himself which makes things much easier. And what’s really good is that the virus apparently had no influence on his digestion i.e. he’s making perfect poops. Prognosis is good at the moment.

 

~~~

May 31, 2014

New PMV Cases, Betty left her Plaster Eggs after 114 Days and Chica has disappeared!

From the

Diary as of 2/8 – 2/13/2014

2/8   Today Roberta came in with severe PMV symptoms. She was totally unoriented and groggy. Before I could actually react she was gone again.

2/9   You would not believe it: Betty has left the plaster eggs and this was my opportunity to finally clean out the nest and make everything new! Betty sat on the same eggs for 114 days!!!

Roberta came again and tried to get inside. But she disappeared again when I tried to lead her inside. Oh my what can I do? I have no place for quarantaining a bird. I am so sad. What’s going on here? Do we have to face another PMV epidemic here?

2/10   Lucky and Betty are cuddling publicly!!! This is really a change. Betty was always so very shy and hardly ever cuddled with Lucky outside their house or somewhere else. She must have had a very prudish family.

2/12   Betty already laid her first egg – it is #9.

2/13   Johnny, the mate of Chica, has also PMV. He was showing heavy symptoms when he came in for feeding. The usual – unfocussed pecking of the seeds. I am totally sad. But I realized that he managed to actually eat some of the seeds. Chica has disappeared though – she did not appear since several days although she did not miss a single day having her meals here and sitting on my knees. I fear the worst. But it could also be that she left with some others to save her own health. Freddy has disappeared also and some of the younger birds. Maybe they sensed the oncoming problems and escaped. I really really hope so. What makes me believe this is that I could not detect any symptoms in any other bird.

I will miss Chica dearly. She and Johnny were such a lovely couple and I am so sad now that this happened. Chica was one of the most beautiful pigeons here and so very gentle. I hope that she is doing well. I am heartbroken that she is gone. Chica was Woody and Maggie’s last child (before they were “put” on plaster eggs) and had always slept on our balcony during the night for a long time before she left to look for a partner for the first time.

This was Chica with her sister Micky (from an earlier batch and Gino’s mate):

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After a bath:

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She was our little water rat…

 

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Chica and her mommy Maggie

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Chica right in the middle

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wet T-shirt party….

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Finally!!! Chica has a partner – Johnny – Jimi’s son

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isn’t he handsome????

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look at her – how happy she is!

~~~

May 26, 2014

Pina is a “Wild Bird” and Sandy has Canker

From the

Diary as of 1/22 – 2/7/2014

1/22   Look at our Pina: doesn’t she look like a “wild” bird (in any sense of the word ) –  sitting on one of her favourite places on the balcony?

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And here is one of our circus artists who manage to balance on a very thin line:

 

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1/23   Fifi laid her second egg #16 and Jimi is taking his turns to sit on the eggs again. He IS a faithful and dear husband!!!

1/24   Everything is going normal.

1/25   Today I found Sandy’s place where he sleeps on the balcony full of his vomit. So I gave him a Spartrix in the morning. During the day he seemed to feel better again. I will see how it goes during the night.

1/26   This morning I discovered new vomitted food though. So I grabbed Sandy when he came in to eat with the others. I put him immediately into one of the hospital boxes. I hoped that he wouldn’t become really sick as I caught him early. Apparently his mate had sensed that he had canker and had left him on last Friday. Can you believe this? He was terribly sad and was calling for her the whole day. This really did not help. What a rotten tart – she had promised “in good days and in bad”.

1/27   Sandy is still vomitting – after the 3rd Spartrix – so the canker was worse than I had hoped. I put him additionally on Flagyl and tube fed him baby millet cereal with apple juice and propolis. I also gave him a warm water bottle which I exchanged regularly as he seemed to need additional warmth.

1/28  After 4 days of throwing up Sandy has finally stopped vomitting. Thank heaven. He seems to feel much better. I think he (the only red male of the balcony flock) is on the way to recovery.

