20 minutes spent watching for cats between mouthfuls of my microwaved meal and I was out again. The pigeon was still on its back, but clearly conscious and alive - it was blinking now and then. The situation was clearly not going to resolve itself. Fortunately our area is well served by the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS).
|WRAS to the rescue.|
As I waited, I wondered what had happened. I think the most likely explanation is a sparrow hawk. We've seen some clusters of feathers on the ground recently and I glimpsed one in the garden carrying a rodent just a few weeks ago. Some feathers from our pigeon, scattered over the grass, seemed to confirm this.
The ambulance arrived with two gentle but efficient rescuers. They asked me some questions and examined the bird while completing a form. Admin and examination over, they put the pigeon in a carrier. It snuggled into the soft pink lining, tucking its head into its wings as if it knew it was in good hands. They gave me a casualty number (152461) and information about the organisation including how to donate. I have already donated a few times. I remember giving when I heard about the cascade of baby hedgehogs they got over one winter then to the related Sussex Badger Vaccination Project. However, I've done the decent thing and texted a another donation.
Woodies in our garden
|Woodpigeon in our garden - 21st May.|
Back on the 21st of March, I was surprised to see a juvenile bird. It must have been born at the start of that month. I understand that pigeons make a sort of milk that enables them to start breeding early in the year. I was able to identify it as a juvenile using the information on the Pigeon and Dove Rescue site.
The post script
On Friday (23 May), WRAS put a post on Facebook outlining the tremendous number of rescues they had done on the day they collected my pigeon. They kindly told me that "He is still with us, doing ok but early days, he was trying to push himself up on the side of the towels we are using to support him earlier."
On Saturday (30 May), WRAS responded to a question on Facebook by saying "Was he the adult one falling on his back with the wounds? ... doing well. Early days for the adult as he has a lot of healing to do, but he is standing and more balanced and eating. It is woodie central at the moment"