1/29   Last night I fed him de-frosted peas to see how he manages non-liquid food. He did very well during the night. His poops have become a bit firmer and he did not vomit. So he will get his medicine for 2 more days and off into freedom again if everything goes well.

It is fascinating: as a patient Sandy is totally obedient, takes his medicine without quarreling and has no problems to be tube fed. On the balcony he is very bossy with the others and never misses a good fight.

This was Sandy and his faithless Adele when they were still so much in love

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1/30  Sandy is increasingly feeling better. Tomorrow he will have his last Flagyl portion.

1/31   This morning I gave Sandy his last medicine. If everything goes well he will be out tomorrow again if the weather is dry and nice.

2/1   Sandy is out on the balcony again. He is completely well and had his first bath today even in lovely sunshine together with the others and spent his first night outside as well. He is courting the females and seems to have put his unfaithful wife into the bin of oblivion…

2/2   Sandy is doing very well. His poops look a bit mushy still of course but it takes a little while until it is firming up again. So no worries.

2/3   Micky and Maggy should be coming off their plaster eggs by now…

2/5   The ladies are still on their eggs.

2/7   Now it would have been Fifi’s turn to leave the eggs. But also she is not willing to so yet. What’s the matter with these ladies???

~~~

 

February 10, 2014

Betty is sitting on the same Plaster Eggs since 38 Days and Gino has Canker

From the

Diary as of 11/23 – 11/28/2013

11/23   Feeding time – this morning the usual chaos in my livingroom again but I truly don’t mind. I love watching them how they line up neatly and tug their little heads next to one another into the wooden food boxes. And then  you hear only “tuck tuck tuck tuck” besides some chitter chatter when the beaks touch the wood of the food boxes. I REALLY HAVE TO MAKE A VIDEO ABOUT THIS. Looks sooo funny but I need more light not the terrible darkness we have at the moment…

11/24   Jimi is still always the first I let inside because he hates all the chaos and wants his peace. He then waddles into our bedroom where he has his own place and his food bowels. He is always the one who needs time for everything and he hates to be in a hurry. After eating he flies to his place on the bookshelf and stays there until late in the afternoon. Poor Fifi is alone for the whole day but apparently she can cope with this because she can come inside to eat something any time and does not need to leave the (plaster-)eggs for a longer time. Strange behaviour of Jimi – isn’t it?

He does not want to fly outside – maybe it’s his tumor, that is still in his chest, that disturbs him but on the other hand he is eating with very good appetite and his poops are perfect. He loves to listen to classical music that runs for the whole day and loves to be in our presence. So he seems to be absolutely content and happy.

Already as a child Jimi was different – he preferred to be alone rather than together with the others. In the late afternoon he indicates that he wants to leave, takes a long drink from the warm water bowl which I always prepare extra for him (he loves warm vinegar soup – lol) and then flies to his house, greets his wife and settles down for the night. And Fifi seems to accept his behaviour. Well – this is obviously the agreement between them: she has a house, regular meals and drinks. And love from time to time… Just like a marriage contract. Funny – isn’t it?

11/26   Betty is sitting on the same plaster eggs since 38 days now!!!

11/27   Gino came in this morning with that typical sad look where I know immediately that something is wrong. He did not start eating instantly as he usually does, was quiet instead of doing his usual chit-chat but sat on the edge of the cardboard wall and started vomiting heavily. So I grabbed him and after a thorough check and a look into his mouth I knew it was canker. There were no yellow nodules to be seen but his mouth was bright red on one side instead of his usual pink. So I gave him a Spartrix pill and prepared quickly Pina’s box to put him inside. I also gave him a warm water bottle and soon he settled down and looked quite content, knowing that Mommy would help him. He did not vomit again but his poop looked like that typical canker poop, dark green, mushy-slimy – yuck!

11/28   After apparently a good night sleep Gino looked much better in the morning. I gave him another Spartrix pill and he then indicated that he wanted to go out again. I let him and he flew immediately to his house where he and his wife Micky greeted each other with so much joy, dancing around each other and being happy that their world was okay again. It was so sweet. The day before Micky had come in for a quick snack several times – apparently she knew exactly where Gino was and did not seem to feel nervous about his where-abouts at all and that he did not take his turn on the eggs. Now everything was okay again, Gino went straight into his house to sit on the eggs and Micky could fly out again. What a happy couple!

And here is one of the rare photos I have of Lucky and Betty:

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~~~

October 1, 2013

Emily

From the

Diary as of 6/18 – 6/27/2013

6/18   Emily has not come in today for eating. I am worried and I don’t know whether this is due to the incredibly hot weather or whether she has now severe problems with egg laying. Yesterday everything was okay still – cuddling with Lucky, eating well and pooping well and she even took a long bath with Lucky.

6/19   Emily is definitely sick. How can this happen so quickly? She still did not come in for eating and she was sitting in the the hot sun outside the balcony where I could not reach her. I don’t know how to get hold of her. She is going to dehydrate completely if she is not even drinking.

6/20   Emily made terrible poops – only some cream coloured mushy stuff – no green at all. She again was sitting for a long time in the hot sun and only went into the shade from time to time. This is really a strange behaviour. She must have come back when it was dark. I still hope she will come inside so that I can grab her. No way to grab her outside. I am so worried…

All others are doing very well despite the very hot temperatures. They get the bathtub every day. Thank heaven my plants form a real wall now which functions very well as shade and natural air conditioning and the birds know how to use it.

6/21   Very early in the morning I was finally able to grab Emily while she was sitting on the basket  still where she usually sleeps with Lucky. Apparently she was already so weak that she could not react quick enough any more. Or she did not want to flee any more. I put her immediately in a hospital box.

As she did not eat since Tuesday I knew I had to feed her something fluid to keep her hydrated at least. But when I fed her a very fluid cereal with applesauce she vomited everything again. Out came lots of seeds although her crop felt only a bit blown up as if some fluid was in there. Apparently she had hardly digested anything since 4 days! I waited an hour and tried to feed her some fluid again  but she vomitted again. So it goes since then. She cannot keep anything down and is very weak in the meanwhile. At least she vomitted no more seeds so the crop seemed to be empty.

I have started to give her applesauce thinned with water only and with 2 drops of Propolis and Bach Flower Rescue drops every 2-3 hours. I also gave her Bene Bac and Calcivet once a day. I hoped I could keep her hydrated to some extent if only a little bit of the stuff stayed inside. There was a tiny improvement as she started to pass some stuff that was light olive green.

Despite the warm weather I also put a warm water bottle beneath her box to make sure that she was not getting cold due to not eating. I really hoped that the Propolis would do its job as antifungal.

I don’t think any more that this all is related to her egg laying problems as I thought in the beginning and if yes then only indirectly. It IS her time for laying eggs normally but her abdomen is neither swollen nor feeling strange in any way. I assume it was the heat that caused this and the usual weakness before egg laying. I think it is a severe candida infection and I am not very optimistic whether she will survive this….

6/22   Emily is still hanging on but since this early morning she has started to breathe heavily with noises and slightly open beak. I let Lucky visit her and he looked into her box but she was already too weak to even wiggle. I am very very worried…

In the evening Emily started to vomit foam. Her breathing became more and more difficult. I held her and tried to wash the foamy vomit away but apparently her airsacks and trachaea were already full of the stuff that I could not do anything any more besides holding her and covering her with my love. I knew that she was dying. Emily fought terribly and I felt so incredibly helpless. Late in the evening her little heart gave up. Then she was gone…

Emily, my brave and beautiful little Emily was now flying high, together with her first love Pete, free of all the pain and suffering. A chapter of the Pigeon Tales was closed… and I am crying…

My beautiful Emily:

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Emily with her first 2 babies on our balcony: Willy and Joey

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Beautiful Emily with her almond eyes and her characteristic “breeding spot” (area incubationis)

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Lady Emily overlooking her kingdom

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Emily with her first big love Pete

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Emily (left) in her happy days: bathing with her family

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Emily and Pete

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Emily and her second big love Lucky

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Lucky and Emily kissing

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Emily and Lucky in their love nest

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Emily sunbathing

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Emily proud of her new moss house

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Emily sitting on her roof garden

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Sunbathing together

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perching on the “veranda”

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Last photo of Lucky and Emily when the world was still okay

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Lucky and Emily on their sleeping basket – last photo

6/23   I still cannot believe that Emily is not here any more and that she will never come back. There are so many incredible memories about her antics and the only consolation I feel at the moment is that the others are still here – Pina and Rudi, Woody and Maggie, Jimi and his Fifi and Lucky of course.

We buried Emily today in our favourite forest beside Flea. So Flea is not alone any more and Emily can take care of Flea. She loved babies so much. The place where we buried her is full of old trees and the ground is covered with many ferns and moss. The next time when we are there I will take my camera with me and make a photo. It probably sounds crazy what I am doing but it is a way of coping with this big sadness I am feeling.

It is very hard to see Lucky searching constantly for Emily but I think he will cope with it as he is not alone on the balcony and he still so young. Jimi even came inside, jumped on the empty box where his mother was in and tried to comfort me by talking to me with his eyes.
Isn’t is strange that he is now back, living on our balcony with his wife? As if this all was meant to be just the same way when Emily and Lucky became a couple a few days after Pete’s death!

Even Gino looked at me and I knew immediately that he knew exactly what was going on. Pina of course the same way. The birds all knew. It was like a wave of comfort they were spreading. Tomorrow is another day…

As an aside – Fifi laid her first egg #1! in one of the hanging pots where she is living together with Jimi. This is how life is going on…

6/24   Maggie laid her first egg #23 and as usual a perfect one.

6/25   Apparently everything was meant to go the normal way – so Fifi laid her second egg #2. It was so sweet to see both of them, Jimi and Fifi, sitting together in the hanging pot, one on the eggs, the other one grooming the partner. I am sure now that this was Jimi’s new family life. What a relief and comfort after Emily’s death.

6/26   Maggie laid her second egg #24 and again a perfect one.

6/27   Missing Emily…

~~~

September 12, 2013

Bad Times – Canker Epidemic and a New Patient

From the

Diary as of 5/15 – 5/22/2013

5/15   Pina is still not showing any sign of laying soon. This is a long pause and good for her body. She seems to feel very well as she is flying out with Rudi several times a day. She has not done that for a long time. I am very happy about this.

5/16   Lucky has definitely Canker – I gave him a Spartrix. He was vomiting several times – after each meal more or less. So I gave him another pill in the evening as I did not know how much of the drug had stayed in his body. His behaviour though is as usual and he continues to eat with great appetite. Very strange.

5/17   Maggie is off her plaster eggs and cuddling with Woodie. I cleaned their nest so that everything is ready for the next “breeding” cycle.

5/18   Today I saw Emily vomiting as well. So I gave her a Spartrix too. Maggie seems to have canker also but I have not seen her vomiting. So she received only a propolis pill – same to  Woodie just in case.

Currently I am under siege: due to the totally crazy weather – one day 13°C – the next day 25°C – and then down again – we have a real canker epidemic here. I have never faced something like that. Besides changing the water every hour and adding a lot more organic ACV to the water than usual I cannot do much here. I am keeping a list of who has been treated with propolis of those who are living on our balcony because otherwise I am losing control. Lucky is treated with Spartrix, same for Emily because they were both vomiting heavily.
Have to clean up the stinky stuff for the whole day. Have never witnessed such a bad fishy smell. Hope this will be over soon – I am really getting nothing else done.

And as if this weren’t enough I have a new little patient, called her Fifi because she is so small but very vocal – with a bad injury on her leg (on the tibiotarsus) – must be a bite from a predator. Deep wound in the flesh – bone could be seen – but thank heaven no bone broken. I cleaned and disinfected the wound, removed the feathers sticking in the wound as good as I could, added antibiotic cream and bandage and put her on Baytril. Now she is in one of the small hospital boxes with fresh water and something to eat. Will see tomorrow how it goes.

5/19   Gave Emily another Spartrix to make sure that the canker has no chance on her. She has already stopped vomiting – same as Lucky. Thank heaven. No-one else seemed to vomit but I could see some awful stinky poops still. I treated Maggie and Woody with propolis only. This seemed to have solved the canker problem as their cases were not as bad.

5/20   No stinky poops on the balcony any more. The canker epidemic seems to be over. This was quick and I am very thankful that it did not become worse. The ACV in the water must have helped.

5/21   Maggie should have laid by now but she did not either. Apparently she is having a pause as well. Pina is still not laying. This is now more than 3 weeks over her time. I am happy about this because she needs a pause. I wished she would stop laying entirely. Both Rudi and Pina are doing very well – flying out regularly, eating with great appetite, pooping well and cuddling with each other every day. In the evening they are relaxing – look at my little princess – how cute is she:

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5/22   Fifi is now the 5th day on Baytril and doing quite well. She has started to sing a lot so I think she is feeling better.

*****

July 15, 2013

Flea’s Death and Jimi’s Resurrection

From the

Diary as of 4/20 – 4/24/2013

4/20   Flea died in the evening in my arms.

When I took her out this morning I realized that she was making strange noises while breathing. It sounded a bit as if she had some liquid in her lungs. So I gave her a warm water bottle again and left her in her box. She became more and more listless, in the afternoon she could not stand on her feet any more, becoming weaker and weaker. In the early evening I knew that she was going to die and that nothing could save her. I held her in my arms and it became more and more difficult for her to lift her little head. Soon she was gone.

Flea was probably already sick when she appeared on our balcony. She was so thin and my suspicion is that her parents stopped feeding her because they knew that she was sick. So her little accident was only the tip of the iceberg. This is what I am trying to tell myself. The mean thing is that she did so well and seemed to recover and then suddenly… This is soooo unfair. She had not had the slightest chance. Why wasn’t she allowed to live?

4/21   Today we drove to my favourite forest in the southeast of Munich where we often take a walk etc. We used to search for mushrooms there before Tschernobyl happened. Since then the mushrooms are still contaminated and should not be eaten.
There are lots of old trees and the floor is covered by beautiful moss and ferns. We searched for a good place at the foot of an old tree and buried Flea between the roots. We will easily find this spot again. There were lots of birds singing and the sun came out between the trees. This was a bit comforting also…

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4/22   Flea is gone and I still cannot believe what had happened. I feel depressed because I could not save her… and there are so many questions…

4/23   Maggie laid her first egg #19 and as usual it was perfect. Maggie is a very sweet pigeon, a little bit shy and very introverted. She never complains, is always patient and loves her Woody. Once  a week she gets an extra portion Calcivet in order to keep her healthy.

4/24   Today was the big day where Jimi indicated that he wanted to fly free again. It was a very difficult decision for me, especially after the last weekend where we had lost little Flea, but then I did not want my baby to be unhappy and a prisoner. In the morning he had his breakfast and then decided to stay a bit at home still but at lunchtime he definitely wanted to fly out.

So I opened the balcony door with a heavy heart. Jimi did one step after another – as he always does – looked around on the balcony, met some other pijjies from our flock and finally took off. Before that I requested from him the promise to come back when he found his home occupied or if he felt not well enough to spend the night outside. I requested his promise not to fight and getting injured again. You can call me crazy but I know that this bird understands every word I say.

During the whole afternoon I was very nervous and could not think about anything else than Jimi. After 5 in the afternoon I saw Jimi suddenly in one of my planting containers on the balustrade and he seemed to be okay. I called him and after a minute or so he came inside and went straight into our bedroom. You should have heard the rock that fell from my soul. He seemed to be quite exausted – no wonder. BUT HE WAS HOME AGAIN, IN ONE PIECE AND IN PERFECT CONDITION!!!

~~~

 

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